Video: Did The Police Arrest A Protester After Running Over His Foot?

A feared confrontation between the police and Occupy Wall Street protesters was averted this morning after the company that owns Zuccotti Park postponed a planned cleaning of the plaza.

The morning was not without incident, as a smaller group of several hundred protesters announced their intention to “celebrate” their continued occupation of the park with an unpermitted civil disobedience march through the streets of the Financial District. The group pushed through a police line onto Broadway chanting “Whose streets? Our Streets!” Police on foot and riding motor scooters forced the protesters back onto the sidewalk, only to have the demonstrators spill again into the streets.

As The Local’s cameras rolled, one man fell to the ground screaming after a police scooter moved into a cluster of people. The man was struck with a baton and arrested moments later as witnesses called out, “You ran over his foot” and chanted, “The whole world is watching.” One bystander hurled a bag of trash at police officers as they pushed protestors back onto the sidewalk.

Writer Michael Tracey, who tweeted that he was punched in the shoulder by a detective, reported that a member of the National Lawyers Guild had his foot run over (it is unclear whether the tweet refers to the same incident), and Miles Doran, a journalist with CBS News, tweeted that his foot was also run over: “This happened several times. Some protester’s feet, legs run over by scooters.”

Thousands of demonstrators had converged on the three-quarter acre park before sunrise Friday, fearing police would evict demonstrators who have camped in the park for nearly four weeks.

As the postponement was announced, using the “human microphone,” a cheer went up from the crowd in Zuccotti, followed by chants of “we are the 99 percent.”

The company that owns the plaza, Brookfield Office Properties, announced the cleaning Thursday afternoon, demanding that the demonstrators permanently remove their sleeping bags, tables, and other infrastructure from the area. The protesters said the move was a bid to remove them by force, and commenced a plan to clean the park themselves. They also vowed to resist any evacuation.

One of those celebrating news of the postponement was Reverend Billy, an anti-consumerist preacher persona created by actor Bill Talen.

“I’m elated. I want this to have more life,” said the frequent visitor to the Occupy Wall Street encampment. “It’s been three weeks and so much has happened. Another three weeks and, no telling, no telling.”

“We can pull down these modernist slabs,” he added, glancing up at the surrounding buildings. “We can move up in the escalators and hallways and emerge in the corner offices of power. They’re already watching. We’re already in their minds.”

Over the course of the roaming clashes between police and protesters, at least four people were arrested, according to the Associated Press.