More than 180 people were arrested in lower Manhattan Monday as hundreds gathered, chanting, marching, making music and beating drums, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement near its birthplace.
It was a smaller-than-expected turnout for the event, with hundreds of demonstrators, as opposed to the thousands who converged near Wall Street last year, inspiring a worldwide movement. Scores of police officers on horses and in riot gear guarded the NYSE and others lined the streets throughout lower Manhattan.
Protesters staged a sit-in in front of the Wall Street entrance near Trinity Church as the workday got underway Monday, holding signs and blocking sidewalks. At the NYPD's request, J train service was terminated at Fulton Street instead of continuing to Broad, because of Occupy Wall Street activity, the MTA said.
"One, two, three, four, I declare class war," protesters shouted. The boisterous demonstrators brushed off suggestions that the movement was losing steam.
"This is a movement. It's only been a year," said Justin Stone Diaz, of Brooklyn. "It's going to take many years for it to develop and figure out exactly who we are."
Those arrested Monday included Episcopal Bishop George Packard, and 68-year-old Donald Fleck, who had earlier told NBC 4 New York he was ready for anything soon before he was cuffed.
"I think the people have to reassert their will to make democracy work," Fleck said, before he was taken into custody. "Yes, this is my morning."
The demonstrations clogged the streets during the morning commute, delaying some of those heading to work.
"I have to leave ten minutes early," said Scott McCord, who works on Wall Street. "I left to arrive early, but I arrived on time."
Forty-four people were arrested over the weekend, police said, primarily for disorderly conduct, as 300 people marched ahead of the anniversary. Marches and rallies in more than 30 cities across the world took place Monday to commemorate the anniversary of the movement.