Top-ranked New York police commanders helped arrest more than 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters Saturday when demonstrators left the sidewalks during a march and tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on the street, blocking traffic.
The arrests began just after 4 p.m. as the 1,500-strong demonstration made it about a third of the way across the bridge. Police brought out orange nets and surrounded the protesters, then later took them by bus to nearby police stations. The arrests were made relatively peacefully, and police said most of those taken into custody were charged with disorderly conduct.
Many protesters said they felt they had been tricked and trapped by the white-shirted police officers, who appeared to have allowed them onto the bridge roadway and even seemed to escort them across. —BF
The New York Times:
In their march north from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan — headquarters for the last two weeks of a protest movement against what demonstrators call inequities in the economic system — they had stayed on the sidewalks, forming a long column of humanity penned in by officers on scooters.
Where the entrance to the bridge narrowed their path, some marchers, including organizers, stuck to the generally agreed-upon route and headed up onto the wooden walkway that runs between and about 15 feet above the bridge’s traffic lanes.
But about 20 others headed for the Brooklyn-bound roadway, said Christopher T. Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who accompanied the march. Some of them chanted “take the bridge.” They were met by a handful of high-level police supervisors, who blocked the way and announced repeatedly through bullhorns that the marchers were blocking the roadway and that if they continued to do so, they would be subject to arrest.