Back in the 1960s, a gang of Yippies, a politicised arm of the hippies led by the late Abbie Hoffman, wormed their way into the tour of the New York Stock Exchange. While up on the visitors' gallery, looking down on the trading floors, they threw US legal tender - coins and bills - at the men below who, when they realised what it was, began diving for dollars.
That colourful assault on the money culture took place 40 years ago on August 24, 1967. CNN recently remembered the moment, noting: "Some of the brokers, clerks and stock runners below laughed and waved; others jeered angrily and shook their fists."
The bills barely had time to land on the ground before guards began removing the group from the building, but news photos had been taken and the Stock Exchange "happening" quickly slid into iconic status.
Once outside, the activists formed a circle, holding hands and chanting "Free! Free!" At one point, Hoffman - an old friend of mine - stood in the centre of the circle and lit the edge of a $5 bill while grinning madly, but an NYSE runner grabbed it from him, stamped on it, and said: "You're disgusting."
"Hoffman stood in the centre of the circle and lit the edge of a $5 bill."
What disgusts some, inspires others, and that event is now firmly embedded in the legacy of the US left, which may have changed its character, but not its dislike of America's Mecca of money and symbol of greed.
In the 1920s, the "Street" was bombed by anarchists, but a new non-violent breed today, holding on to the hatred of the wheeling and dealing that drives US capitalism - and perhaps global capitalism - have for the last week staged an encampment a few blocks north of the Exchange as a part of what they call #OccupyWallStreet.
The hashtag is a sign of their reliance on Twitter and other social media to organise a protest modelled after Tahrir Square (and perhaps Madrid's Plaza Del Sol) where activists seized public space to launch a political movement. There is no central command, no orders from above. And you can watch the action online on a live stream.
This is not the usual approach to politics of an electoral kind with its traditional mobilisations and marches by mass organisations. It has attracted a group of wannabe revolutionaries, even as a right wing website called them a "menagerie" and others ridicule their youth, their hair, and their naiveté. It's like a Wall Street Woodstock - so far without the music (but that might be coming) - as a number of celebrities have dropped by to show solidarity.
Had he lived, Abbie Hoffman would have been there to witness the takeover of nearby Zuccotti Park that has become the meeting ground of a growing bottom-up leaderless movement, drawn from several political traditions including libertarians, communists and environmentalists. Abbie now has 901,000 citations on Google.
Like the Egyptian movement they are emulating, there is no one political line or detailed set of demands, but it's not clear if that matters.