Wall Street protests lead to hundreds of arrests on Brooklyn Bridge (VIDEO)
The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in Manhattan’s Financial District. More than 700 protesters demonstrating against corporate greed, global warming, and social inequality were arrested Saturday after they shut down a lane of traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge.
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Erin Larkins, a Columbia University graduate student who says she and her boyfriend have significant student loan debt, was among the thousands of protesters on the bridge. She said a friend persuaded her to join the march and she’s glad she did.Skip to next paragraph
“I don’t think we’re asking for much, just to wake up every morning not worrying whether we can pay the rent, or whether our next meal will be rice and beans again,” Ms. Larkins wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “No one is expecting immediate change. I think everyone is just hopeful that people will wake up a bit and realize that the more we speak up, the more the people that do have the authority to make changes in this world listen.”
Several videos taken of the event show a confusing, chaotic scene. Some show protesters screaming obscenities at police and taking a hat from one of the officers. Others show police struggling with people who refuse to get up. Nearby, a couple posed for wedding pictures on the bridge.
“We were supposed to go up the pedestrian roadway,” Robert Cammiso, a 48-year-old student from Brooklyn told the Daily News. “There was a huge funnel, a bottleneck, and we couldn’t fit. People jumped from the walkway onto the roadway. We thought the roadway was open to us.”
Earlier Saturday, thousands who joined two other marches crossed the Brooklyn Bridge without problems. One was from Brooklyn to Manhattan by a group opposed to genetically modified food. Another in the opposite direction marched against poverty, organized by United Way.
Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have been camped in Zuccotti Park and have clashed with police on earlier occasions. Mostly, the protests have been peaceful, and the movement has shown no signs of losing steam. Celebrities including Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon made recent stops to encourage the group.
During the length of the protest, turnout has varied, but the numbers have reached as high as about a few thousand. A core group of about two hundred people remained camping throughout the week. They sleep on air mattresses, use Apple laptops and play drums. They go to the bathroom at the local McDonald’s restaurants. A few times a day, they march down to Wall Street, yelling, “This is what democracy looks like!”