Throng of Occupy protesters appear in NY courts

Local Court News Posted on

Nearly 200 people arrested during Occupy Wall Street-related protests were in New York courtrooms hundreds of miles apart Wednesday, answering charges that stemmed from a march on the Brooklyn Bridge and a demonstration in a Rochester park.

In Manhattan, arraignments were under way for 166 people, most of them among the more than 700 picked up in an Oct. 1 march that marked the biggest mass arrest of the New York protest so far. Hundreds of other protesters arrested on the bridge and during other Occupy demonstrations in the city have already been to court, but this week's numbers are some of the biggest.

Meanwhile, 28 Occupy Wall Street supporters were set to appear in a Rochester court on charges of trespassing by staying in a park past its curfew.

Some wearing their Occupy Wall Street allegiance on buttons — and in one case, a hand-painted oxford shirt — lined hallways and an overflow courtroom in a Manhattan courthouse that handles low-level offenses. Many had been arrested on the bridge after police said protesters ignored warnings not to leave a pedestrian path and go onto the roadway.

The demonstrators were generally charged with disorderly conduct and blocking traffic, both violations. Many took a judge's offer Wednesday to get their cases dismissed if they avoid getting arrested again for six months.

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