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Protesters march on NYPD headquarters

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NEW YORK — About 2,000 anti-corporate demonstrators marched Friday from a protest camp they have occupied near Wall Street to the headquarters of the New York Police Department.

The noisy but peaceful rally was the largest since anti-Wall Street activists occupied a small park in lower Manhattan two weeks ago to protest corporate bailouts and corporate influence in politics.

“We got sold out!” the crowd chanted as it snaked through rush hour traffic, closely shadowed by columns of police.

Hand drawn placards included: “Nazi bankers” and “people before dollars.”

It was the first time the protestors tried marching on New York’s high-tech police headquarters at One Police Plaza, the nerve center of one of the world’s most sophisticated security services.

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Numbers were swelled on Friday by support from local unions including the Transport Workers Union and by youths responding to false rumors on the Internet that mega band Radiohead was going to play a free concert at the protest camp.

Protesters added police brutality to their lengthy and still vaguely defined list of grievances after an incident a week ago when a senior officer used pepper spray against four demonstrators who had already been shut inside a police pen.

“NYPD protects billionaires and Wall Street,” one placard said.

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Although police came ready for mass arrests, carrying rolls of orange mesh used to pen in crowds, the demonstration passed off peacefully.

At the entrance to the courtyard outside the police building, officers lowered the metal ramp used to control vehicular traffic, and the crowd poured through, cheering.

Lines of police stood to protect the headquarters entrance, but the crowd was peaceful and dispersed two hours after starting the march.

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Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.

Photo: Flickr user pweiskel08.


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