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N.Y. police detain 73 Occupy protesters in park

NEW YORK — Protesters marking the six-month mark since the start of the Occupy movement were taken into custody by police officers who poured into the park after warning those who had gathered there that it was closed.

Police said 73 people were detained. It was unclear how many were still in custody Sunday afternoon.

Some demonstrators had locked arms and sat down in the middle of Zuccotti Park near Wall Street after police announced on a bullhorn at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday that the park was closed. Officers then entered the park, forcing out most of the crowd and surrounding a small group that stayed behind. Police formed a human ring around the park to keep protesters out.

Sandra Nurse, a member of Occupy's direct action working group, said police treated demonstrators roughly and made arbitrary arrests. She disputed the police assertion that demonstrators had broken park rules by putting up tents or getting out sleeping bags.

Meanwhile, Occupy leaders from around the country met in Chicago Sunday to set their sights on their biggest target of the spring: the NATO summit in Chicago.

Meeting in a city park, they echoed the rallying cry of other protest groups: President Barack Obama's decision to drop plans for holding the Group of 8 economic summit in Chicago the same weekend as NATO was a victory that should encourage even more demonstrators to show up in May.

N.Y. police detain 73 Occupy protesters in park 03/18/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:23pm]

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