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Over 100 Arrests As Protesters Flood Wall Street Over Global Climate Change

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Police used pepper spray and arrested more than 100 people Monday, as activists flooded Wall Street to protest what they say is corporate and economic institutions' role in the climate crisis.

The protest came one day after a huge climate march in Midtown.

#FloodWallStreet protesters on Monday gathered in Battery Park and marched to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, CBS 2's Jim Smith reported from Chopper 2.

There were around 1,000 protesters on Monday, Smith reported. Much of the traffic around Broadway and Bowling Green was stopped due to the demonstration, followed by a staged sit-in at the stock exchange area.

PHOTOS: #FloodWallStreet

As CBS 2's Matt Kozar reported, more than 10 hours after the protest began, the rally was finally quieting down. Broadway near Wall Street reopened after dark Monday.

Hundreds of officers were on the scene as thousands of people rallied. The sit-in turned into a march up Broadway just before 4 p.m., WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

Protesters saw that Wall Street was barricaded off by the police and tried to ram the barricades with the front lines of their march. Some of the protesters tried to push past the barricades and go on marching down Wall Street, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was on the scene as officers clashed with the crowd. Officers were seen on video using pepper spray, CBS 2's Alice Gainer reported.

"We were just trying to get up there, and I was on the front line – not tensely – but got pepper-sprayed. We were just up there. But I was forced into the front lines; this guy was behind the first set of people, randomly pepper-spraying across, and I was just one of them," one man said.

Video also showed officers handcuffing protesters, and one clip appeared to show a man running off as police came after him while protesters chanted, "Let him go."

"I'm a medic and I took care of a couple of those people," said protester Eva Rotler.

Rotler said she was unhappy that pepper spray was used to disperse the crowd.

"The tear gas was not okay," Rotler said. "There was no reason for it."

People were taking pictures of the clashes between protesters and police and posting them on social media.

"I was worried that it might get out of hand," said protester Carly Blair.

More than 100 people were arrested – three of whom were in wheelchairs, police said.

An NYPD bus was seen hauling away dozens of protesters. A protester in a polar bear costume was among those taken into custody.

The officers were handcuffed with plastic ties and taken to One Police Plaza to be booked on disorderly conduct charges for blocking the street and refusing to move and obey police orders, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported.

All will be given Criminal Court summonses -- including those in wheelchairs -- for a return date to court, police said.

Protesters Flood Wall Street Over Global Climate Change

Organizers said in a news release that the sit-in aimed to disrupt business in the financial district by targeting "corporate polluters and those profiting from the fossil fuel industry.''

They plan another protest for Tuesday, CBS 2 reported.

"Two years ago, Superstorm Sandy literally flooded New York's Financial District but it didn't faze Wall Street and their drive for the short term profits that flow from the cooking of the planet,'' Klein said in a statement. "Which is why we're going to flood them again.''

Protester Bob Fulkerson said the climate movement is running out of patience.

"The point that was made today is that the climate justice movement is willing to use direct action; is willing to use very strong, powerful tactics to bring about the transformational changes," Fulkerson said.

Multiple Arrests As Protesters Flood Wall Street Over Global Climate Change

Dressed in a green wig and superhero outfit, protester Jenna deBoisblanc, an environmental activist from New Orleans, said at a rally in a park near Wall Street before the protest that those assembled were expecting arrests at the sit-in.

"I think arrests in particular are a very good way of conveying the gravity of an issue,'' she said. "If you're willing to risk arrest, it certainly demonstrates that it's something very urgent.''

"It's time to liberate Wall Street," one protester told Silverman. "And they're killing our planet, and we're here to say so."

Wall Street is "not going to rule us and run us forever. We're done," the woman added.

"This is awesome," one man said. "It's the beginning of another environmental movement. The environmental movement had been moribund for a number of years, as we well know."

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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