Occupy Wall Street Goes to Court in Droves

An Occupy Wall Street protester yells as he is arrested by the police after blocking an intersection near The New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.   Two days after the encampment that sparked the global Occupy protest movement was cleared by authorities, demonstrators marched through New York's financial district  and promised a national day of action with mass gatherings in other cities.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

About 200 Occupy Wall Street protesters appeared in Manhattan criminal court today to deal with summonses, most of which were handed down by police during September's mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds more demonstrators are expected in the coming days as a judge and D.A. prosecutors deal one by one with the protesters, who are being represented by members of the National Lawyers Guild. The volunteer lawyers, Reuters reports, offered two options for their piles of clients: an ACD, which has the charges dismissed and the arrest sealed after six months if the defendant is not arrested again, or pleading not guilty and going to trial. One lawyer advised that the protesters have a "very good chance" of winning. Plus,  occupying courtrooms for days on end, while less visible, might be a bigger headache for the city than taking over the bridge for one afternoon.