Police Scuffle With Protesters As Thousands March To City Hall As Part Of ‘Occupy Wall Street’
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The “Occupy Wall Street” rally gained thousands of new supporters as New York City became protest city on Wednesday when the group marched to City Hall. The protests, however, were not without incident.
The NYPD said that there were about a dozen arrests Wednesday night. Most of those were for disorderly conduct, but at least one arrest was for assaulting a police officer. Police said a protester knocked an officer off his scooter.
Photo Gallery: Wall Street Protests
It was night of fury, and physicality by protestors and police, CBS 2′s Sean Hennessey reported. Chopper 2 captured an image of an officer with a baton hitting a protestor as other police surrounded him and tossed the protester to the ground.
“I saw night sticks fly. I saw cops on the floor. I saw them charging groups of people,” Jack DePalmer said.
“There’s been a few agitators here, people real angry — which is understandable. But at the same time, we have to be peaceful about it. Cops are going to be cops — they have to make a living. They’re not the real enemy here,” Ty Davis said.
Meanwhile, there is a sense that the vaguely focused frustration of the demonstration, which was in its 19th day Wednesday, is beginning to resonate more widely. Al Jones of 1010 WINS reported that protestors had marched from Zuccotti Park to Foley Square.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports From The Protest
Jones also reported that Foley Square was filled with people, including union members, college students, some clergy members and regular New Yorkers, listening to speakers argue against what they call corporate greed.
The hundreds of protestors who have taken over Zuccotti Park for more than two weeks got reinforcements Wednesday when they were joined by MoveOn.org and other community groups.
CBS 2′s Lou Young described the crowd gathered at Foley Square as “immense” and pointed out that there was even an overflow of people who did not fit in the area.
“We are the 99 percent, you know, and it’s not fair that people don’t have to pay taxes, that corporations don’t have to pay taxes and like we do. It’s like my mom pays more taxes than like Walmart does,” Helen Curran, a student at Pace University, told Young.
The rage against the machinery of Wall Street is loud and getting louder. So much so that deep inside the financial center, regular workers are feeling maligned and misunderstood.
“Those of us who are still here had to take pay cuts just to keep our jobs. So, they clearly don’t know who they’re going after. They’re going after the guy down the block, not some guy in a castle,” Stephen Guilfoyle, an economist at Meridian Equity Partners, said.
The group also called for a student walkout at college campuses across the country to protest “against unforgivable student debt and soaring tuition rates.”
“Professors are asking their classes to take the day to actually go to this rally,” said Camille Rivera, a spokesperson for “United NY.”
Some students at Brooklyn College heeded the call and joined the protest early Wednesday afternoon. About 150 students walked out of class at Brooklyn College to join the Wall Street protesters.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond With Students
Arud Sheikh said the struggle is the same.
“We are the 99 percent. We’re the 99 percent that don’t own the majority of wealth where we’re disgusted… There are clear policy changes that could be made,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.
Protests took place Wednesday at several other CUNY schools over tuition hikes and cuts in tuition assistance.
“We’re feeling like we’re under attack,” said Brooklyn College senior Daryl Barney. “Tuition is going up and then we’ll be graduating. We have no hopes. We have no real future.”
Walkouts were also scheduled at State University of New York campuses, including Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, New Paltz and Purchase.
Meanwhile, a video claiming to be by the group “Anonymous” has surfaced on YouTube. “Anonymous” said it will shut down the New York Stock Exchange website Monday.
The video is addressed to the media and says that Anonymous has been witnessing the events of the weeks-long Wall Street protests and has had enough.
Watch the video below:
“We will not stand by and watch the system take over our way of life. We the people shall against the government’s inaction. We the people will not be witnesses to your corruption and ill-gotten profits. We will not labor for your leisure. We will not assist you in any way,” the video says.
It goes on to say that it will attack the New York Stock Exchange‘s site.
“This is why we chose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being taken advantage of for the sake of profit. We will show the world that we are true to our word. On Oct. 10, NYSE will be erased from the internet. On Oct. 10, expect a day that will never, ever be forgot.”
In September, Anonymous released the name of a New York City police officer who was seen pepper spraying protestors in a video that was also posted to YouTube.
On Thursday, demonstrators are planning to rally in front of the Goldman Sachs offices in Jersey City at 2 p.m. In addition, protesters plan to gather at the same time in front of the Statehouse in Trenton.
A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the planned protest.
For more information about Occupy Wall Street, click here.
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