By Julie Shapiro and Ben Fractenberg
DOWNTOWN — Commuters headed to their jobs near Wall Street Monday were greeted by chaos with massive police presence and a last-minute subway shutdown at Broad Street, officials said.
Service to the J/Z Broad Street subway station was cut off before 9 a.m. on Monday morning as a result of police activity as more than 100 protesters descended on Wall Street. MTA officials were not sure what time it would reopen, a spokesman said.
Wall Street was also blocked off to vehicular traffic. Police had set up barricades along the sidewalk where they required local workers to show I.D. before entering buildings in the area.
Protesters holding cardboard placards and chanting "occupy Wall Street, all day, all week," also blocked the sidewalk in front of Federal Hall, forcing commuters to make a detour to get to work.
"If they want to protest they should not be an inconvenience to people who actually have to get to their job," said Wes Zeraja, 56, from Rockland County, a lawyer trying to get to his office on Broad Street. "They obviously have no job. Now I have to walk all the way around."
But another Wall Street worker was in support of the protesters and didn't mind the difficult commute.
"I think they're right. It's wrong that only one percent of people are rich in America," said a day trader, Mike, 23, who would only give his first name. "I don't mind. I think it's great."