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700 Arrested in New York protests

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Protesters on the lower deck of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Over 700 protesters were arrested during the March on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York the arrests come after more than two weeks of constant protest by activists who say that Wall Street has become too greedy.

The protests are called Occupy Wall Street and is organized by the Canadian anti-consumerist group Adbusters. Protesters have been camping out in the plaza in Manhattan’s financial district for the last two weeks staging marches, talking to the media, and attempting to highlight the problems of corporate greed in America.

The arrests occurred on Saturday afternoon as the group made an unscheduled march towards the Brooklyn Bridge. They walked in rows on the sidewalk until they reached the bridge. At that point protesters began to stray onto the road, blocking traffic. Police tried to warn the protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway but many say they did not hear the admonishment and hundreds were cited and arrested.

Police say the protest was largely orderly until they reached the bridge where construction is taking place. They say they gave the group multiple warnings and even asked them to turn back. Protesters were chanting, “let us go,” as others yelled at the police. Police used orange netting to stop the crowd from going any further onto the bridge.

The NYPD released video footage to show that they did not use unnecessary force against the protesters and that they gave the group multiple warnings.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are lamenting what they see as runaway corporate greed. They argue that Wall Street has largely ignored the plight of the American people and continues to reap record profits while the people on Main Street continued to suffer the effects of the last recession.

They are also protesting corporate influence in politics as well as the influence of corporate spending on the democratic process they say they intend to continue their occupation of Wall Street until their demands are met. However at this time, the group has not issued any formal demands.

The group is hoping to increase awareness for their cause. They have been aided by celebrities such as Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon. Supportive demonstrations have been held in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Albuquerque, Tampa, Charlotte, Seattle, Denver, and Portland, Maine.

So far the protests have remained peaceful. There have been sporadic clashes with police during some of the marches including one specific instance where an officer pepper sprayed at least five women. However these incidents are relatively few and minor. Many protesters repeatedly state that their actions are an example of, “democracy at work.”


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