Media Have Another Rough Night With NYPD at OWS #D17; Cops Threatened to Take Photogs' Press Passes

zach arrest.jpg
C.S. Muncy
Photographer Zach Roberts being arrested at Duarte Square.
Occupy Wall Street spent yesterday in a day-long struggle to occupy a new space (first Duarte Square, then One New York Plaza) on the three-month anniversary of the movement. Over the course of 12 hours, protests ranged from Duarte Square and its Trinity Wall Street-owned and OWS-coveted vacant lot to Times Square to, eventually, One New York Plaza, a Brookfield-owned property near the Staten Island Ferry. Two attempts at occupying a new space failed, and at least 50 arrests were made.

Meanwhile, the assembled press gaggle was having an almost equally rough night. Two photographers say that police threatened to take their official press passes away, a credentialed cameraman was hit over the head with a baton, and another photographer was arrested.

During the invasion of Trinity's lot next to Duarte Square around 3:30, a number of photographers went over the fence with protesters. One was arrested, freelancer Zach Roberts. Roberts hopped the fence to get shots and tweeted, "on the other side of the fence arrest very likely." A few minutes later he tweeted, "Being arrested #D17." He was in jail until around 11 p.m., transported there in the same paddy wagon as Bishop George Packard, and was charged with criminal trespassing. He told us he was able to convince an officer to put his camera inside his bag. Roberts tweeted photos from inside One Police Plaza:

zach jail .jpg
Zach Roberts

During the Duarte Square showdown, photographer CS Muncy (on assignment for the Village Voice) had an encounter with a cop that began fairly typically: the officer asked him to move and get out of the lot. According to Muncy, the cop told him that if he didn't move, he would take away his official NYPD-issued press card. The cop then said "I've been told to take cards today," Muncy says.

Freelance photographer Andrew Kelly had a similar run-in later in the evening during the protesters' march to Times Square. Kelly told the Voice that a police officer grabbed his press pass in his hands and said "Please let me take this card. I want to take a card so bad today."

Meanwhile, a Democracy Now! credentialed cameraman was hit with a baton:

devro tweet .png

At this point, last night's incidents seem like more of the same (for reference, see: Robert Stolarik, our experiences at the Zuccotti raid, and Gothamist's inability to get a press pass after seven years).

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.


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18 comments
StanChaz
StanChaz

It’s an attempt to carve out a protected space, a living conscience for the city, amid the repression. A refuge, in a city where control-freaks would sweep us under the rug, and out of the way. In a city where they would pen us in, and permit us to death...“move on, move on”..... you don’t belong, you don’t count, you don’t have a right to be here...don’t assemble, don’t block the street, don’t trespass, don’t EXIST! They would deny us, deny our lives, deny our very futures. IF WE LET THEM.

stan chaz
stan chaz

You don’t even need to be religious to understand -and embrace- the idea that "Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." But many in the 1%, in blind greed and endless schemes, have forgotten this, and have closed their eyes to what the word "society" should really mean. But because of Occupy Wall Street, we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING. Instead of demanding m-o-r-e budget cuts -to be borne by the middle class and poor- we are FINALLY focusing on the shameful bleeding that the poor and middle class has endured for all too long. Instead of talking about even m-o-r-e cuts in the taxes of millionaires....we are now talking about fairness and justice - about an economy and a political system that is increasingly run for the rich, and by the rich. Instead of talking about LESS government, we are talking about a government that WORKS FOR ALL OF US, not just a favored few. Thank you OWS, for reminding us that people -ordinary working people- really DO matter, and for helping open our eyes to what’s really going on in this country. In a city where there is precious little public space that we can call our own, this is much more than a plea for sanctuary: It’s  a hard-fought carving out of a protected space amid the repression, an expression of conscience and affirmation... continually reminding us, goading, prodding, annoying, illuminating and encouraging us..reminding us what of we’ve lost, of what we can do, and what we can be. They would pen us in, they would permit us to death, they would tell us to “ move on, move on, there’s nothing to see”.....don’t block the street, don’t trespass, don’t EXIST. You don’t belong, you don’t count, you don’t have a right to even be here.... A city where control-freaks would sweep us under the rug and out of the way...as they deny both us, our lives, and our futures. But OWS says loudly, both in word and in DEED: we BELONG, we STAND our ground, and we DO matter! This is OUR land, and we want it BACK! The word OCCUPY says it all! That’s why this space is important. Trinity Church should look deep into its collective soul, do the right thing, and help OWS. If Christ were physically among us today, as He was 2000 years ago, He would be among the FIRST to climb those fences, and occupy Trinity’s Duarte Square. Of this I am certain... 

