NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police used pepper spray and arrested more than 100 people Monday, as activists flooded Wall Street to protest what they say is corporate and economic institutions’ role in the climate crisis.
The protest came one day after a huge climate march in Midtown.READ MORE: Viral Video Shows Unmasked NYPD Officer Pushing Masked Commuter Out Of Subway Station
#FloodWallStreet protesters on Monday gathered in Battery Park and marched to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, CBS 2’s Jim Smith reported from Chopper 2.
There were around 1,000 protesters on Monday, Smith reported. Much of the traffic around Broadway and Bowling Green was stopped due to the demonstration, followed by a staged sit-in at the stock exchange area.
As CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported, more than 10 hours after the protest began, the rally was finally quieting down. Broadway near Wall Street reopened after dark Monday.
Hundreds of officers were on the scene as thousands of people rallied. The sit-in turned into a march up Broadway just before 4 p.m., WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
Protesters saw that Wall Street was barricaded off by the police and tried to ram the barricades with the front lines of their march. Some of the protesters tried to push past the barricades and go on marching down Wall Street, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was on the scene as officers clashed with the crowd. Officers were seen on video using pepper spray, CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported.
“We were just trying to get up there, and I was on the front line – not tensely – but got pepper-sprayed. We were just up there. But I was forced into the front lines; this guy was behind the first set of people, randomly pepper-spraying across, and I was just one of them,” one man said.
Video also showed officers handcuffing protesters, and one clip appeared to show a man running off as police came after him while protesters chanted, “Let him go.”
“I’m a medic and I took care of a couple of those people,” said protester Eva Rotler.
Rotler said she was unhappy that pepper spray was used to disperse the crowd.
“The tear gas was not okay,” Rotler said. “There was no reason for it.”
People were taking pictures of the clashes between protesters and police and posting them on social media.
“I was worried that it might get out of hand,” said protester Carly Blair.
More than 100 people were arrested – three of whom were in wheelchairs, police said.
An NYPD bus was seen hauling away dozens of protesters. A protester in a polar bear costume was among those taken into custody.READ MORE: Hip-Hop Improv Show 'Freestyle Love Supreme' Returns To Broadway
The officers were handcuffed with plastic ties and taken to One Police Plaza to be booked on disorderly conduct charges for blocking the street and refusing to move and obey police orders, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.
All will be given Criminal Court summonses — including those in wheelchairs — for a return date to court, police said.