A massive march began after news broke that “Occupy Wall Street” protesters would be allowed to remain in Zuccotti Park Friday, ultimately leading to more than a dozen arrests and some violent encounters with police that were captured on video. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Short video clips captured heated moments during the often chaotic demonstrations that took place Friday morning.
In one, a ranking police officer wades into a crowd and punches a protester. In another, a protester is thrown to the ground, and in yet another, a man appears to have his foot run over by a police scooter.
Police officials say it was the protesters who fought with officers and disobeyed orders to get off the streets. They say at least 14 were arrested after they broke off from the main “Occupy Wall Street” encampment to march in different directions.
The protesters argue that the police were the aggressors.
"Folks poured onto the street and the police reacted by pushing the scooters into the crowd to try to push them further north. A few confrontations ensued. I saw a couple people get arrested,” said Udi Ofer of the NYCLU.
As the crowd marched around City Hall, there were discussions in the group about whether or not they should go back to Zuccotti Park or take the Brooklyn Bridge.
The group headed back to the park with police keeping a close watch.
"We want to be cooperative, we are not trying to riot. There is a difference between a riot and a revolution," said one protester.
Some unions also made a point of coming downtown to join the protesters. The Transport Workers Union didn’t want a repeat of what happened on the Brooklyn Bridge, where some 700 demonstrators had been arrested.
"Two weeks ago, our bus drivers, nearly 20 buses were commandeered by the police department, and they were forced to take prisoners, which is clearly not their job,” said Joe Sclafani of the TWU. “Our drivers are not going to be taking any prisoners. If the police want to use these buses, they’ll use them. Our drivers are not here to aid the police in arresting people."
With no end to the protests in sight, there could be plenty more arrested before it's all over.