Occupy Wall Street returns for one-year anniversary as NYPD report arrests
Police in New York have made “multiple” arrests during marches and protests ushering in the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Around 300 people were estimated to have taken part in a rally Saturday, which saw activists head towards Zuccotti Park – the lower Manhattan site which served as base camp for months of demonstration.
It was part of three days of action celebrating the anti-capitalist movement, which burst into life a year ago but has long since seen its momentum wane.
The main anniversary event will take place on Monday, when activists are expected to attempt to surround the New York Stock Exchange and disrupt morning rush hour traffic in Manhattan’s financial district.
As a precursor to that, marchers took to the streets throughout the weekend in a series of smaller protests.
Police patrolled Saturday’s rally, making several arrests for disorderly conduct and risk of endangerment.
An NYPD spokesman said “multiple” people had been detained. Asked if he could be a little more accurate, the officer offered: “more than one”.
Reports suggest the number of those arrested Saturday was at least a dozen.
For Sunday, Occupy Wall Street organisers have planned a live music event, including a Foley Square concert featuring Tom Morello, guitarist for the rock band Rage Against the Machine.
Sound permits for the events have been secured, but OWS has not sought permission for Monday’s action – which is thought to include a number of sit-down protests from 7am in lower Manhattan.
Chief New York police department spokesman Paul Brown said police will be prepared for demonstrations.
“We accommodate peaceful protests and make arrests for unlawful activity,” he said.
Brown added that based on previous experience with OWS, the NYPD expects that “a relatively small group of self-described anarchists will attempt unlawful activity and try to instigate confrontations with police by others while attempting to escape arrest themselves … we expect most demonstrators to be peaceful.”
To date, officers in New York have made more than 1,800 arrests in connection to OWS action. Last October, 700 protesters were arrested after spilling into the roadway while marching across the Brooklyn Bridge.
OWS, which served as an umbrella movement under which a range of protesters from climate change activists to anti-capitalists could gather, has long since peaked in terms of its impact on the wider media.
But organisers hope that the renewed attention resulting from the first anniversary events may help rejuvenate the movement.