UPDATE: At least three people were arrested in what police and protesters are calling a “Wildcat” march that began from Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The NYPD suspected that participants in this march might use “Black Bloc” tactics, which can include street fighting and vandalism. (2:22 p.m.)
Earlier this afternoon, a group of protesters crossed the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan and moved up Avenue B. Dozens of tweets from protesters indicate several arrests and the New York Daily News reports at least four people were arrested. One tweet from Occupy Wall Street NYC’s main account claims traffic has been shut down on the Williamsburg Bridge.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters are marched through Midtown.
In what may have been the day’s first arrest, a man who said he was a Vietnam veteran was cuffed for blocking traffic at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue early this morning. Later in the morning, protesters have tweeted about a handful of other arrests.
More than 400 protesters gathered at Bryant Park between 8 and 9 a.m., despite the early morning rain showers.
“It shows we;re going to be out here, rain, sleet or snow,” said protester Andrew Speirs. “The weather is not going to stop us.”
Many of them split up into groups to head to Midtown corporations like Bank of America, Disney, GE, Newscorp and Paulson & Co., where they plan to stage picket protests.
Outside the Bank of America headquarters, protesters chanted, “Hey, hey, B. O. A., who did you foreclose today?”
“It’s going to build up throughout the day. This is pretty good for a
rainy morning at 9 a.m.,” said OWS press spokesman Mark Bray, referring
to the several hundred people who showed up in Bryant Park this
There are dozens of police barricades set up at the Brooklyn Bridge with
officers standing by. The NYPD reports no arrests were made overnight.
May Day protests around the world are underway. Occupy Wall Street is live blogging events in international cities and here in NYC.
The Golden Gate ferry in San Francisco has expected to be shut down for most of the morning in anticipation of a strike by 380 members of the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, according to KTVU.
Jesse Greenspan contributed reporting.
Metro’s original story is below:
The Occupy movement’s “May Day” general strike could include “the biggest shut down the city of New York has ever seen,” according to one call of action.
An announcement posted on OccupyWallSt.org calls on activists to block at least one Manhattan-bound bridge or tunnel as part of Tuesday’s “May Day,” a day of action encouraging the 99 percent to skip work, school and shopping.
More than 700 protesters were arrested when the movement marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1, snarling traffic for hours. Occupy Wall Street is vowing to re-create the action tomorrow.
“We are announcing these blockades now as a fair warning to the rest of the working people of New York and New Jersey who are considering joining the strikes and mobilizations of the day: the city will be shut down, so enjoy the day without the 99%!,” the announcement states, which appears to have been re-posted on the site from strikeeverywhere.net.
When asked to confirm the movement’s plans to shut down any bridges or tunnels, Justin Wedes, a usually vocal member of the Occupy Wall Street media working group, responded with “No comment.”
Bill Dobbs, a press team member, said he didn’t have any other information about the plan other than what was stated in the announcement, but did warn people to be prepared for “spontaneous and surprise actions.”
Nobody has any interest in confrontations with police. This is about Wall Street greed,” Dobbs said. “But sometimes you have to fight for the right to protest.”
Other protesters frequently interviewed by Metro said they hadn’t seen flyers about the action or yet heard any plans about blocking bridges or tunnels during regular discussions about May Day. A website for May Day events names Koch Brothers, Chase banks and James Farley Post Office as locations for picket protests tomorrow. The Daily News reports protesters may also be planning to descend upon Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged the impending day of action at a press conference Sunday, but did not give details about the city’s plans for response.
“We are prepared for everything that we can think of all the time. Our tactics are something that we don’t talk about in advance for obvious reasons,” Bloomberg said. “People have a right to protest. We will protect that right. They don’t have a right to disrupt other people and keep other people from protesting or just going about their business, and we will do as we normally do – find the right balance.”
Officers on duty near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall told Metro they expect more barricades in the area and an influx of officers on Tuesday.
Other May Day actions include rallies, workshops and musical acts in Bryant Park and Union Square. A permitted march from Union Square to Wall Street is planned for 5:30 p.m tomorrow.