NEW YORK — Nearly a thousand protesters took to the streets of Lower Manhattan on Thursday, clashing with the police and tossing aside metal barricades to converge again on Zuccotti Park after failing in an attempt to shut down the New York Stock Exchange.
Organized weeks ago, the so-called day of action came two days after the police cleared the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park in an early-morning raid. Removed from the park that had become their de facto headquarters, protesters looked to Thursday to gauge the support and mettle that the movement still retained.
By Thursday afternoon, about 175 people had been arrested, many after rough confrontations with the police.
After staging protests near the stock exchange, protesters returned to Zuccotti Park, which had been surrounded by police barricades, with one or two entrances monitored by police officers, as well as by private security officers working for Brookfield Properties, the park’s owner.
But protesters tossed aside the barricades and rushed in as officers tried to keep them out, with some officers shoving demonstrators and throwing punches.
On Thursday afternoon, the police led a man with a bloodied face from the park. Onlookers said the man had flicked the hat off a police officer’s head and rushed into the crowd. He was later apprehended by the police, and, according to a witness, Jo Robin, 29, from New Orleans, he was beaten.
The police said the hand of an officer was badly cut by a shard of glass wielded by a protester near Zuccotti Park.
Four other officers were being evaluated at a hospital for possible injuries after an acidic liquid of some sort was thrown at them.
Protesters began gathering at 7 a.m. on lower Broadway across from Zuccotti Park. By 7:30, the crowd had swelled to hundreds, and protesters walked south on Broadway toward Wall Street, only to be quickly met by metal barricades and thick cordons of police.
Over the next three hours, the protesters wound their way through the heart of the financial district, breaking off into groups, and were repeatedly met by the police.
Though some traders appeared to have a hard time getting to work, the stock exchange opened for trading as usual at 9:30 a.m.
Protesters planned to demonstrate later Thursday at subway stations throughout the city and march across Lower Manhattan bridges.