An estimated 700 people protesting corporate greed and social inequality, among other grievances, were arrested on Saturday after they swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours in a tense confrontation with police, the Associated Press reports.
The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan's Financial District for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway after being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said.
The majority of those arrested were given citations for disorderly conduct and were released, police said.
Some protesters sat on the roadway, chanting "Let us go," while others chanted and yelled at police from the pedestrian walkaway above. Police used orange netting to stop the group from going farther down the bridge, which is under construction.
Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway by police, or they didn't hear the calls from authorities to head to the pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into being arrested, and those in the back of the group who couldn't hear were allowed to leave.
Source: the Associated Press.
Only time will tell if Occupy Wall Street will become America's Arab Spring, as some have called it. Michael Moore, Cornel West and Russell Simmons have joined the protests, and Van Jones has voiced support to build momentum for his Rebuild the Dream movement. If nothing else, the protests will help draw attention to important issues. The protesters have said that they do not plan on going anywhere until they make their voices heard. Who knows how long that will take, amid the concrete canyons of Wall Street?
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