Business, Finance & Economics

OWS: Occupy protesters mark 2-month anniversary with nationwide day of action (UPDATES)

Demonstrators opposed to corporate profits on Wall Street march in the Financial District on September 26, 2011 in New York City.
Credit: Spencer Platt

NEW YORK CITY – Occupy Wall Street protesters held a day of action all over the United States Thursday, to mark the movement's two-month anniversary. By Thursday afternoon, there had been more than 200 arrests, and one protester was left with a bloody face after allegedly knocking off a police officer's cap.

Two days after they were forcibly removed from their encampment in Zuccotti Park, organizers in New York were calling on supporters to shut down Wall Street, occupy the subways, and take Manhattan's Foley Square.

GlobalPost's full coverage of the Occupy World movement

The protest began peacefully in Liberty Square at 7 a.m. Together they marched to the New York Stock Exchange, where they intended to block traders from entering and starting to trade by 9:30 a.m. While some traders had a tough time getting into the NYSE at first, they eventually made it in on time, The New York Times reported. 

But by mid-morning protesters and police clashed, leading to about 177 arrests, The Times reported. After the march ended the protesters returned to Zuccotti Park.

According to OWS's blog, protesters and the media were denied access past police blockades at Liberty Square. Moments later they began to tear down the blockades, chanting, "Whose Park? Our Park!" and outnumbering the police.

One protester was arrested for throwing liquid at four New York City police officers, the Associated Press reported. The officers were reportedly injured after the liquid, believed to be vinegar, was thrown at their faces. The officers were then taken to the hospital.

Protests continued to turn violent as Occupiers made their way uptown towards Union Square, when one protester allegedly knocked off the a police officer's cap, the New York Daily News reported. According to the Daily News, the unruly moment led to a scuffle, which led to the protester suffering a head injury. Photos on the Daily News' live blog and in the slideshow above show the young male protester with a bloody skull. He was later put in a police paddy wagon. Gawker's live blog also reported on the incident, including graphic photos of the injured man.

The Times reported that protesters and a Reuters photographer believe police were responsible for the protester's bloody head after he flicked the cop's hat off. GlobalPost has not independently confirmed whether the head injury was from the police or the near riot that broke out.

The Daily News also reported that earlier a police officer suffered a hand injury after a glass bottle was thrown. A New York City police spokesperson told the Daily News,

"The officer who was injured was responding to a call for help inside the park. The cop responded inside. One of the protesters threw something. It was an object that had glass in it. I can't even describe it because I haven't seen it. It was something that was being held that was thrown at the officer. He's got a nasty cut on his left hand. Its probably going to take a about 20 stitches."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly met with the injured officer at a Manhattan hospital, the Daily News reported. In a press conference about the incident held in the afternoon, Bloomberg said that violent protesters would not be tolerated.

More from GlobalPost: Bloomberg: OWS assaults on police officers will not be tolerated

After the workday ended in New York, labor union activists joined the Occupy protesters in marching across the Brooklyn Bridge, Reuters reported.

The Day of Action also hit the West coast, where protesters shut down intersections in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. Several protesters were arrested, CNN reported, but unlike in New York City, the L.A. protests remained peaceful throughout the early afternoon. Remaining tents in LA were surrounded by about 20 protesters who linked arms and refused to leave although the police permit to protest had expired. Just about 1,000 protesters cleared the street and remained on the sidewalks during the protest.

A bit further North in Portland, Oregon, protesters gathered at the Steel Bridge, which the police closed for all modes of transportation, rerouting commuters. Police arrested 25 protesters for disorderly conduct at the bridge, CNN reported. In the afternoon, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside banks in downtown Portland, and police arrested several marchers who went into a Wells Fargo Bank branch, Oregon Live reported.

More from GlobalPost: OWS Day of Action videos show protests in New York

Organizers stressed that they wanted the rallies to be nonviolent.

Throughout this week, New York City students held protests at multiple colleges, fighting back against tuition hikes, student debt and university ties to Wall Street, The Paramus Post reported. Actions were scheduled to take place at City of New York (CUNY), Columbia University, New York University and the New School campuses. Their actions are in solidarity with Occupy Cal Berkeley students.

Many of the protesters cleared out Tuesday were preparing to be arrested again Thursday, NPR said. They had even been practicing nonviolent protest techniques to enable them to "gracefully get arrested," according to Mother Jones.

One protester was arrested in Zuccotti Park Wednesday night for aggravated harassment and making terrorist threats, CNN reported. Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, was reportedly filmed threatening to firebomb Macy's department store and "burn New York City to the ground."

More from GlobalPost: Zuccotti Park: Protesters return without tents

Police and transport officials had braced for a day of disruption.

The BBC cites New York's Deputy mayor Howard Wolfson:

"We are certainly anticipating tens of thousands of people protesting, aimed at significant disruption of the daily lives of people of this city.

"We take it seriously. Our forces will be deployed accordingly."

There was a total of 458 events planned across the US for Thursday's anniversary, according to MoveOn's protest locator.

More from GlobalPost: Occupy Seattle: Police pepper spray pregnant teen and 84-year-old activist

Lillian Rizzo is reporting from New York City and Jessica Phelan is reporting from Berlin.

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