Five Occupy arrests; Flynn said protesters 'can sit and freeze their butts off'
The Associated Press & WTMJ News Team
Diane Pathieu reports.Photo: Video by tmj4.com
Check out raw video courtesy of TODAY'S TMJ4 of the scene currently at the North Avenue Bridge and I-43.
MILWAUKEE - When hundreds of protesters went to the North Avenue Bridge at I-43 and blocked that major street, many of them hoped to be arrested on a massive scale.
However, police did not move in to break up the protest, and just five protesters were arrested.
Milwaukee Police were letting them demonstrate and keeping their distance.Milwaukee Chief Ed Flynn withdraw most of their police officers so they could be protecting the neighborhood and answer 9-1-1 calls.
Flynn stated, "We are not going to fulfill the martydrom fantasy who insist on being arrested while they disrupt the lives of this neighborhood."
When asked about how long they will let the protesters will be out there, he responded the following:
"They can sit and freeze their butts off," stated Flynn.
"They're angry about the economy...go to Wall Street! There's a 35% unemployment rate in this community, who are they disrupting!? Do you see any bankers driving around here? No. You have working people that can't get across their own bridge. They are only hurting the 99%."
TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson reports that protesters were giving out handwarmers in the freezing temperatures Thursday.
Police put tape up on the bridge so no new protesters could join this protest around 6 p.m.
Milwaukee Police were staging large vans on west side of North Ave where there are no live cams.
The protests were part of the nationwide Occupy movement marking two months since that movement started.
The groups were there demanding economic equality in the U.S.
TODAY'S TMJ4's reports they found about 200 protesters gathering at 8th and Brown in Carver Park and across the street in a little league park, then headed to the North Avenue Bridge.
The protest Thursday was organized by groups including Wisconsin Jobs Now and MoveOn.org. The demonstration coincided with similar protests across the country demanding economic equality in the U.S.
Almost 200 Milwaukee demonstrators stood on a sidewalk on the bridge holding signs such as "Jobs Not War" and "Tax the Rich Now." After about 20 minutes, the protesters swarmed onto the road, blocking traffic in both directions.
With temperatures in the low 30s, demonstrators had set up at least five tents.