Group that Started Occupy Wall Street Wants 50-Day White House Siege on September 17

White House Siege

Getty The White House is seen on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC.

A group called Adbusters is planning a 50-day White House siege that starts September 17. The proposed nonviolent protest is being planned by the same group that kicked off the Occupy Wall Street protests, which also started on September 17. They’re promoting the protest on social media with the hashtag #WhiteHouseSiege.

Here’s what you need to know.

Adbusters Helped Start Occupy Wall Street by Proposing a September 17 Wall Street Protest

Adbusters, the group organizing the 50-day White House Siege, was also the group that helped start the Occupy Wall Street movement. NPR reported in 2011 that early Occupy protests seemed to be connected to Adbusters, a Vancouver, British Columbia magazine that had an anti-consumerism slant. The group proposed a September 17 “Wall Street” occupation that seemed to kick-off the movement.

NPR reported that Adbusters never claimed any control over the movement itself, but played a role starting it.

The original call was posted on its website in July 2011, Mother Jones reported, when Adbusters suggested that protesters “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades, and occupy Wall Street.” The call to gather, along with organizing by international artists and activists, led to the original September 17 protest that took on a life of its own, with protests all around the world.

Although the webpage is no longer online, you can still see it in a saved archive in which the September 17 date was suggested. Here are screenshots of the webpage that originally called for the September 17 Occupy Wall Street protests.

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Internet ArchiveInternet Archive

Internet ArchiveInternet Archive

Internet ArchiveInternet Archive


In late 2011, Adbusters suggested on its blog that Manhattan Occupy protesters declare victory and slow down the protests for the winter, Mother Jones reported.

Now Adbusters Is Planning a White House ‘Siege’ on the Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street’s First Event

Today, Adbusters’ webpage is fully focused on suggesting a White House siege that starts on September 17. The page also has two tactical briefing updates. On the first briefing, the group expresses hope that this will also spark protests around the world.

The Occupy anniversary arrives September 17th, 2020. And it may be the perfect day to trigger another global big-bang moment — a massive collective action of the sweetest kind of disobedience.

The group notes that they will lay siege to the White House on September 17 and sustain it for 50 days through November 3.


In the second tactical briefing, the group notes that phase one will be the 50-day siege starting on the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street’s beginning.

So, over the next few weeks, screw up your courage, stuff your backpack with the tools of nonviolent revolution, and bring intelligence to match your enthusiasm. Together we can resuscitate a sick and dying nation, reawaken its better angels, and rekindle the true essence of democracy.

The webpage doesn’t explain what Phase Two will entail.

The Siege Will Begin at Lafayette Square

The 50-day White House Siege will begin at Lafayette Square on September 17. The group has noted in its social media posts that the siege is meant to be nonviolent. The group hasn’t released too many additional details beyond this, but has asked people in social media posts to bring tents.

Adbusters Is Headquartered in Canada

Before Occupy Wall Street, Adbusters was known for creating fake ads for real products, such as a camel named Joe Chemo or an iPhone parody about tracking someone’s movements 24-7, NPR reported. Adbusters takes a stance that is pro-environmentalism, anti-consumerism, and anti-capitalist. The company is headquartered in Vancouver.

Kalle Lasn, an Estonian-Canadian filmmaker and author, is the co-founder of Adbusters magazine and the Adbusters Media Foundation, NPR reported. He said he started Adbusters after feeling like there was something very wrong with consumerism. He worked in market research in Japan in the 1950s and has a strong background in advertising.

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