(NYT)At least 17 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on Monday at the World Financial Center, whose owner, Brookfield Properties, also owns Zuccotti Park, the public space where the protesters maintained an encampment for two months before being cleared by the police in mid-November.
“We thought we would come over and give Brookfield a direct message,” said Bill Dobbs, an Occupy Wall Street organizer.
About 200 protesters milled and chanted inside the center’s winter garden, a public atrium with soaring ceilings. They also stretched yellow adhesive tape marked with the word “Occupy” across the granite floor of the atrium. From a second-floor balcony, a banner was unfurled with the words “solidarity” and “west coast port shutdown,” in support of protests in cities like Oakland, Seattle and San Diego, where activists with the Occupy movement announced plans to blockade ports.
Onlookers peered from other parts of the balcony, or hurried across the main floor of the atrium, where protesters swirled in a circle.
Soon police officers arrived. A man wearing a suit, who would not say who he worked for announced: “If you do not leave, you will be arrested.”
A police commander said the man worked for Brookfield. A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
A few minutes later, officers began herding protesters down a wide staircase in the atrium and pushed them toward a door. At one point, several officers pounced on a man on the ground. A moment later, officers chased another man through the atrium, cornering him near glass windows and arresting him.
Most of the protesters and several news reporters and photographers were pushed outside. But about 10 men and 7 women were placed in handcuffs inside the atrium, then removed and placed in police vehicles.
The protests began when a few hundred people assembled on Broadway, opposite Zuccotti Park, and marched to the Goldman Sachs headquarters nearby. Some of those on the march compared Goldman Sachs to a giant squid with tentacles that spread throughout the global financial system.
“We’re demonstrating the links between the excesses in finance and the excesses in industry,” said Aaron Bornstein, 31, a neuroscientist from Fort Greene, Brooklyn. “And the labor-busting power of industry.”
After rallying outside the Goldman Sachs building on West Street while brandishing placards and papier-mâché replicas of squids, some of the protesters then headed to the World Financial Center.
(via COLIN MOYNIHAN – New York Times)
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