Updated 10/06/2011 01:52 PM
Violence Follows Occupy Wall Street March
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Wednesday's Occupy Wall Street march through Lower Manhattan, which gathered protesters, community groups, unions and students, ended with violence as police say about 28 people were arrested and officers had to use nightsticks after demonstrators charged barricades.
The demonstrators gathered in Foley Square in the late afternoon and marched to Zuccotti Park, where the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters have stayed for two-and-a-half weeks, protesting giving tax breaks to the wealthy, cuts to state and federal budgets, job losses and economic inequality.
One of the arrested marchers was charged with assault, after he allegedly knocked a policeman from his scooter at State Street and Bridge Street.
Some protesters said they were beaten and even pepper sprayed by police.
"I don't know what sparked it, but people started tossed about, and I did see people getting beaten with clubs, and I personally was pepper sprayed," said Flux Rostrum, a videographer for Mobile Broadcast News.
The ranks of protesters swelled as students from colleges in the neighborhood staged walkouts from classes.
Many other unions, including the AFL-CIO, United Federation of Teachers, the Communications Workers of America and District Council 37, the largest union of city workers, also took part in the march.
Transit Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen told NY1 his union members shared common concerns with the "Occupy Wall Street" organizers.
"One is joblessness, which is pervasive, and one is the disparity of wealth, which has continued to grow over the last several decades, and particularly in New York State right now," Samuelsen said.
He also said that the governor cannot say there is no money for raises for union members, when millionaires are still getting tax breaks.
Politicians, including mayoral hopeful and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, were also among the crowds to listen to the demonstrators' demands.
While Wednesday's marchers did not have a single set of goals, participants said their diversity is an important aspect of their efforts.
"It gets to a point where you need to organize collectively. All different unions that are organizing today, the community-based organizations, all were out here, trying to fight the fight," said Andy King of United New York. "It came to a point where we realized, we need to come together, because our voices are stronger together than separate."
"I'm a CWA employee of Verizon and our injustice then [during recent contract negotiations] was injustice," said Verizon employee Stafford Macintosh. "We're out here looking for better jobs, better working conditions, just overall, public rights of everyone."
"People can't pay their mortgage, they can't feed their children, they can't find a job and it starts with one person standing up and saying enough is enough. Then you end up with thousands," said another protester.
Participants in Wednesday's mass rally said they wanted to avoid arrest, as New York City Police Department officers conducted mass arrests during previous "Occupy Wall Street" gatherings.
On Saturday, more than 700 protesters were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge roadway, after NYPD officers claimed the demonstrators were illegally blocking traffic.
Many protesters countered with the claim that they were misled onto the roadway by officers.
On September 24, about a week after the start of the protest, video was released online that showed NYPD officers using pepper spray on protesters near Union Square who had marched from Zuccotti Park.
Police officials claim those marchers were blocking traffic and did not have a permit to march.