Protesters and Police Clash in Largest Action to Date
Thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and union members flooded the city, overwhelming officers nationwide, as part of a planned “mass day of action.” The movement took to the streets of New York to resist austerity, rebuild the economy and reclaim democracy. According to the official Occupy movement, this was their largest action to date.
CNN.com reported Thursday that many protesters had crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. “This is what democracy looks like – This is what America looks like,” according to the New York movement’s official Twitter feed. The protesters marched on the pedestrian walkway without blocking the bridge.
“I think the numbers have increased dramatically today,” said New York protester Jo Robin. “Particularly after the raid, our message is being broadcast all over the world,” CNN.com reported.
Police said that by 8:00 p.m. about 245 people had been arrested around the city. In Los Angeles about two dozen people were arrested during the occupied protest in the financial district.
At a late afternoon press conference Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that at least seven police officers were injured Thursday during exchanges with protesters. Of those seven, five were injured when an unidentified liquid was thrown on their faces, Kelly said. He added that the officers’ required hospitalization.
Another officer’s injury resulted when a glass object was thrown at him.
Bloomberg said Thursday’s protests had “caused minimal disruptions to our city.” He said that some demonstrators had “deliberately pursued violence.”
The city has faced challenges from protesters and critics for the removal of occupiers from Zuccotti Park. However, New York’s City deputy mayor Howard Wolfson said “we had to act” to stop illegal activity, such as drug use, and to eliminate fire hazards.