New York City police arrested 68 Occupy Wall Street protesters on New Year’s Eve after 11p.m., when they started tearing down the barricades that surround Zuccotti Park, the Associated Press reported.
"People were collecting all the barricades and making kind of a big heap of them in the middle of the park," protester Melanie Butler, of Brooklyn, NY, told the AP. "And we were standing on it with our Occupy Wall Street banner."
Occupy organizers had urged protesters to reclaim the lower Manhattan park as part of a "New Year's Revolution." Demonstrators strung lights and danced on top of torn-down barricades before most of the arrests began, according to the Occupy Wall Street website.
Police used pepper spray, protesters told the New York Daily News. Protesters were charged with disorderly conduct, as well as trespassing and obstructing governmental administration, according to the New York Daily News. A demonstrator who allegedly lurched at a police officer with a pair of scissors was charged with assaulting an officer, according to Reuters.
New Year's Eve at the park had started peacefully, with 500 protesters singing songs and chanting, “We are the 99 percent,” the AP reported.
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