New York: New York City's weeks-long 'Occupy
Wall Street' encampment protest has gone quiet in the night after
a large march through the United States' financial capital in
which police violently confronted a crowd of demonstrators and
journalists who had converged near police barricades.
Police arrested at least 28 people after they used pepper spray
and batons to confront the crowd on Wednesday night, charging one
person with assault after a police officer was knocked from his
scooter, according to a police spokesperson, Al Jazeera reported.
Others who were arrested had tried to break through the barricade,
the spokesperson said.
The march on Wall Street was part of a growing protest movement in
financial centres around the country where demonstrators are
voicing anger over wealth inequality and mishandling of the
A crowd of roughly 100 to 200 people had gathered at the
intersection of Broadway and Wall Street when the violence
"A breakaway group of protesters had
asked those willing to be arrested to come forward, link arms and
breach the metal barricades", said Al Jazeera's Cath Turner,
reporting from nearby.
Video of the clash shows a group of police officers facing
chanting and drumming demonstrators on multiple sides. At least
one officer appears to shoot pepper spray into the air while
another swings his baton at members of the crowd.
Other officers appear to push metal fence barricades into place,
while one can be seen apparently using his baton to shove back the
videographer for the advocacy group We Are Change, who filmed the
images of the violence (link contains strong language).
A local news affiliate of Fox television reported that two of its
journalists also had been injured in the clash. Photographer Roy
Isen was hit in the eyes by mace and reporter Dick Brennan was hit
by an officer's baton, the station reported.
The station said that the clash broke out when a crowd "surged
past barriers" and police officers moved in to contain them.
Around 5,000 demonstrators had converged on New York's financial
district earlier in the day, their ranks swelled by nurses,
transit workers and other union members who had joined the protest
over economic inequality and the power of US financial
institutions, which began on September 17.
Among those who joined were members of the American Federation of
State County and Municipal Employees, Communications Workers of
America, the Amalgamated Transit Union and National Nurses United.
The group marched from Foley Square in lower Manhattan to Zuccotti
Park, the staging area and campground for the protests. The day's
events were reportedly peaceful until the violence at the
"We're really excited that labour is part of the protest,'' said
Sara Niccoli, a spokeswoman for the Labour-Religion Coalition, an
Albany, New York-based organisation that aims to "do justice" for
Our correspondent said protest organisers are "ecstatic that more
groups are starting to take hold" of the movement.
Some transport union officials are upset that New York police commandeered public buses on Saturday in order to transport
arrested Wall Street protesters.
Drivers were ordered to take some of the 700 people who had been
arrested during a protest that was stopped when it reached the
Brooklyn Bridge and spilled onto the roadway.
"We don't believe that our members should be commandeered by an
arm of law enforcement to drive buses in which people are being
transported who were arrested," Alan Saley, a spokesperson for New
York's Transportation Workers United (TWU) Local 100 union, told
"We feel that is outside their job responsibilities and a
violation of their constitutional right," he said.
The union represents around 38,000 people, including around 9,000
city bus drivers, according to the magazine.
Lawyers with the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund have filed a
class action lawsuit against the city alleging that the arrests on
the bridge were "premeditated, planned, scripted, and calculated"
and a violation of the marchers' constitutional rights.
Also on Wednesday, 25 people among a crowd of about 200 who were
part of the 'Occupy Seattle' protest in the US state of Washington
were arrested and police removed demonstrators' tents and other
The Seattle police-protester confrontation occurred in the early
afternoon, and more than 100 demonstrators remained at the site
late in the day.
In San Francisco, California, 'Occupy SF' protesters were given a
notice from the police department, which stated: "This encampment
is a violation of the law.
"Accordingly, you are being ordered to take down this structure.
Refusal to comply and/or obstruction of our efforts to remove the
structure may result in your arrest"