Protesters estimate at least ten people were arrested as Occupy Wall Street continued its daily presence on the steps of Federal Hall, though police did not have a final count Friday afternoon.
The number of police officers standing by at the historic building has increased steadily through the week. Today, metal barricades blocked Wall Street in front of Federal Hall and also lined the bottom of the building’s steps in what appears to be an effort to prevent protesters from blocking the sidewalk.
Drums and singing could be heard in office buildings lining Wall Street this afternoon as protesters chanted lines like, “I get confused when the law changes every day.”
Protesters at Federal Hall said the NYPD prevented them from marching on Wall Street earlier in the day. Some activist were arrested after laying down in the street, according to protesters. Occupy Wall Street member Robert Reiss, who lives in the Financial District and maintains a daily presence at Federal Hall, said he noticed officers were particularly “brutal” during today’s arrests.
“They had ear to ear grins,” Reiss said of NYPD officers after making arrests “They were laughing and with their colleagues they exchanged high-fives.”
Dozens of protesters began occupying the steps of Federal Hall after four OWS members were arrested following an overnight stay on a Wall Street sidewalk earlier this week. Federal Hall is a federal — not city — property, and operated by the National Park Service. The NYPD cannot make arrests on the steps unless federal officials request that they do so, an officer told Metro.
Police barricades now line the street in front of Federal Hall as NYPD officers keep a close watch on protesters.