More than 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters are headed toward a trial on disorderly conduct charges after they refused prosecutors' offers to dismiss the charges if they stay out of trouble for six months.
They were among 79 demonstrators due in Manhattan criminal court Thursday on charges stemming from a Sept. 24 march to Union Square.
Prosecutors say the demonstrators blocked traffic and prevented pedestrians from getting by. But many of the protesters say the disorderly conduct charges weren't justified. They say they stayed on the sidewalk, took care to leave a path for others to get through and followed police instructions.
Those who turned down the offer were released without bail until a Jan. 9 court date. A lawyer for many of them says the cases should be dismissed because of "the ambiguity of the police orders that everybody received."