The Occupy Wall Street movement marked its first anniversary yesterday with a day of protests intended to block streets and disrupt businesses in downtown Manhattan.

Protesters were arrested near the New York Stock Exchange as activists came up against police and metal crowd barriers. The New York Police Department said it had made many arrests, mostly for disorderly conduct, but would not give a number.

A spokesman said about 40 people had been arrested at marches over the weekend leading up to the anniversary.

Gideon Oliver, president of the National Lawyers Guild, which provides legal support for the protesters, said more than 100 had been arrested by early afternoon yesterday.

Those taking part said they hoped the march would serve as a reminder the movement was still alive. “We haven’t gone away,” said Dawn Levy, who travelled from Seattle .

Organisers said events had been planned in more than 30 cities. In New York, protesters planned to rally with union members in the afternoon and then, in the evening, march to Zuccotti Park, where they camped for two months last year. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012)