Updated 03/18/2012 02:50 PM
Dozens Of Occupy Protesters Arrested Following Late-Night Struggle In Zuccotti Park
More than 70 arrests were made late Saturday night after Occupy Wall Street protesters clashed with police in the place where the movement began six months ago, in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
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They were hoping to re-energize their movement, but instead the milestone Occupy Wall Street protest ended abruptly when protesters clashed with police around 11:30 p.m. Saturday after being told to vacate Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan.
New York City Police Department officials said the protesters were told to leave because many were violating park rules. Many were arrested after they refused.
With support and funding for their movement dwindling, the protesters began gathering around noon Saturday to mark six months since the movement began. There were a handful of arrests earlier in the day in scuffles with police.
Many left late in the afternoon, but late Saturday night hundreds of people marched to the park from an event with filmmaker Michael Moore at Pace University. During his lecture, Moore urged listeners to demonstrate in non-violent ways to show support for Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Zuccotti Park security later told the protesters they had to leave because some were defacing the park and many had items that were not allowed, and then NYPD officers arrived.
Officers showed NY1 graffiti, beer bottles and other items they say were left behind.
"It's unjustifiable. I don't know how these people can do what they do all the time," said one protester.
"I feel angry. I feel absolute rage," said another protester.
NY1 was the only television camera to capture the arrests.
The Occupy Wall Street movement began in September with a small group of protesters moving into Zuccotti Park.
It sparked similar protests around the world and an international dialogue about economic inequalities, but the protesters were kicked out of Zuccotti Park in November. They were told they would be allowed back in without their tents or sleeping bags.
NYPD officials said some protesters tried to put up tents and that was one of the reason they were told to leave, but many demonstrators vowed to come back.