“Occupy Wall Street”, the anti-capitalist protest demonstrators clashed with police in New York yesterday after beginning an impromptu march up Wall Street.
New York police officers were accused of using overly-aggressive tactics as they battled to control the quick-moving protesters who left their camp near Wall Street to march up Broadway.
Scores of “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators were arrested, cuffed with plastic tags and dragged on to sidewalks. One video showing a protester thrown to the floor by an officer with little provocation.
Some protesters were calling: “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and calling shoppers to join them. At least 80 people connected with the protest were held near Union Square in Manhattan.
Demonstrators have been camped in Wall Street since last Saturday – sleeping on cardboard boxes, eating pizza and takeaway dinners that were paid for by donations to their cause.
There are around 200 left in the makeshift camp, down from their peak of 1,500.
“They’re angry at what’s going on in the world,” said Rich Marini, a 37 year-old software writer from Great Kills who has been taking part in the protest.
“But it’s a good atmosphere. They have a sense of love with each other.”
Rich Marini said the protest is driven by the fact that college kids are graduating only to find there are no jobs. “They’re putting the pieces together,” he added. “And Wall Street is the main focus of that.”
The “Occupy Wall Street” protest is entering its second week. Demonstrators said they are protesting bank bailouts, the mortgage crisis and now the U.S. state of Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis.
At Union Square, police tried to corral the demonstrators using orange plastic netting. Some of the arrests were filmed and activists posted the videos online.
Police said the arrests were mostly for blocking traffic, charges including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
One demonstrator was charged with assaulting a police officer, who suffered a shoulder injury.
Protest spokesman Patrick Bruner criticized the police response as “exceedingly violent’ and said the protesters sought to remain peaceful.
West Brighton resident Richard Reichard, who works just above Wall Street, said it’s important to remind Americans that it was the financial services industry that plunged the U.S. into recession.
“And government was asleep at the switch,” Reichard said.
A barricade was set up to protect the NYSE building as protesters marched past it. Police watched proceedings carefully after a scuffle on Tuesday that led to seven arrests and an injured protester.
Other four protesters were arrested Wednesday for disorderly conduct and released.