The NYPD arrested 174 Occupy Wall Street protesters by Monday afternoon, removing them from the Financial District on the social movement's first anniversary. Most faced disorderly conduct charges, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
Activists, many of them assembling first at Zuccotti Park, the geographic heart of the movement, waged several simultaneous disruptions, including sit-ins and musical marches that blocked intersections.
At times though, the mood was light and celebratory and some people wore birthday hats or carried balloons.
Adding chaos to the scene, vehicles trying to pass through the Pine and Williams streets intersection honked their horns and harried-looking Financial Disrict employees pushed through the crowd to get to work.
One worker, blocked from reaching her job, vented her frustration in a cellphone conversation, saying, "I can't go down any street because they're on every street."
One arrestee was retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard, a National Lawyers Guild representative said.
By afternoon, the protesters were again using Zuccotti Park as a home base, while small groups of protesters marched elsewhere in the Financial District. Some went to Wells Fargo, others to Goldman Sachs.
Several protesters were arrested on West Street about 3 p.m. when they stopped while crossing the wide roadway and unfurled banners - briefly blocking traffic in both directions. A police captain was struck in the back with a balloon that burst and wet him with a yellowish liquid. The captain chased and arrested the balloon-thrower while other officers moved in and made other arrests.
Wall Street itself remained heavily fortified throughout the day. At the Broadway entrance, there was a maze of metal barricades and about 40 police officers on foot and horseback.
Police did not permit residents or workers through without IDs.