‘Flood Wall Street’ Protestors Arrested As NYPD Protects Wall Street

Flood Wall Street
A man dressed in a polar bear costume was arrested during a peaceful demonstration at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway as part of Flood Wall Street on Sept. 22, 2014. (Photo credit: Kafel Benn)

Nearly 100 ‘Flood Wall Street‘ protestors were arrested Monday night while peacefully demonstrating in a mass sit-in at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway when teams of New York Police Department officers blocked their route to the New York Stock Exchange.

The activists—ranging from Occupy Wall Street members to environmentalists leftover from the prior day’s ‘People’s Climate March’ to first-time demonstrators—were part of a larger contingent that rallied in Battery Park in the morning before marching en masse throughout Lower Manhattan’s financial district, the bastion of what they deem “climate profiteers.”

Holding signs and singing such group chants as “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Whose street? Our street!?” the occupiers spent several hours vocalizing and discussing their grievances with the financial institutions who they say are responsible for the Earth’s steady increase in global temperatures and consequential rising sea levels.

At about 7 p.m., scores of NYPD officers and officials, who had barricaded the entrance to Wall Street and formed perimeters surrounding the non-violent rally several rows of personnel thick—among their ranks, riot and mounted divisions—arrested those who refused to disperse despite warnings that they were facing arrest for disorderly conduct. Linking arms while shouting calls for solidarity and continuous action, the protestors were handcuffed with plastic zip-ties one by one—including an activist wearing a full-body polar bear costume, two women dressed as Captain Planet, a high school student and at least two demonstrators bound to wheelchairs.

One man saluted the charged crowd before his hands were restrained behind his back, to resounding applause. Another raised his clenched fist into the air. All were smiling. “Thank you!” yelled reams of supporters lining the sidewalks in front of historic Trinity Church and Broadway as they were led away to awaiting NYPD vans and buses. “You are our heroes!” As the buses pulled away, the ‘People’s Microphone,’ whereby those within earshot echo the message of a main speaker, proposed joining those taken into custody at 100 Centre Street with food, water and other comforts in a show of solidarity. Another man shouted to “Follow the bus!” to wild applause. The Flood Wall Street campaign followed on the heels of the historic ‘People’s Climate March’ on Sunday, which reportedly drew upwards of 300,000 and has been deemed the largest mass climate march ever. Both were held in anticipation of the United Nation’s Global Climate Summit on Tuesday, in which world leaders will gather to discuss the effects of climate change.

NYPD Flood Wall Street
NYPD officers blocking access to Wall Street during a “Flood Wall Street” protest on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. (Photo credit: Kafel Benn)

It also came less than a week after the Occupy Wall Street movement’s third anniversary on September 17. Police had been generally accommodating to protestors throughout the day, even clearing large routes for its march down Broadway, and were caught off-guard when organizers diverted what was largely a sea of blue (supporters wore blue shirts to signify the ocean and water) down narrow and trafficked side streets. The first major confrontation occurred when the group veered toward the barricaded and well-guarded intersection of Wall Street and Broadway on their way to the New York Stock Exchange just in time for its 4 p.m. closing bell.

As marchers stormed the corner of Wall Street they clashed with dozens of officers, resulting in at least one arrest as the NYPD held its ground protecting the financial and corporate global stronghold. “We’ll be back,” smiled one protestor as police led him away around 8 p.m.

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