Prosecutors say 74 were arrested as Occupy Wall Street returns to Zuccotti Park
The protesters say police abused several demonstrators while making arrests
"Welcome to New York City!" filmmaker Michael Moore writes
New York police arrested dozens of people in lower Manhattan as the Occupy Wall Street movement marked six months of protests, authorities said Sunday.
Protesters attempted to re-occupy Zuccotti Park, the downtown plaza where demonstrators were encamped in the first two months of the movement, on Saturday. Police made 74 arrests as they forced them out of the park, the Manhattan district attorney’s office told CNN.
Protesters chanted “We are the 99%,” and tried to set up tents in the park, which they occupied for nearly two months before they were rousted by police in mid-November. Police carried handcuffed demonstrators from the park – some of them struggling, others limp.
According to the New York Police Department, the charges included disorderly conduct, trespassing, assault and resisting arrest. Online, however, Occupy Wall Street and its supporters accused police of abusing peaceful demonstrators.
“Welcome to New York City!” liberal documentary producer Michael Moore, who attended the St. Patrick’s Day demonstration, posted on his website. “Feel free to get drunk and barf on the streets as much as you want, just don’t take on the banksters or we’ll beat the ever-loving crap out of you.”
There was no immediate response to the allegations from the NYPD.
The protests began September 17, with participants decrying income inequality, corporate greed and the influence of the top 1% of Americans. They soon drew the support of organized labor, while similar spinoff movements sprang up in numerous U.S. cities and overseas.
Police in riot gear drove them out of Zuccotti Park two months later, citing health and sanitation concerns. But the protesters are widely credited with shifting the national dialogue toward lingering unemployment and the gap between the rich and poor in the United States.
CNN’s Chris Kokenes contributed to this report.