A march consisting of several hundred people, including a large contingent of musicians, left Zuccotti Park at 4 p.m., and was halved by a phalanx of helmeted NYPD officer at William and Pine Streets. Violent arrests ensued, with journalist John Knefel among those detained. Here's video of some of the physical altercations between NYPD officers and protesters:
Protesters who were arrested during the actions in the early morning were also trickling out of jail, including Frederick Sumpter, who was collared at around 7:20 a.m. on Lafayette Street as he was riding a bike with the rest of the bike coalition. "A cop on foot stops one guy, so we all pull over and stop to see what he wanted," Sumpter said, as he sat in Zuccotti Park late this afternoon. "They asked for ID, most of us had it, and we handed it over. Everyone who gave them ID was arrested."
Sumpter says the six arrestees were charged with disorderly conduct, "because we literally weren't doing anything else. Not running a red light, nothing." Asked why he seemed so nonchalant about the arrest, Sumpter said, "All this is fucked up and we know it. As many red lights as I've run in my red life, I figured I'd get picked up eventually, but this time I wasn't even doing anything."
As we sat down to file this dispatch in a deserted deli off Broadway, we struck up a conversation with a police officer who had been assigned to the area around Zuccotti Park since 10 a.m., who asked not to be identified. "At the core of [Occupy Wall Street], it's like, 'Yeah, OK, I understand.' But when it just turns into people throwing stuff at the police, or cops getting hurt, that's not cool."
The policeman insisted that he understood concerns voiced by Occupy protesters that they haven't been able to exercise their First Amendment rights. "We want you to protest, we respect that—that's what this country was founded on. I get that 100%. But there are laws, and you have to follow those laws."
Asked about the giant sport that has been made by protesters and the police of jockeying for sidewalk space, he replied, "It's frustrating. We're frustrated."