GROSSED-OUT
GROSSED-OUT

WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE are watching our civil liberties being taken away each and every day. So that the 1% can fatten thier coffers with our hard work and dreams! The 1% arenot Americans. Thier international business federations. Who do not give a rats ass about WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! If you do not believe it, then come see Mingo Juntion ,Ohio. Where the Russians bought the steel millsand closed them down. Now there are no taxs being paid by the closed mills, no workers paying taxs, because they have no jobs. Many are in thier 60s. Where doe's a 60 year old man get a job. We do deserve the corupt government that we have!  Our founding fathers said the real enemy would be within America. They are the political partys. Corrupted by the lobbyist and thier foul green god! And we the AMERICAN PEOPLE better get of our fat weary ass and stick to gether. UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE WILL FALL? this a critical point of in our face's. AND EVERY DOG SHALL HAVE IT'S DAY! I am sickined by the complaisance to let our brothers and sisters and millons of childern to be homeless, hungry, jobless, and sick. What gos around, shall come around!  And when will it be thy turn oh sleeping takers. Can you say CORPORATE-NATIS! Your looking right at them.

faceshaker
faceshaker

Looks like Herr Bloomberg and his Nazi-boys are having a real good time.  Remember: We get the government we deserve, and from the looks of it (the police being representatives of the government) we must deserve batons on the head, acrimonious arrests and jailings for nothing.  Wow!  Everything they taught us in school about America was a bait and switch.

bg
bg

Godwin's Law, asshole.

Jerry4t5
Jerry4t5

You guys are all babies. For god's sake running around like junior high pranksters isn't going to solve any problems. Go home to mummy and daddy for hot chocolate!!

Joseph Poole
Joseph Poole

You trespass, you get arrested.  You resist arrest, you get hit.  Where is the surprise?

faceshaker
faceshaker

You really think resorting to hacker slang is making a statement BG?  Try "reasoned argument"--it works!  In fact, it works much better than using expletives to try and show some kind of superiority that obviously doesn't exist. 

Guest
Guest

I know, farting into your sofa, drinking yourself into oblivion and neglecting your wife and children, if you have either, will solve our problems! 

faceshaker
faceshaker

You guys are all sleepwalkers.  For God's sake snoozing in front of your all-commercial-all-the-time TV set like sharkbait isn't going to solve any problems.  Go outside your comfort zone and quit sucking Momma's tit like it was hot chocolate!

Guest
Guest

Um, they're the press and the cops are watering at the mouth to deny them the ability to report. 

Obviously you're under the delusion that we still live in a free coutry. 

David R. Yale
David R. Yale

Don't you get it, Joe Poole? Bloomberg and his private army have made it impossible to protest here in New York City. If you protest in the street, you're blocking traffic. If you protest on the sidewalk, you're blocking pedestrian traffic. Even if there is nobody else there but the protestors. Like in Foley Square on November 5th, 2011, where 30+ people were thrown to the ground, cuffed, roughed up, and carted off to jail. For peacefully protesting on the empty sidewalk in front of a closed court building.

If you protest in the park, you're violating regulations and curfew. If you protest on the courthouse steps, you're blocking pedestrian traffic. If you attempt to use churches for sanctuary, a time-honored practice, you're trespassing.

Maybe you think you have nothing to protest about now, Joe Poole. But wait. Your day will come. You might lose your job, and not be able to get another one no matter how hard you try. Or your life savings could evaporate when some millionaire banker just happens to "lose track" of your funds like Corzine and his gang did. Bank of America could foreclose on your house -- even if you own it free and clear. Yes, they have done that. Your kids or grandkids could get straight As in college -- and then find they're up to their eyeballs in debt, but there are no jobs to be had. Not even flipping burgers.

And another thing, Joe. Cops can't just order you to do things because they say so. This is supposed to be America, where we have a Constitution and laws. Reporters have guaranteed constitutional rights. If a cop orders a reporter to stop reporting, that's an illegal order. Refusing to obey it is NOT grounds for arrest.

It looks like your grasp of civics is fading. Do your homework, Joe. You need to study the Constitution. And you need to look deep within yourself. What the 1% have done to this country has had an awful impact on the 99%. Why can't you see that?

faceshaker
faceshaker

You're just gonna LUV the oncoming police state, Joe Poole.  Have you ever asked yourself why, for example, people wishing to gather and either demonstrate or protest have to register to do so?  Right now, right here in America, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has just pushed a law onto the people of Wisconsin that states that 1) no more than four (4) people may gather in front of a public building unless it happens to be a family without getting express permission from the government and 2) all demonstrations will be required to be monitored by the police, the cost of police being set at $50 an officer to be paid-for by the protesters. 

Can you spell NAZI???

Joseph Poole
Joseph Poole

Most protestors have not been arrested - those who know to stay within the limits of the law.  You go outside those limits, and you are yourself engaging in coercion; YOU become the fascist, not the police who are legitimately trying to protect the 99% who don't want to be subject to your coercion.

non
non

It's like, I can't have sex with someone who doesn't want me to! No matter which hole I pick, It's still rape!

Joseph Poole
Joseph Poole

You may have misread "fascism" for "racism."  In any event, the Tea Party has nothing to do with this.

faceshaker
faceshaker

But where's the racism, buddy?  Oh.  Yeah.  I forgot.  In the Tea Party, where conspiracy nuts are all over the place.  Enjoy your tea, and remember: Don't get fleeced by right wing hate talk radio, kid.  Conspiracy nuts occupy the waves. 

Joseph Poole
Joseph Poole

You obviously have no idea what the Nazis did.  They engaged in street coercion in defiance of the law, and of elected officials.  They occupied the streets, and public places.  And eventually, they took over...  So, it's an open question as to which side of fascism OWS and Wisconsin Statehouse occupiers are on.

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