Demonstrators held signs charging that "Obama is a corporate puppet," among other things, as they marched in front of a Sheraton Hotel, one of three campaign events Obama attended Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
Ben Campbell, 28, one of the march's organizers, said he hoped to show the demonstrators were equal-opportunity critics.
"President Obama is coming to town solely to raise money from the richest of the rich," Campbell said.
The protesters marched from Bryant Park to the hotel, forcing shoppers and theater-goers to retreat, the Times said. The demonstrators were escorted by police vehicles as they contributed to traffic jams across the Times Square area before reaching a barricaded area in front of the hotel.
Inside the hotel, Obama told those attending the fundraiser he was proud of the changes accomplished since his election in 2008, including reforms in healthcare and financial services. He also acknowledged the aggravation Americans are feeling because of the economic situation.
"I know that folks are frustrated with Washington," Obama said. "But the only way to end the game-playing and the point-scoring that passes for politics this day is to send a message in this election that we are not backing down, we are not giving up; that we are going to keep pushing, and we continue to fight, and we still hope, and we are still going after change that we believe in."