Dozens Arrested at Wall St. & Broadway


     MANHATTAN (CN) – Dozens of people were arrested Monday in New York’s Financial District as Occupy offshoot Flood Wall Street protested, the day after hundreds of thousands converged in front of the United Nations for the People’s Climate March.
     New York City police made Lower Manhattan a labyrinth of metal barricades as business hours closed on Wall Street.
     The blockades diverted traffic and surrounded the Wall Street bull.
     Helicopters circled the area, which was filled with police on scooters, cars, horseback and vans.
     The daylong protests capped off with the arrest of dozens of activists at Wall Street and Broadway.
     A standoff brewed at 5:30 p.m., as a police sergeant yelled through a megaphone that anyone standing on the intersection would be arrested.
     Dozens of protesters sat down.
     From the sidewalk, an activist returned a mock announcement to the police through his bullhorn.
     “This is a message from the People’s Occupation of Wall Street,” he said. “You are in violation of the free expression of nonviolent protesters. We ask you with love and respect to please go home to your families and respect our First Amendment rights to free speech.”
     Occupy activists recently won permission to sue the city for an Oct. 1, 2011 mass arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge.
     A 2nd Circuit majority found that it plausible that the protesters did not hear police warnings that entering the roadway of the bridge would land them in jail.
     On Monday, protesters tried to drown out police warnings by chanting every time a sergeant took to his megaphone.
     One chant went, “Ah-anti-anticapitalista!”
     Another group shouted, “Whose streets? Our streets!”
     Playing upon the French situationist slogan, “Under the paving stones, the beach,” some protesters shouted, “No streets! Tear up the concrete!”
     Perhaps cautious from previous litigation, police took their time, kenneled activists in at all sides, and started arrests at around 7:10 p.m.
     At first, activists were taken in one by one, then in small groups.
     Those arrested included people in wheelchairs, two women dressed as Captain Planet and a man in a polar bear suit.
     The crowd chanted, “Save the bear!” for that arrest.
     Police wheeled out the disabled protesters last, an hour after the arrests started.

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