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Wall Street protests lead to hundreds of arrests on Brooklyn Bridge (VIDEO)

The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in Manhattan’s Financial District. More than 700 protesters demonstrating against corporate greed, global warming, and social inequality were arrested Saturday after they shut down a lane of traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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A police officer leans over to talk to a protester after hundreds were arrested during an Occupy Wall Street march on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York Saturday, October 1, 2011. The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan’s Financial District for nearly two weeks.

Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

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More than 700 protesters demonstrating against corporate greed, global warming, and social inequality, among other grievances, were arrested Saturday after they went onto the Brooklyn Bridge and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours, leading to a tense confrontation with police.

The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan’s Financial District for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway after being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said.

The majority of those arrested were given citations for disorderly conduct and were released, police said.

Some protesters sat on the roadway, chanting “Let us go,” while others chanted and yelled at police from the pedestrian walkway above. Police used orange netting to stop the group from going farther down the bridge, which is under construction.

Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway by police, or they didn’t hear the calls from authorities to head to the pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into being arrested, and those in the back of the group who couldn’t hear were allowed to leave.

“Multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway and that if they took roadway they would be arrested,” said Paul Browne, the chief spokesman of the New York Police Department.

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