Dozens of Occupy protesters held
NEW YORK POLICE arrested dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters on Saturday night during a protest marking the movement’s six-month anniversary at its birthplace in New York’s Zuccotti Park.
The sweep of the park by police just before midnight capped a day of demonstrations and marching in lower Manhattan.
There was no official word on the number of arrests but dozens of people were handcuffed and led out of the park.
Earlier in the day, 15 people were arrested and three officers suffered injuries, police said. Protesters reconvened at the park following afternoon marches through New York’s financial district.
By 11 pm roughly 300 had gathered there. “This is our spring offensive,” said Michael Premo, 30, of New York, who identified himself as a spokesman for the movement.
“People think the Occupy movement has gone away.
It’s important for people to see we’re back.” Inspired by the prodemocracy Arab Spring, the Wall Street protesters targeted US financial policies they blamed for the yawning income gap between rich and poor in the country, between what they called the 1 percent and the 99 percent.
The demonstrators set up camp in Zuccotti Park on September 17 and sparked a wave of protests across the United States.
On Saturday evening, several dozen police ringed the park and watched the crowd.
Detective Brian Sessa said no action would be taken as long as the activists made no move to establish a camp.
Shortly after 11:30 pm, some protesters began to erect tents near the centre of the park and police began to move in, according to protester Cari Machet.
“They came in to shut it down,” Machet said. “They told us we had to leave because the park was closed.” When about 100 officers entered the park, dozens of protesters sat on the ground and refused orders to leave.