Occupy Day of Action Mobilizes Protesters Across the Country

Nov 17, 2011, 09:01 by R.E. Christian

Occupy Wall Street protesters tangled with New York police Thursday after trying to march on the financial district, resulting in at least 50 arrests.

The march was part of a demonstration marking two months since the movement protesting the inequitable distribution of wealth began.

The protest began peacefully but grew tense as police began making arrests when some demonstrators tried to climb over barricades, the New York Post reported. Other people were handcuffed and taken away after they sat on the ground despite police orders to leave.

"My question is how is that illegal to stand there? I got pushed and stepped on. This is the United States of America. I can walk on any sidewalk I want to," said Jessica Allure, 24, a student.

The protesters said they hoped to march to Wall Street and disrupt the stock-trading day's opening bell but never got close, the Post reported. The markets opened as usual at 9:30 a.m.

The police department added an extra 1,000 officers per shift to handle the marches scattered throughout the city.

Police along Wall Street blocked traders and bankers from getting to work, the New York Daily News reported.

"I've got to get to work today or I'm going to lose my job," a man dressed in a suit told one police officer.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has encouraged demonstrators to return to the capitol, but leave their sleeping bags at home, WIS-TV, Columbia, S.C., reported.

The capitol grounds are for citizens' use during daylight hours only, Haley said during a news conference Wednesday following the arrests of dozens of protesters.

A protester told WIS, "We're calm, we're peaceful and we're not agitators."

In Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn apologized to protesters Wednesday after an incident the night before that ended in demonstrators being pepper sprayed, including an 84-year-old woman, KCPQ-TV, Tacoma, Wash., reported. In a statement McGinn also said he asked police Chief John Diaz to review the actions.

"To those engaged in peaceful protest, I am sorry that you were pepper sprayed," the mayor said.

Members of the Occupy movement took over a bank lobby in San Francisco Wednesday and by the time it was over police said they had made about 100 arrests.

The Bank of America branch office takeover lasted about 4 hours, the Los Angeles Times reported. No injuries were reported as about 40 police officers in riot gear who placed the protesters in plastic handcuffs and hauled them off to waiting police vehicles, the newspaper said.

"You're the 99!" the protesters told the arresting officers, along with, "We shall not be moved!" and "You're sexy, you're cute, take off your riot suit!"

Source: UPI