At least eight Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Saturday afternoon during a Downtown march to protest the NYPD’s treatment of the movement.
About 50 protesters gathered at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan around noon on Saturday and after a rally began to march toward Union Square.
As police attempted to keep the march on sidewalks through Chinatown, protesters ran around the back of the accompanying motorcade and raced into the street.
Three people were arrested at Canal and Lafayette streets around 2:30 and another four were arrested a few blocks away on Mott Street.
At least one other marcher was arrested at East Fourth Street and Broadway in the East Village.
The protesters reached their destination around 3:45 p.m. and unfurled a banner proclaiming "Union Square Occupied."
Earlier, protesters said they supported the police but were outraged by the way the NYPD has handled the protests.
About 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered at Zuccotti Park to protest what they saw as NYPD’s brutal suppression against the movement.
“I’m a big supporter of NYPD in general but I am pretty upset when my friend got injured during the March 17 crackdown by the police,” said Richard Lynch, a botanist from Staten Island as he donned with a neck holder and a sign of “Angry Pacifist.”
“I believe the police are also part of the 99%,” said Lynch, 50. “I don’t want Occupy Wall Street to be all about the police.”
Marni Halasa, who regularly dresses as a butterfly at OWS protests, wore a police cap with a baton in hand and a handcuff by her shoulder to protest the police.
“I can’t believe this is our city,” said Halasa, 45, a professional skater who was arrested March 8 in Zuccotti Park while skating in her butterfly costume.
“The police gave me a summons for impeding the pedestrian traffic - with my butterfly wings,” said Halasa. “So very dangerous -- butterfly.”
She said the police told her it was OK to perform and then arrested her.
“I am a performing artist and now starting to be a political performing artist,” she said.