Hundreds Arrested During March Over Brooklyn Bridge

Saturday, October 01, 2011

(Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Occupy Wall Street protesters shut down part of the Brooklyn Bridge when marchers spilled onto the roadway from Manhattan. Police arrested approximately 700 protesters while trying to clear the road and reopen the bridge to traffic Saturday evening.

It was estimated that more than a thousand protesters made their way to the Brooklyn Bridge and several hundred walked in the eastbound car lanes stopping traffic.

"They were warned not to walk on the roadway — the people that walked on the pedestrian walkway, there was no issue — the ones on vehicular roadway, they chose to anyway, and they were arrested," a police spokesperson said.

The NYPD brought in off-duty MTA buses to take those arrested away. Those arrested were expected to be charged with disorderly conduct, and others may be charged with additional offenses.

Bina Ahmad, a local attorney who works for Palestinian refugee rights, was at the march as a legal observer, donning the bright green caps signifying a guild observer. She said she saw police using unnecessary violence.

"There was one person who was being pulled and thrown to the ground by police. There was another man whose shirt had gotten pulled up and he was dragged on his bare skin. I don't know if I saw blood, but it looked vicious," Ahmad said.

The NYPD denies there was any violence.

The group has clashed with police on other occasions, most notably last weekend when pepper spray was used against some demonstrators in Union Square Park.

A march to police headquarters Friday night was peaceful and without incident.

Police had to shut down access to the bridge when the incident occurred and began turning back cars from the middle of the bridge.

Protesters who did not make it onto the bridge gathered across the street from the walkway entrance at Chambers Street. They chanted slogans, such as "We are the 99 percent" and "These are our streets" at the dozens of police officers who blocked the entrance to the bridge.

Earlier in the day, two other marches crossed over the bridge without any problems. One was by a group opposed to genetically modified food and the other was marching against poverty.

Occupy Wall Street has been rallying against several issues including corporate greed, global warming and social inequalities.

With reporting from Alex Goldmark and the Associated Press


Alex Goldmark/WNYC
Alex Goldmark/WNYC
Alex Goldmark/WNYC
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Protesters arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Protesters arrested on the bridge.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Stephen Nessen/WNYC
Members of Occupy Wall Street protesting at the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge.


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Comments [15]

Joe Catron

"The group has clashed with police on other occasions, most notably last weekend when pepper spray was used against some demonstrators in Union Square Park."

So being the victim of an unprovoked assault by NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna ( is now "clashing"? What sort of strange journalism is this?

Oct. 02 2011 09:40 PM
Joe Sixpack the Plumber from Front Porch, U.S.A.

And how exactly does tying up traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge affect Wall St. greed? The bank bailouts? Obama being the pocket of big business and corporate America, just like EVERY OTHER ELECTED OFFICIAL since?

I saw people carrying "Troy Davis" signs. thing at a time. They're all over the place.

Focus people, focus. And come up with something better than aggravating average Joes in their cars stuck on a bridge. You're not winning anyone over with nonsense like that.

Oct. 02 2011 08:03 PM
Peter from Disapointment

"Big headache" is what WNYC labeled the protest in the lead for their hourly news break. I know little about the protest except from what I learned from WNYC but how is this not a very subjective statement belittling the efforts of a large number of people? The coverage on this website at least seams fairer.

Oct. 02 2011 04:41 PM
emmanuel j from hoh

What about the permits?
The extent of my knowledge about laws and procedure for civil protest comes from 2003, before the invasion of Iraq. I am surprised to see little or no mention of these protests as a precedent for today.
As I recall the first major nyc protest of that movement, which at the the time was covered as back page news, the NYTimes editorial still being fashionably gung -ho for brown blood, was very illegal. This is when people were piling ontop buses, midtown was shutdown, etc.. The permits for assembly or march were either insufficient or nonexistent. The city explicitly would grant permits for either assembly or march. Arrests and pepper sprayings were abundant. So, whenever wnyc is ready to go Nuremberg on these city pigs, ill be reading.

Oct. 02 2011 01:39 PM
Donnette from East Brunswick, NJ

The media works so hard to try and manipulate public opinion. I barely heard anything about this on the news! This group is an important example of Americans awakening from apathy and literally demonstrating that we are tired of being trampled on, used and relegated to "you don't count" status.

I am really sick of the media, politics and politicians who believe in the American Dream for the minority at the expense of the majority. Government an politics should work for the good of all.

