Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dozens Arrested as Union Groups Join Protests Near Wall Street

Unions lent their muscle to the long-running protest against Wall Street and economic disparity Wednesday, with their members joining thousands of protesters in a lower Manhattan march as smaller demonstrations flourished across the country.

Protesters in suits and T-shirts with union slogans left work early to march with activists who have been camped out in Zuccotti Park for days. Some marchers brought along their children, hoisting them onto their shoulders as they walked downward Broadway.

"We're here to stop communal greed," said Mike Pellegrino, an NYC Transit bus mechanic from Rye Brook. "They must pay their fair share of taxes. We're just working and looking for decent lives for our families."

Of the camping protesters, he said, "We feel kinship with them. We're both looking for the same things."

People gathered in face of the courthouses that encircle Foley Square, then marched to Zuccotti Park, where they refueled with snacks and quickly painted new signs as the strong scent of burning sage wafted through the plaza.

Previous marches have resulted in mass arrests. Police said there were about 28 arrests on Wednesday night, frequently for disorderly conduct. But at least one arrest was for assaulting a police officer; authorities said a demonstrator knocked an officer off his scooter.

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