New York police officers arrest a protestor during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. (File photo)
Police in New York have arrested at least 51 Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters ahead of the one-year anniversary of the anti-capitalist movement.
Police officials confirmed they made "multiple" arrests on Saturday and Sunday during marches and protests ushering in the first anniversary of the movement but did not give the exact number, as the arrests were still happening, Mail Online
reported on Sunday.
The demonstrators were reportedly arrested over charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assault. The first arrests were made on Saturday when about 300 OWS protesters marched to Zuccotti Park in New York’s Lower Manhattan.
Susan Howard, the chapter coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild, said that at least 20 people were detained on Saturday, adding that the number had risen to 51 by Sunday.
According to organizers, the OWS protesters will surround the New York Stock Exchange and disrupt morning rush hour in the financial district on Monday to mark the first anniversary of the movement.
Protesters are planning to bring handcuffs and attempt “citizens' arrests of bankers.”
The OWS movement emerged after a group of demonstrators gathered in New York's financial district on September 17, 2011 to protest, among other things, the excessive influence of big corporations on the US policies as well as the unjust distribution of wealth and the high-level corruption in the country.
The movement was followed by rallies, in which the protesters started using the slogan, "We are the 99 percent" to distinguish themselves from the one percent of Americans, who are in possession of the greatest portion of the nation's wealth.
The movement's anniversary is to take place six weeks before November's crucial presidential standoff between the incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.