The police arrested several people on Saturday during an Occupy Wall Street march that organizers said was meant to protest police tactics and brutality. In part, protesters said, the march was meant to object to the police decision last Saturday to close Zuccotti Park and arrest more than 70 people gathered there.
The first arrests took place shortly after about 300 people left Zuccotti Park and began marching north, accompanied by police on foot and riding scooters. On White Street, many of the marchers abruptly turned onto Lafayette Street, breaking away from the attending officers, and running north. Some of them unfurled yellow flags and others a long orange net resembling nets the police have used in the past to corral protesters.
At Canal Street a police commander grabbed a young woman holding the net.
“You’re under arrest,” he said to the woman and then pointed to another woman nearby, saying that she too was under arrest. Officers and protesters surrounded the women as they lay on the pavement with the netting draped over them. They were then taken into custody.
Over the next hour or so, the march continued, passing through the financial district and SoHo, with some protesters shouting invective at the officers and occasionally doubling back on sidewalks in an apparent effort to shake the large police detail following them.
At times the marchers flooded into streets. For a while they stood in an intersection at Spring Street and Mulberry Street, and one person in the crowd fired a confetti gun into the air with a muffled boom, sending multicolored particles of papers floating slowly onto the street.
Police commanders made announcements directing people to the sidewalk, and officers grabbed two men out of the crowd and ordered them to stand next to a police van.
“I was walking across the street,” one of the two, Armin Radoncic, said.
As the marchers moved north on Mott Street, officers entered the crowd on the sidewalk at three different times and made arrests.
One of those arrests involved a young woman who briefly blocked a police scooter from passing down the street. After an exchange with the officer on the scooter, she moved out of the way but was arrested as she stepped on the sidewalk. As in the other arrests, a throng quickly formed, with protesters, onlookers and photographers crowding around and police officers pushing some of them back.
A few feet away a man lay on the sidewalk, shouting that his leg had been injured.
Finally, the marchers made it to Union Square, where protesters have assembled nightly for the past week and police officers have begun using metal barricades to cordon off the park’s southern plaza at midnight.
Inside the park, the protesters beat drums, held meetings and displayed a banner reading “Union Square Park Occupied.” Some of them also pointed to a sign that they said had been affixed to a pole at the park on Thursday by parks department workers and which listed several forms of prohibited behavior.
Gambling and disorderly conduct were forbidden along with “rallying,” the sign said, “except by permit.”
This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 25, 2012
An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly referred to the location at which protesters stopped for a time as the intersection of Spring Street and Mott Street. The post also incorrectly referred to the location at which officers entered the crowd to make arrests as Mulberry Street.