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ECONOMY, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, THE ISSUES

Police Arrest Protesters Blocking Brooklyn Bridge

NEW YORK — Police confronted protesters in a heated exchange on the Brooklyn Bridge, where thousands of Occupy Wall Street marchers snarled traffic and blocked both sides of the expanse Saturday.

Police made arrests but would not release the number because the protest is continuing, NBC New York reported.

Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and social inequality took their “solidarity march” to Brooklyn, but battled in a war of words against officers, chanting “We are not criminals” and “Let us go!”

The plan, according to Occupy Wall Street’s website, was to end the march at a gathering at Brooklyn Bridge Park at 5:30 p.m.

Police however blocked both ends of the bridge in efforts to contain marchers on the expanse.

The Occupy Wall Street group was joined by various unions, including the Transit Workers Union and the United Federation of Teachers, in the march to Brooklyn.

The New York Times reported a few protesters had “clambered dangerously up the structure of the bridge to get to the wooden pedestrian walkway, which is about 15 feet above the road.”

On Friday, more than 1,000 demonstrators marched to the New York Police Department headquarters to protest the response to the Occupy Wall Street action, now in its second week. Friday’s march was peaceful. Police say there were no arrests.

The crowd may have swelled because of a false rumor that the band Radiohead would appear. Since the protest began two weeks ago, turnout has varied but the numbers have reached as high as about 1,500.

Critics have accused officers of being heavy-handed, saying they have roughed up and pepper-sprayed people who did nothing wrong. The NYPD has disputed that claim.

The protesters also say they’re upset about reports from The Associated Press that an NYPD intelligence unit has sought to infiltrate the city’s Muslim community.

via AP, MSNBC

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