NEWS

Occupy Wall Street: Arrests Made After Scuffles Between Police And Activists

17/11/2011 14:31 | Updated 17 November 2011

More than 170 people were arrested in New York after clashes between protesters and police in Manhattan's financial district.

Demonstrators staged a "day of action" in New York and other cities around the United States, but could not prevent the Stock Exchange opening on time at 9.30am.

Scuffles between protesters and police happened as demonstrators marched through the street two days after the tents and marquees put up by Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park were cleared by authorities.

“All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!” the crowd chanted, while some of those one their way to work acted as counter-protesters, holding up signs that read "get a job".

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said that despite the arrests the day had gone "pretty smoothly".

"When you have all this yelling and pushing and close-up cameras it seems very disorderly," he said. "But if you look at the day, people were able to go to work on Wall St, protesters were able to protest."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police commissioner Ray Kelly said at a press conference that 177 people had been arrested, including five on charges of second-degree assault.

Kelly said that one police officer had suffered lacerations to his hand after making a "defensive manoeuvre". Five officers were also attacked with a "vinegar-like substance", Kelly said.

Protesters later gathered in Union Square while planning to march downtown and across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Meanwhile, more than 20 people were reported to have been arrested at a similar demonstration in Los Angeles. Another 18 were arrested in Dallas, Texas, while 14 more were taken into custody in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday's march was organised to mark the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration, versions of which have now spread to other cities and countries, including London.

The protesters banged drums and waved signs as they pushed through police lives, causing huge traffic jams in the busy financial district.

Some of those who sat down on the street were taken away by officers, including one woman in a wheelchair holding an American flag.

According to reports some of those police officers managing the protest said they had worked for 36 hours straight.

"If I keep getting paid I can tough it out," one officer told The New York Times.

While the Stock Exchange was able to open without delays, some did face difficulty getting to work.

"These a--holes need to get a job and stop keeping us from ours," one woman, Jenn Bobics, 42, who works at an investment firm, told DNAInfo. "I can't get to work now, or at least I don't know how to."

However the protesters remained defiant, and insisted they would return to Wall Street "every day" until their demands were met.

"I feel like this is a beautiful moment to take back our streets, especially after the eviction. We need to prove we can exist anywhere. It's gone beyond a single neighborhood, it's really an idea," one protester, Rachel Falcone, 27, from Brooklyn, told Metro New York.

Watch live footage of the protests, below.

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