In celebration of the two month anniversary of the Occupy movement and in a show of defiance three days after the post-midnight raid of the original encampment, the Occupy Wall Street protesters marched on Wall Street this morning in a big show of support.
Occasional violent clashes were reported between protesters and police, with both sides alleging abuses by the other and more than 60 arrested.
Protesters met at Zuccotti Park around 7 a.m. to discuss plans for the march, brief protesters on their right to remain silent and who to call if arrested. By 8:30 a.m., possibly thousands of protesters had marched within a few blocks of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), according to Democracy Now‘s Ryan Devereaux.
Blocked by a police barricades, protesters split up, vowing to delay the open of the NYSE.
“It’s impossible to walk anywhere around wall st area without running into another [Occupy Wall Street] faction,” Citizen Radio co-host Allison Kilkenny tweeted. “Totally surrounded.”
Scuffles began breaking out after 9:00 a.m. as police drew batons and deployed pepper spray, according to The Guardian.
Alternet’s Sarah Jaffe reported that the crowd let out a “big cheer” as Truthout contributor J.A. Myerson was arrested. Change.org campaign director Michael Whitney seemed to confirm that with a blurry photo of Myerson being loaded into a police van.
Although there were multiple claims on Twitter that the march had delayed the start of trading, the NYSE opened on time at 9:30 a.m.
According to The New York Daily News, about 60 arrests were made by 11 a.m., but protesters claimed that number was significantly higher.
Update (1:30 p.m. ET): More arrests confirmed
New York Daily News police bureau chief Rocco Parascandola reported that as of noon, about 75 had been arrested. Protesters continued to claim that number was closer to 200.
An official Occupy Wall Street press release confirmed that retired Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis had also been arrested for participating in the protests.
“As soon as I’m let out of jail, I’ll be right back here and they’ll have to arrest me again,” he was quoted as saying.
Watch this video of arrests, uploaded by RT on Nov. 17, 2011.