More than 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Saturday while trying to take over a new public space in TriBeCa for their movement.
Elsewhere, about 200 marchers made their way up Seventh Avenue under a heavy police presence.
The arrests came during an all-day protest in city-owned Duarte Square to mark the three months since the movement started. The protesters want to set up camp in an adjacent fenced-in lot owned by Trinity Church.
The movement has been without a public 24/7 home since the city threw protestors out of Zuccotti Park last month.
"During a time of economic disaster where people are sleeping in the streets, churches should be opening their doors to us, not closing their minds,” said protester Jessie LeGreca.
Trinity Church has allowed the protesters to use its meeting rooms and offices for gatherings and private meetings, but so far it refuses to allow the movement to take over its lot. In a statement the church said, "In all good conscience and faith, we strongly believe to do so would be wrong, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially injurious."
Trinty said it's disappointed the protesters chose to break the law to get onto the church's property.
But some religious leaders from other churches are calling on Trinity to allow the protesters to use their empty lot. They were among those arrested when the crowd stormed the fence.
"Especially at this time of Christmas, Jesus came into the world, there was no room for him at the inn, so once again today there is no room for the people who are struggling for the poor," said Father Paul Mayer, who was arrested during the demonstration.
Occupy Wall Street protesters say even though they have been without a public home for a month, it would be a mistake to call the movement weakened. They say even if they’re less visible, in some ways they say the movement has gotten stronger.
"You cannot stop this movement unless the problems that were raised in the beginning of the movement are going to be rectified,” said protester Mark Bere.
If they fail here, the protestors say they have no plans to quit anytime soon.