Climate change activists gathered in Battery Park in New York City, meeting at 9 am on Monday morning for breakfast and music by the Rude Mechanic Orchestra. During breakfast, activists participated in a nonviolent training, followed by speakers, including Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges, Rebecca Solnit and others. People were then instructed in a practice of what the flood and sit-in of Wall Street would look like.
Police placed a holding pen to obstruct the entire block before marchers began flooding the street, allowing some buses and cars to exit as people moved in an hour earlier than the expected 12 pm time of arrival. In total, more than 3,000 people joined the massive sit-in. Three people were arrested earlier in the afternoon. The first two arrests took place at around 1 pm when a man climbed on top of a phone booth. The third arrest came at 4 pm when marchers moved toward Wall Street and Broadway. In an attempt to reach employees leaving from the financial district, activists pushed through the holding pen. One man climbed over the barricades and was then arrested.
Police were seen pushing and hitting citizens with their hands. An officer aggressively pushed myself and another photographer back as we were attempting to record the first arrest. Officer Kelly started pepper spraying protesters who were in front of the barricades, also spraying fellow officers who were standing in front of him in a push-and-pull tug between protesters.
After nearly a nine-hour sit-in, at 7:30 pm the New York City Police Department arrested 99 people including “Frost Paw” the polar bear and two disabled people. All arrestees, except the three arrested earlier in the day were taken into custody and released in groups of five at a time.
Below are more photographs and video clips from the demonstration by the author of this story.