The iconic Charging Bull statue near Wall Street had to be placed under guard after photos showed the sculpture “vandalised” amid protests.
The sculpture in New York City’s Financial District was defaced with pieces of tape saying “hold the line” as protesters demonstrated amid the GameStop stock frenzy.
As the frenzy over the GameStop phenomenon continues to fascinate investors around the world, it appears as though the symbol of New York’s market has been given some extra protection.
Pictures taken on Sunday revealed the bronze statue has been draped in a blue tarp.
And the New York Police Department took to Twitter to assure anyone concerned about the beast’s safety that its Counter Terrorism squad was on the case.
It came after pictures emerged on social media apparently showing the Charging Bull has been covered with stickers by supporters of the Reddit army disrupting the stock market.
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On Sunday, Republican protesters huddled at the Charging Bull statue in New York to protest hedge-fund managers targeting GameStop after Reddit investors drove the stock’s prices up over 1700 per cent last week.
The “Re-Occupy Wall Street” movement saw members of New York Young Republicans Club drawn to Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park — where the original Occupy Wall Street happened in 2011 — to protest against hedge-fund managers who bet against GameStop in an effort to make a quick buck.
The “despicable” managers, as some protesters called them, were betting against the “little guy” Reddit investors by stocking up on GameStop’s stock and cash in on it after it tanked.
Gavin Wax, the group’s president, said this was just corruption in its finest example.
“There’s some blatant corruption going on in the buildings around us and in Greenwich, (Ct.), wherever hell they are,” Mr Wax told the protesters, who averaged about 50 in number.
“There’s two standards: there’s rules for thee, not for me,” Wax said. “You got these big hedge-fund guys who are trying to short companies into the ground, and then they got called on their bluff by a bunch of anonymous day traders on Reddit.”
“And then they have the balls to call those guys unsophisticated,” Mr Wax said. “God bless the little guy for making an honest buck and showing them how the market really works.”
The leader then went on to say those managers “are now going to cry and have their crocodile tears on CNBC and tell us, ‘Oh, you know, you’re manipulating the market.’”
Mr Wax goaded them, saying “these guys have been manipulating the market to their advantage for years. For years.”
Despite the events that occurred last week, the Young Republicans said their protest was apolitical, and that they were standing up for a free market.
”We need to take a stand today, tomorrow and every day that comes forward,” Vish Burra, the club’s vice president, said, adding Wall Street was “corporatising the American dream and making a mockery of American freedom.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced with permission