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Protesters #FloodWallStreet; Polar Bear Arrested

As a follow-up to Sunday's protest, demonstrators headed over to Wall Street on Monday. Police weren't about to let them get near the halls of financial Mecca.

On Monday, protesters gathered again to protest Wall Street's support for climate change deniers. Things were peaceful for the most part, despite Fox News' claims to the contrary.

FloodWallStreet was planned as part of Climate Week and the UN Summit on Climate Change. MSNBC:

Shortly before the 4 p.m. closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange, organizers cajoled some of the protesters into moving to Wall Street and Broadway, and trying to occupy the financial mecca. When people began trying to get through the barricades that the NYPD had erected outside Wall Street, the police – who until then had been largely placid onlookers – reacted by shoving them back and using pepper spray.

After that, the mood of the protest changed. More police massed on either side of the block, while some protesters shouted invective at them. But some of those who had sat at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway managed to calm the mood somewhat by inviting people to speak about what had brought them to the march.

That went on for about three and a half hours. As it got chillier, some protesters left, but a core group of a few dozen remained seated in the intersection. At around 7:45, the police formally asked the protesters to disperse. After they refused to comply with multiple requests, the police moved in and began arresting them. The mood of the crowd darkened again: Supporters massed along the sidewalks chanted, “Shame! Shame!” or old Occupy Wall Street chants like, “One! Two! Three! Four! I declare a class war!”

Yet several activists and and veterans of Occupy Wall Street said that the arrests and dispersal proceeded in a much more orderly and peaceful fashion than they had during the Occupy days. One unidentified protester on the sidewalk remarked that the police were downright “mellow.”

Maybe it was because they arrested the polar bear in full view of protesters. Or maybe the point was to highlight climate change, and not feed the Fox fearmongers. Whatever the reason for the calmer mood, it's heartening to see the number of people who turned out.

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