New York City police say about 700 protesters have been arrested after they swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours.
The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan’s Financial District for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday evening. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway after being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said. Most of those arrested face disorderly conduct charges, while others were accused of resisting arrest.
The group has meetings and forums planned for Sunday at Zuccotti Park, the private plaza off Broadway the protesters have occupied.
Some protesters sat on the roadway, while others chanted and yelled at the police from the pedestrian walkaway above. Police used orange netting to stop the group on the roadway from going further down the bridge, which is under construction.
Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway by police, or they didn’t hear the calls from authorities to head to the pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into being arrested, and those who were in the back of the group were allowed to leave. “Multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway and that if they took roadway they would be arrested,” said Paul Browne, the chief spokesman of the New York Police Department.