Occupy Wall Street protests spread nationwide
"At this point, we don't anticipate wider unrest," said Tim Flannelly, an FBI spokesman in New York, "but should it occur the city, including the NYPD and the FBI, will deploy any and all resources necessary to control any developments."
Flannelly said he does not expect the New York protests to develop into the often-violent demonstrations that have rocked cities in the United Kingdom since the summer. But he said the FBI is "monitoring the situation and will respond accordingly."
Wiljago Cook, of Oakland, Calif., who joined the New York protest on the first day, said she was shocked by the arrests.
"Exposing police brutality wasn't even really on my agenda, but my eyes have been opened," she said. She vowed to stay in New York "as long as it seems useful."
City bus drivers sued the New York Police Department on Monday for commandeering their buses and making them drive to the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to pick up detained protesters.
"We're down with these protesters. We support the notion that rich folk are not paying their fair share," said Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen. "Our bus operators are not going to be pressed into service to arrest protesters anywhere."
The city's Law Department said the NYPD's actions were proper.
On Monday, the zombies stayed on the sidewalks as they wound through Manhattan's financial district chanting, "How to fix the deficit: End the war, tax the rich!" They lurched along with their arms in front of them. Some yelled, "I smell money!"
Reaction was mixed from passers-by.
Roland Klingman, who works in the financial industry and was wearing a suit as he walked through a raucous crowd of protesters, said he could sympathize with the anti-Wall Street message.
"I don't think it's directed personally at everyone who works down here," Klingman said. "If they believe everyone down here contributes to policy decisions, it's a serious misunderstanding."
Another man in a suit yelled at the protesters, "Go back to work!" He declined to be interviewed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who made his fortune as a corporate executive, has said the demonstrators are making a mistake by targeting Wall Street.
"The protesters are protesting against people who make $40- or $50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That's the bottom line. Those are the people who work on Wall Street or in the finance sector," Bloomberg said in a radio interview Friday.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.