A week ‘occupied’ by images

[media-credit name=”Downtown Express photos by Milo Hess” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]Thursday, Nov. 17 marked the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Organizers called for a “Day of Action” that included numerous events throughout Lower Manhattan, all five boroughs and the country.

The day began with an early morning rally and march through the Financial District. Demonstrators attempted to “shut down Wall Street” as they gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange before the opening bell. Despite the hundreds of protesters, the opening bell at the NYSE rang on time at 9:30 a.m. There were however over 75 arrests reported before noon on Thursday, most of which resulted from skirmishes between demonstrators and the NYPD at the corner of Nassau and Pine Streets.

As the demonstrators made their way back to Zuccotti Park, which only two days earlier had been raided by the NYPD and cleared, some attempted to remove the steel barricades surrounding the square. At least one NYPD officer was injured when he sustained a cut to the hand when a demonstrator apparently threw a broken bottle at the officer. A protester was led from the park with blood gushing from his forehead after he reportedly tried to steal a NYPD officer’s cap. The protester was pursued by the officer and eventually arrested.

At 2 p.m. a student rally at Union Square was held that drew thousands of people to the northern part of the park. More arrests were made as the crowd began to leave Union Square and make their way toward Foley Square, the site of the day’s culminating rally.

When all was said and done over 200 arrests were made on Thursday, including the arrest of City Councilmember Jumanne Williams when he, along with others, attempted to block a street leading to the Brooklyn Bridge.

The NYPD estimated that over 32,000 people attended the rally in Foley Square on Thursday evening. Many proceeded to march across the Brooklyn Bridge where another 99 people were arrested when they sat down, and in the spirit of nonviolent protest, refused to get up. All were wearing t-shirts with the number 99 on the back, symbolic of the movement’s focus on the 99 percent.

— John Bayles