Oct. 02 2011 11:17 AM
msnymph from new jersey

The New York Times buried this story on Page 18 this morning, while making the Syrian demonstrations the lead story on Page 1. Ironic? To be fair, the story is featured on the Times' website, but comments have been shut off.

What is going on here? The story did mention that the PD readied 20 buses Saturday afternoon, obviously to transport arrested protestors in what appears to be a planned entrapment.

Why were the protestors on the bridge (an obvious entrapment location) anyway? Was the pied piper a police department plant who persuaded them to take this course?

Just wondering.

Oct. 02 2011 11:02 AM

Aloha to all protesters, and thanks. I live way to far to come and join you, but I am glad that there are finally people standing up and protesting these unlawful conditions caused by the banksters.
There has to be an alternative to the two ruling parties, we need to start coming together, there is safety and strength in numbers.

Oct. 02 2011 02:51 AM

Michael Moore was right. It has started...We are not AFFRAID anymore.

Oct. 02 2011 01:13 AM
sammysoul from Brooklyn, NY

Frome reading eye-witness accounts on Twitter as well as audio interviews there clearly was no warning by the NYPD to enter the bridge as stated by its spokesperson.
From my experience with demonstrations in the years past (anti-war, and against the Republican national convention), the NYPD's upper echelons clearly have a problem with peaceful protesters from the left political spectrum.
I'm sure that in the end the political heads of the NYPD involuntarily will help to bring out more people to protest peacefully, because the longer this will go on the more they will try to provoke this movement.

Oct. 01 2011 11:11 PM

Pretty clear from people that this was a trap. Normally the police would have blocked access to the roadway but initially they did not. There were no cops telling people not to enter there. Then once a large number of people were on the roadway with no way to go, they moved in. I wonder what benevolent supporter of the left is bribing NYPD command to act so stupidly and be so helpful to the occupation movement? And can I contribute?

Oct. 01 2011 10:41 PM
filmready1 from NYC

I went to Zuccotti Parc today and saw the small crowd milling around. not much happening. Only later did I hear they had stopped traffic on the Broo˚lyn Bridge. Finally!
Why are they not on Wall St? I assume because NYPD would not permit them, but they need to be out in the streets causing CIVIL acts of protest. The city needs to stop functioning for a few days. Let those on Wall St. NOT be able to earn their boat loads of cash. These protests are so mild compared to those of the 60's and 70's. They don't need to be violent, but we should've have 100,000 people out there.

Yes, times are different, with 9/11, but everyone has cell phones. IF NYPD gets violent, as they are wont to do, we can broadcast it to the world.

Quoting the poet/song writer, Gil Scot Heron, ' the revolution will not be televised', but actually it will. Still his words are prescient.

Oct. 01 2011 10:29 PM
Joe B from Brooklyn

I was one of the people who almost proceeded to cross the Brooklyn Bridge roadway and would have certainly been arrested had a woman not taken it upon herself to direct everyone to turn around and take the pedestrian path - which we did. By then, however, many people had already entered the roadway with no objection by the police.

It's important to point out that while the police were omnipresent and proactive everywhere at the plaza and along the march, they were amazingly relaxed and nearly absent as they allowed hundred of protesters to block and occupy Manhattan's most important bridge. They were also surprisingly prepared to nettle them and arrest them en mass. This was clearly a planned attack on the protesters - the perfect trap.

I have video evidence of the woman who redirected crowd. She surely put the damper on the NYPD who no doubt would have loved to arrest many more people. Instead they needed to arrest a 13 year old girl in an animal hat to meet their QUOTA!

Oct. 01 2011 09:02 PM

I think it's about time that we stop treating business as being above it all, as if only politicians are responsible for this crisis. The notion that business will do what's best for the people without government regulation is a fairy tale. I am glad people are finally bringing attention to this. So, I support them. Do you?

POLL: Do you support the occupy Wall Street movement?

Oct. 01 2011 08:36 PM
Brandt Hardin

Every time you lock up a peaceful protester, you exemplify the police state we live in. Hold strong in your Occupations popping up ALL OVER the WORLD now! The movement is viral and Anonymous has sounded it's cannon. See my painting for the cause and a slew of videos of #OccupyWallStreet at Drop by, get informed, collaborate through solidarity! Hold Corporate America accountable for their corruption of the government and endangering our Middle Class.

Oct. 01 2011 07:55 PM
Largo Mae from southern hemisphere

Does everyone realize that the Market will Crash in November of this year? Will 'Occupy Wall Street' still occupy Liberty Park? Do ya think they should?

Oct. 01 2011 07:54 PM

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