700 arrested after protest on the Brooklyn Bridge
(AP) - Protesters speaking out against corporate greedand other grievances were maintaining a presence in Manhattan'sFinancial District Sunday even after more than 700 of them werearrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge in a tenseconfrontation with police.
The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza inManhattan's Financial District for nearly two weeks staging variousmarches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn onSaturday afternoon. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up tothe bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway afterbeing told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said.
The march shut down a lane of traffic for several hours onSaturday. The majority of those arrested were given citations fordisorderly conduct and were released, police said.
During Saturday's march on the Brooklyn Bridge, some protesterssat on the roadway, chanting "Let us go," while others chantedand yelled at police from the pedestrian walkaway above. Policeused orange netting to stop the group from going farther down thebridge, which is under construction.
Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway bypolice, or they didn't hear the calls from authorities to head tothe pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into beingarrested, and those in the back of the group who couldn't hear wereallowed to leave.
"Multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stayon the pedestrian walkway and that if they took the roadway theywould be arrested," said Paul Browne, the chief spokesman of theNew York Police Department.
Several videos taken of the event show a confusing, chaoticscene. Some show protesters screaming obscenities at police andtaking a hat from one of the officers. Others show policestruggling with people who refuse to get up. Nearby, a couple posedfor wedding pictures on the bridge.