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Friday
Nov182011

Occupy Wall Street Rolls into 'Action' Across US; Hundreds Arrested

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two months to the day that a small band of protesters first set up camp in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, the Occupy Wall Street movement on Thursday staged a national "day of action" to remind the richest Americans and corporations that it's time to share the wealth.

Demonstrations were held in cities throughout the country, most notably in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, where protesters took to the streets to disrupt business as usual in the country's three busiest metropolises.

One of the planned main events in New York City was the actual occupation of Wall Street just as people were beginning to arrive at work at 7 a.m.  The marchers attempted to stop Wall Street workers from getting to their jobs while cops cleared streets in the narrow area of Manhattan.

Despite some heated confrontations between protesters and police in riot gear, the Financial District remained open and the opening bell rang as usual at 9:30 a.m.

Occupy Wall Street protesters continued their day-long activities through the city's boroughs, at one point converging on 16 main subway hubs to spread their message to New Yorkers, many of whom were sympathetic to their cause.

Others weren't as supportive, yelling at the protesters to "Get a job."

The final act of Thursday's two-month commemoration of the movement was a march on the Brooklyn Bridge as thousands of members of unions and community groups joined in.  Their demonstration proceeded without incident as a heavy police presence insured that protesters would not block traffic.

Police reported over 250 arrests from all the locations, while several cops were sent to the hospital with injuries that included officers who were apparently sprayed in the eyes with vinegar.

In Chicago, hundreds of protesters braved the sharp winds and cold to hold one of their biggest rallies since they began their protests weeks ago.  Their target was to shut down the LaSalle Street Bridge just north of downtown, but before they got down there, police diverted traffic.  About 50 people wound up getting arrested when they refused to get off the bridge.

On the West Coast, the events in Los Angeles involved the largest contingent of Occupy Los Angeles supporters with a gathering of about 1,000 people.  Some of their attempts at civil disobedience included blocking a bridge near the downtown financial district and setting up tents in the middle of one busy street.

They also managed to slow traffic on freeways surrounding Los Angeles with arrests for the day totalling around 76.  Overall, however, police said the protests were peaceful.

There were other demonstrations in solidarity with the "day of action" in Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Denver and Portland, Oregon.  Moveon.org, which supports the Occupy Wall Street movement, claims there were some 460 protests across the country Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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