In a dance as old as time (or 2011), Occupy Wall Street types headed to New York's Financial District to protest corporate greed, and the NYPD responded by marinating some of them in pepper spray. Here's a video:

The odd thing about today's chemical spritzing, though, is that it came at the end of what was, by most accounts, a pretty mellow day out for both the police and the protesting class. Flood Wall Street was meant to be a response to yesterday's People's Climate March, in which lots of people, some of them famous, marched through a mostly-deserted lower Manhattan.

Activists grumbled that the People's March amounted to a commercial for large environmental groups like, as well as big labor unions and mainstream political organizations. An essay in CounterPunch called it "a corporate PR campaign." Flood Wall Street, by contrast, was made up of former Occupy Wall Streeters and other more radical groups, and its organizers seemed fairly certain that a lot of people would get arrested.

Instead, though, for nearly five hours the marchers sat peacefully in the streets around the Wall Street bull. At several points, they ordered pizza.

It was a little disappointing for some people who wanted to get their Battle in Seattle on. From Newsweek's Zoe Schlanger:

So what brought on the pepper spraying? Around 5:00, the marchers reportedly got up and started moving north on Broadway. In response, the NYPD set up barricades to keep them from making it onto Wall Street, a block east. When the first protesters got to the barricades, one white-shirted officer seems to have gotten a little over-excited:

In a matter of minutes, though, things seem to have subsided again. More pizza arrived. The pepper sprayed people's eyes were treated with water and other things by street medics:

By 7 p.m., though, things had grown tense again. Reporters on the scene are tweeting that the police have "kettled" in the remaining hundred or so protesters with steel barricades, while, somewhat paradoxically, ordering them to disperse. It's looking like arrests are imminent. Someone is going to the Tombs tonight in a polar bear costume.

Update, 8:30 p.m.: Police have reportedly arrested approximately 100 people in two large NYPD buses, including the aforementioned polar bear, the superheroes and four people using wheelchairs.