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The day grew less peaceful. Shortly after 1pm, three to six demonstrators were arrested in front of the Bank America branch on Broadway kitty-corner from the park for blocking access. One of the arrested told the crowd through a Mic Check as police pushed him into a paddywagon that protesters had been given an order to disperse but then were not allowed to do so. Cops closed the sidewalk afterward, exasperating workers from nearby buildings who’d stepped out for lunch. “How long do we have to wait?” asked one man, carrying a plastic bag. “Just arrest them all.” “Fuck you, you hippie piece of shit,” said another guy, also carrying a lunch bag, to a group of occupiers. As protesters idled with passersby on the corner closest to the incident, police attempted to clear them. “Off the sidewalk,” a cop said, trying to push people onto other corners. “C’mon. Pick a side.”
Shortly before 4pm, thousands of the people who’d gathered in the park by then filtered out to march, first around the perimeter, 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 idling on motorcycles. “Show me what a police state looks like,” protesters chanted.
The march turned before Wall Street east onto Pine, spilling onto the sidewalks on either side of the street. At William, the march stopped; riot cops arrived as confusion swirled (and, Gothamist would later report, arrests were made), but the march turned north and went east on Cedar, where marchers quickly began screaming “Shame!” and “Let them go!” as more were arrested. Protesters turned around and the palpable anger at the police calmed as the march, several blocks long, continued north to steady drum-beats. It turned west onto Liberty, where it passed Chase Manhattan Plaza; protesters chanted “Fuck Chase bank!” When it turned south on Nassau, many marchers rushed the street and ran. Police gave chase, tackling one and zip-tying him up. A block down, the guys in Romney and Obama masks were arrested. Occupy medics pushed through the livid crowd.
Another guy, donning a conical and colorful birthday hat, was pulled off the sidewalk, apparently 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 again to approach Wall Street, which was of course blocked off. After a standoff, most returned to Zuccotti and sat wearily in rows; others drummed, danced and cheered. The revelry was occasionally accompanied by bursts of confetti.