Despite 80 arrests, protesters vow to continue Wall St. occupation
A day after scores of protesters were arrested near Union Square, hundreds gathered in the Financial District to regroup and prepare for what they vowed would be an “indefinite” stay at Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street.
“Morale is as high as it can be,” said Guy Steward, 18, of Huntington Station, Long Island. The groups’ ranks have grown, he said, despite what he called “mass police brutality” the day before when at least 80 were arrested.
“Anyone that looked like they were giving orders were punched, maced, decked,” Steward said. “I got checked with a baton to the chest.”
Sunday was a relatively calm day for the hundreds of protesters, who are demanding changes to the country’s social and economic policies that they say unfairly favor the rich.
Protester Kristopher Rae, of Harlem, said he watched three people get arrested. “We were doing what we were supposed to do, and they still arrested them,” Rae, 24, said.
Several videos on Youtube appear to show cops shoving, striking and using mace on protesters. A police spokesman declined to comment.
David Rankin of the New York Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which is representing the arrested protesters, said that more than half of them were released early Sunday morning. He expected the rest to be freed by Monday.
“Some of them were handled fairly roughly,” Rankin said.