NEW: 50 people are arrested in 2 incidents Thursday in L.A., a spokesman says
A total of 245 people are arrested Thursday in New York, police say
48 are arrested in 3 incidents in Portland, Oregon, according to police
Arrests are also made in Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston and elsewhere
What started as the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York in September has spread across major cities worldwide as a call to action against unequal distribution of wealth. Thursday marked two months since the movement began.
Here is a roundup of some of the movement’s most recent developments, including several that resulted in arrests.
Protesters in New York launched what they called an effort to “shut down Wall Street” Thursday morning at the beginning of a nationwide day of what could be the Occupy movement’s largest protests yet. A heavy police presence was in place as protesters kicked off the effort with the early morning demonstration against Wall Street.
At least 245 people were arrested over the course of Thursday, police spokesmen said. That includes 64 arrested – most all wearing “99%” T-shirts – during a sit-in early in the evening on Centre Street, near Foley Square.
Five police officers were injured when a liquid was thrown on their faces during confrontations with with protesters, Kelly said. The officers felt burning in their faces, but were able to wash off the unknown substance at a nearby hospital.
In addition, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said a 24-year-old police officer was injured when a star-shaped glass object was thrown at him. Speaking from Bellevue Hospital Center, he said “some protesters today deliberately pursued violence,’ but added that most were peaceful and have “caused minimal disruptions to our city.”
By Thursday evening, protesters had begun to stream from Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge. According to the Wall Street movement’s Twitter feed, they chanted, “This is what democracy looks like! This is what America look like.” The protesters walked along the pedestrian walkway, not the roadway – as they’d done last month, when police more than 700 had been arrested.
Around that same time, activists projected slogans onto one side of the 32-story Verizon building also in Lower Manhattan.
Activists lifted metal barricades that ringed Zuccotti Park – which had been the movement’s original home base, prior to their conviction – defying authorities and blocking traffic. Residents and employees of nearby businesses were required to flash identification cards as police cordoned off the surrounding area, police spokesman Paul Browne said.
Protesters had said they want Thursday to be a day of nonviolent protest, although it comes a day after a demonstrator was arrested for making violent threats. Nkrumah Tinsley was arrested after being seen in a YouTube video making threats to use a Molotov cocktail on Macy’s department store, New York police said. He also was seen in another part of the video threatening to “burn down the city” Thursday. About 200 people were arrested Wednesday, police said.
A total of 50 demonstrators were arrested Thursday in Los Angeles in two incidents – one in the evening and another earlier in the day – Los Angeles police spokesman Andrew Neiman said.
Bail was set at $5,000 for those arrested, according to Neiman, and not $500 as previously reported by police.
About 300 Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators marched about a half-mile early Thursday afternoon from their encampment near City Hall to a rally at the Wells Fargo Center.
Several protesters were arrested, without incident, after blocking traffic on the corner of Figueroa and 4th streets – an intersection that activists, on a website, earlier vowed to “shut down” – according to witnesses.
The march itself and subsequent protests seemed generally peaceful as people banged drums and shouted slogans. At the Wells Fargo Center, located in front of a Bank of America building, protesters chanted peacefully while Los Angeles police in riot gear watched nearby.
A total of 48 people were arrested on three separate occasions in the Pacific Northwest city, police said, adding that they used pepper spray in one of the incidents.
Twenty-five activists were arrested Thursday morning at the east end of the Steel Bridge, police Lt. Robert King said. All were cited for disorderly conduct.
Also Thursday morning, nine others were arrested inside a Wells Fargo building and later charged with criminal trespassing, according to a press release from police.
Then, Thursday evening, a large crowd of people were arrested at a Chase bank branch after they’d gone inside and refused to leave, Sgt. Pete Simpson told CNN. Some demonstrators were escorted outside, at which point a group blocked the street – impeding a commuter rail line that runs down the roadway.
Simpson said police used pepper spray to get individuals to move, after it “became very tenuous at the front line, (and) there were a lot of people in the street.” The arrests were made both inside and outside the bank, the sergeant added.
