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But commuters who did brave their daily trip were finding something unusual: an abundance of seats on trains and buses, a sign that many workers heeded warnings to avoid going to the office.

Sunday’s protest march was one of the city’s largest in years, with thousands of people airing grievances about war, climate change, economic inequality and a wide range of other complaints. But the diversity of opinions also sowed doubts about whether there were too many messages to be effective.

Some of the most lasting images of that march were likely to be from a clash at the end, when a small group of demonstrators tried to push beyond a line of police blocking access to the site where world leaders were discussing the war in Afghanistan, European missile defense and other security issues.

Some protesters hurled sticks and bottles at police. Officers responded by swinging their batons. The two sides were locked in a standoff for two hours.

Forty-five protesters were arrested and four officers were hurt, including one who was stabbed in the leg, police said.

Associated Press writers Don Babwin, Ryan J. Foley, Carla K. Johnson, Robert Ray, Jim Suhr, Nomaan Merchant and Michael Tarm contributed to this report.