Published October 14, 2011
Protesters in New York, Denver and Seattle clashed with authorities as at least 48 arrests were made early Friday near Occupy Wall Street encampments.
Police in New York said they made at least 14 arrests after a few hundred protesters marched through lower Manhattan near Zuccotti Park, where a planned cleaning on Friday had been postponed by the city's deputy mayor.
In one incident, an NYPD scooter accidently struck a protester, causing him to fall to the ground screaming before kicking the vehicle over to free his foot. He was then arrested.
Most of the arrests occurred near Broadway and Exchange Place. Charges were pending, but some protesters obstructed traffic or overturned trash cans and hurled bottles.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Brookfield Properties -- which owns Zuccotti Park, where protesters have been camped out for a month -- could still go ahead with an official cleanup if no deal is reached with protesters. Bloomberg said the city was notified shortly before midnight that Brookfield wanted to postpone the cleanup of the park, adding that owners hoped to work out an agreement with the protesters.
"If they want to take a couple of days ... then they can do that," Bloomberg said during his weekly WOR Radio show.
Bloomberg, whose staff was under strict orders not to pressure Brookfield one way or the other, said the company has received "lots of calls" from elected officials siding with protesters.
One protester, Brian James, of Massachusetts, said the group was cleaning the area in shifts with donated supplies, including more than a dozen white buckets, brooms and several mops.
Meanwhile, in Denver, dozens of police officers in riot gear advanced early Friday on the last remaining cluster of Wall Street protesters at the state's Capitol. Some protesters retreated without resisting while other had been arrested. Some of those assembled chanted "Peaceful!" while others shouted "Shameful!" as they backed away from their encampment.
No immediate signs of violence were reported as about two dozen protesters were arrested. Officers placed plastic ties around some protesters' wrists and one woman was carried away from the makeshift encampment.
Authorities began taking down dozens of tents at around 3:30 a.m. Three hours later, officers advanced on a line of protesters who had locked arms around the remaining tents. Officers held their batons horizontally and nudged the protesters to break up the human chain.
By 7 a.m., most of the group had retreated across a street that had been closed to traffic. Some protesters moved back into the street when officers let traffic flow again, prompting police to herd them back to the sidewalk. As in other cities, the Denver protesters said they object to Wall Street excesses and the economic power of the rich.
"My main complaint is there is no more middle class in America," David Humphrey, 24, told The Associated Press. "The rich control most of the money."
Humphrey, of Pine, Colo., carried a sign with a picture of President Barack Obama and the words "Change God bless."
Pavlos Stavropoulos, of Littleton, who described himself as a medic for the protesters, said he had seen no serious injuries.
"This is a very disciplined action," he said.
A nearby bus station was closed because of the police action. About a dozen downtown bus routes were picking up and dropping off commuters on the sidewalk outside the station.
In Seattle, 10 people were arrested at Westlake Park after it was closed late Thursday night. Det. Mark Jamieson said the arrests came as police focused on protesters associated with a tent in the park who did not comply with orders to leave.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.