On Saturday, thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters marched from Zuccotti Park to the Brooklyn Bridge, leading to another showdown between the NYPD and The Occupancy. Chaos ensued when demonstrators moved from the bridge’s pedestrian walkway to the car lanes, blocking all traffic heading to Brooklyn. The 4 p.m. battle shut down traffic on the bridge for almost three hours, and when it was said and done, 700 people were arrested.
As expected, there are conflicting accounts regarding the actions of the protesters and police alike. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne claims that demonstrators were only arrested after being warned several times to stay off the roadway.
However, many protesters believe that they were trapped by the police. Robert Cammiso of Brooklyn said that they were “supposed to go up the pedestrian roadway” but ran into “a huge funnel, a bottleneck, and we couldn’t fit. People jumped from the walkway onto the roadway. We thought the roadway was open to us.”
The police let some protesters cross, and then trapped about 400 on the bridge with vehicles and orange nets. NYPD and MTA buses were then brought in to cart off all demonstrators in handcuffs. NYPD Internal Affairs (these guys never get a break) and the Civilian Complaint Review Board are currently looking into this latest confrontation.
This is the second consecutive Saturday that ended with protesters in cuffs. Hell of a way to kick off October.
Photos courtesy of Will Stephens (AP), Anjali Mullany (New York Daily News), Mario Tama (Getty), Jessica Rinaldi (Reuters), and Rose Bookbinder (AP).
[via New York Daily News]