At least 20 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Saturday as police used nets to clear a sidewalk in front of a state courthouse in Lower Manhattan to make way for nonexistent pedestrians.

The move puzzled protesters, who were blocked from taking the granite steps of the state Supreme Court building before being told by police officers that they had to leave the sidewalk to make way for pedestrian traffic. “We are pedestrian traffic,” the crowd shouted in response. Many wondered aloud what law they were breaking but got no response, said a participant after the arrests.

Activists marched to protest the Obama administration’s allowance of a settlement that would give funds to banks that helped create the mortgage crisis, reports Gothamist. The march coincided with a national drive to get customers of large financial institutions to move their money to credit unions and small community banks.


City Room at The New York Times:

At one point at Foley Square, officers waded into a crowd of people on the sidewalk, grabbed a woman wearing a blue skirt and holding a pink bongo drum and took her to the top of the courthouse steps. Using a bullhorn, a lieutenant warned that anyone who remained would face disorderly conduct charges. The crowd booed. Many remained, and some began walking in wide circles to avoid arrest. The lieutenant announced again that the sidewalk was closed, and the crowd mocked the idea that a public sidewalk could be closed.

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