Occupy Boston activists got the blessing of unions and universities yesterday as hundreds of people jumped on the downtown takeover effort and took to the streets in protest.

Northeastern University students left class and rallied through the Hub toward the encampment in the Financial District before plopping down in defiance, blocking

the road to traffic alongside the “occupods” that have inhabited Dewey Square.

“I believe in what they are saying, and not doing something is not an option,” said Ben, 18, an NEU student.

 

Police were present, but made no arrests, allowing protesters to “exercise their rights,” said BPD Deputy Superintendent Darrin Greeley.

“If they keep pushing on us, stretching the limits, they will be arrested,” he said after a 15-minute showdown and negotiation on Atlantic Avenue that ended with protesters moving back on the sidewalk and police thanking them.

An hour later, several busloads of workers from the Massachusetts Nurses Association swarmed Tent City Square and marched “in solidarity” with “occupods” through Downtown Boston, waving signs like “Some Cuts Don’t Heal.”

In two separate displays of civic disobedience, Boston’s roadways were shut down yesterday so the growing group could strut through the city chanting their mantra: “This is what Democracy looks like.” Their purpose is fighting what they call inequities in government and banking institutions.

In their first march yesterday, more than 150 protesters staked out in front of the Goldman Sachs offices at 125 High Street, blocking off entrances, banging drums and locking arms before taking over the front steps of the Bank of America building in a similar fashion moments later.

Some ripped up dollar bills, tossing them in the air, while others invited gawkers on the sidewalks to join the occupation as they all chanted, “We are the 99 percent.”

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