Mass arrests fail to stop protesters

Wall Street target of demonstrations

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NEW YORK -- Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other grievances were maintaining a presence in Manhattan's Financial District on Sunday even after more than 700 of them were arrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge in a tense confrontation with police.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/10/2011 (4016 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

NEW YORK — Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other grievances were maintaining a presence in Manhattan’s Financial District on Sunday even after more than 700 of them were arrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge in a tense confrontation with police.

The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway after being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said.

The march shut down a lane of traffic for several hours Saturday. The majority of those arrested were given citations for disorderly conduct and were released, police said.

CP Stephanie Keith / The Associated Press Police arrest a woman on the Brooklyn Bridge during the march Saturday.

The group had meetings and forums planned for Sunday at Zuccotti Park, the private plaza off Broadway the protesters have occupied.

During Saturday’s march, protesters sat on the roadway, chanting “Let us go,” while others yelled at police from the pedestrian walkaway above.

Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway by police, or they didn’t hear the calls from authorities to head to the pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into being arrested, and those in the back of the group who couldn’t hear were allowed to leave.

“Multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway and that if they took the roadway they would be arrested,” said Paul Browne, of the New York Police Department.

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.

“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,” Larkins said.

— The Associated Press

Canadians to follow Americans’ lead

ORGANIZERS of a protest slated to take place on Toronto’s Bay Street later this month say they’re following in the footsteps of American activists who have stormed Wall Street in New York and other U.S. cities in a rally against the global financial system.

Hundreds of people are expected to meet in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, at the intersection of Bay and King streets, on Oct. 15 to prepare for a march two days later as the Toronto Stock Exchange opens that Monday.

Occupy Toronto organizers say they anticipate the protests will roll into the week as the Occupy Wall Street rally in New York enters its third week without any hints of slowing down.

The protesters say they are taking their cue from the pro-democracy movements of the Arab Spring in North African and the Middle East.

Canadian protests are also being arranged in Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Montreal, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, according to website Occupy Together.

Organizers have asked activists to bring tarps, sleeping bags, first aid kits and electrical generators to prepare for what could be a weeks-long stakeout.

The Occupy Together website notes that other rallies have been planned around the world, from around the United States into Mexico and dozens of European countries.

— Postmedia News

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