One Occupy Portland protesters was taken away by ambulance around 5 p.m., said King. His medical condition was unknown, though King said he believed he was conscious as he was being transported to an area hospital.
Police issued 21 misdemeanor citations Thursday morning after people sat down in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard and refused to move,” police officer Bill Cassell told CNN. He described the demonstrators as peaceful and said there were no injuries among police or civilians.
About 600 “peaceful” Occupy Seattle and union demonstrators marched Thursday across University Bridge in the northern section of the city, near the University of Washington campus, police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said.
Whitcomb said early Thursday evening that there had been no arrests and no pepper spray had been used. Traffic was shut down in the area, during what was the evening rush-hour, he added.
Demonstrators from several groups, including unions and Occupy Houston, gathered around 4 p.m. in Market Square and then marched several blocks north, Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said.
There, 12 individuals linked arms and sat down in the road – a major route out of downtown and onto Interstate 45 – and, after refusing police calls to move, were arrested, said Smith. All 12 were charged with obstructing a roadway, a misdemeanor. Another person who was on the sidewalk stepped forward and told a Houston police officer that she wanted to be arrested. After refusing repeated calls to stay on the sidewalk, this woman also was arrested, according to Smith.
The vast majority of protesters exercised their First Amendment rights peacefully and without incident, the spokesman said. They will be booked and then arraigned at the Harris County jail.
Several hundred protesters marched down M Street in the Georgetown section of Washington, then on the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Potomac River into Arlington, Virginia. D.C. Metro Police, in squad cars and on horses, escorted the group.
On the bridge, they were met by other demonstrators who had marched from the Virginia side. Together, they waved signs and chanted, “Whose river? Our river.”
Dozens of protesters broke into a vacant municipal building in St. Louis and tried to hang a banner, according to CNN affiliate KPLR. They did so after about a dozen protesters were arrested during a march on a city bridge.
About 46 protesters were cited late Thursday afternoon after taking over Chicago’s La Salle Street bridge over the Chicago River for 35 minutes, CNN affiliate WLS reported. No confrontations, meanwhile, were reported as several hundred demonstrators marched up and down La Salle Street between the Board of Trade and the Chicago River.
Denver District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey said Thursday that three activists have been charged with felonies – including inciting a riot and second-degree assault on an officer – in connection with recent Occupy Denver protests. Two were charged in connection to incidents that took place on Sunday, while one was charged related to an October 29 incident.
Six men and two women were arrested for blocking traffic Thursday afternoon in downtown Atlanta, police said in a press release. Atlanta police said those arrested “did not comply” after being given “multiple warnings” to move. They were charged with obstructing traffic.
Led by a police car, dozens of demonstrators marched through Miami late Thursday afternoon, according to video footage from CNN affiliate WSVN. Many held up signs like one that read, “Congress – Good jobs, no cuts,” as they walked.
The Occupy Miami website said that the event would occur between 4 and 7 p.m., centered at Jose Marti Riverfront Park.
Police evicted an Occupy encampment from City Hall property early Thursday, city officials said in a statement. Beginning at about midnight, “police made several announcements, over a 90-minute period of time, via loudspeakers asking for demonstrators to leave,” the statement said. Those that refused to leave were arrested shortly after 1:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. ET). Eighteen people were arrested, the statement said, and a crisis intervention team assisted seven people in obtaining shelter.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina
Gov. Nikki Haley has encouraged demonstrators to return to the state Capitol on Thursday – saying their signs and chants are welcome, but not their sleeping bags and mattresses, according to CNN affiliate WIS.
In a press conference Wednesday, Haley said the Capitol grounds are for citizens’ use during daylight hours only and should be respected. Law enforcement arrested dozens of protesters Wednesday. One protester told WIS “We’re calm, we’re peaceful and we’re not agitators.”
Occupy events also took place Thursday in Boston, Milwaukee, Nashville and other cities around the country.
CNN’s Mary Snow, Brian Vitagliano, Eden Pontz, Rob Frehse and Steve Kastenbaum in New York; Eric Fiegel in Washington; Sara Weisfeldt in Los Angeles; and Marlena Baldacci and Nick Valencia in Atlanta contributed to this report.