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Shortly before 4 p.m., thousands of the people who'd gathered in the park by then filtered out to march, first around the perimeter of the park, then toward Wall Street. The march spilled into the street as it headed east on Cedar; police ordered marchers onto the sidewalks, which were blocked off by barricades. A helicopter appeared over head. "Ah, a helicopter," one protester joked. "Now I feel at home." Thames Street was filled with cops on motorcycles, waiting. "Show me what a police state looks like," protesters chanted.
The march turned before Wall Street east onto Pine, spilling onto the sidewalks on both sides of the street. At William Street, the march stopped; riot cops arrived as confusion swirled, but the march turned north and went east on Cedar, where marchers quickly began screaming "Shame!" and "Let them go!" as apparently some were arrested. The march turned around and the palpable anger at the police calmed as the march, several blocks long, continued north. It turned west onto Liberty, where it passed Chase; protesters chanted "Fuck Chase bank!" When it turned south on Nassau, many protesters rushed the streets and ran. Police chased them, tackling one and zip-tying him up. A block down, the guys in the Romney and Obama masks were arrested and demasked. Occupy medics pushed through the livid crowd.
Another guy, donning a conical and colorful birthday hat, was pulled off the sidewalk seemingly at random and arrested. A lieutenant began to issue an order to the crowd through a megaphone but he was drowned out by shouts and jeers. Tension mounted until one hollering protester convinced the crowd to turn around and march. The demonstrators made their way back to Broadway and tried to approach Wall Street again, which was of course blocked off. After a standoff, most marchers turned and returned to Zuccotti. "Let's rest," one suggested to his friends, "while the cops get tired."
In Zuccotti, many protesters sat in weary rows, while others drummed, danced and cheered, their revelry occasionally accompanied by bursts of confetti.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart