Occupy Arrests Continue at Friday's Protests

Nov 18, 2011, 09:45 by R.E. Christian

Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested across the United States in confrontations with police on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy movement.

Police said they arrested 177 people who crowded intersections near the New York Stock Exchange Thursday morning, The Wall Street Journal reported. They later arrested 99 more who tried to block access to the Brooklyn Bridge.

About 32,000 people massed near Wall Street and elsewhere in New York to mark two months since the Occupy movement began.

In Los Angeles, police in riot gear faced protesters in the financial district, resulting in 72 arrests, some of people who pitched tents in the middle of a busy downtown street. Occupy LA protesters, encamped outside City Hall for nearly seven weeks, also took over a plaza outside the Bank of America Center for several hours until police arrived.

The incident prompted several local and national labor unions to call on the city to let the protesters stay, saying the bank plaza was a "more fitting target" for Occupy LA.

Also Thursday, Occupy LA protesters sought a temporary restraining order to bar police from dismantling the City Hall encampment without first providing notice, the city attorney's office said.

Matthew Strugar, a member of the Occupy legal committee, said the people who filed the motion weren't part of the legal team and "are not authorized to represent Occupy LA."

In New York, members of the Service Employees International Union led several thousand people to Manhattan's Foley Square, the Times said. Protesters then marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on a pedestrian walkway.

Among those arrested at the bridge were George Gresham, the city's top labor leader, and Mary Kay Henry, president of the nationwide Service Employees International Union, a union spokeswoman said.

Five protesters were charged with felony assault.

Seven officers and 10 protesters were injured, police said.

Other protests were in Los Angeles; Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta; Dallas; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Las Vegas; Boston, Albany, N.Y., and about 20 other cities.

Thirty-four people were arrested in the Portland demonstrations, where police used pepper spray to disperse protesters who ignored orders to vacate streets and light-rail tracks.

In Dallas, more than 100 police, some in riot gear, cleared out a camp near City Hall, citing unhealthful living conditions and safety concerns. Officers arrested 18 activists for refusing to disperse.

Source: UPI