Hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters forced the temporary closure of the Brooklyn Bridge when they marched into traffic, prompting dozens of arrests, New York police and demonstrators said.
Anti-Wall Street activists first occupied a small park in lower Manhattan two weeks ago to protest corporate bailouts and corporate influence in politics.
A New York Police Department spokesman told AFP that on Saturday, "there were also several hundred protesters who decided to walk on the roadway and who blocked traffic. Some heeded the warnings, some left, and arrests were made."
The "Occupy Wall Street" group inspired by the pro-democracy Arab Spring movements said on its website that "at least 50" protesters had been arrested, though the NYPD would not confirm the figure.
Police shut down the Brooklyn Bridge at around 4:00 or 5:00 pm (2000-2100 GMT), the NYPD spokesman said, adding that he could not confirm how long the bridge was closed.
"There were several hundred (more) protesters who walked on the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge and there were no incidents," he told AFP.
"Occupy Wall Street" said it had staked its ground in downtown Manhattan "as a symbolic gesture of our discontent with the current economic and political climate."
"We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent," it added.
Protesters have added police brutality to their lengthy and still vaguely defined list of grievances after a senior officer used pepper spray against four demonstrators who had already been shut inside a police pen a week ago.
Right to the City, the coalition of advocacy groups that organized the demonstration, said the event was held to protest corporate greed and to stop bank foreclosures.
According to organizers, some 3,000 people marched outside the bank. Police did not provide a crowd estimate.
Source: AFP Global Edition