For Occupy Wall Street, A Day Of Re-Occupation, Re-Eviction, And A Lot Of Violent Arrests

OWSShitIsFuckedUp.jpg
C.S. Muncy
This protester sums up a day of aggressive and sometimes violent arrests as police again forced protesters out of Zuccotti Park.
SEE: Photos from last night's protest.

Occupy Wall Street began yesterday, its six-month anniversary, with a parent-and-child chalk-art event in Zuccotti Park, the small downtown plaza that became the epicenter of the movement last fall.

The rest of the day would become a sort of a condensed repetition of Occupy's history, as protesters marched, set up shop in Zuccotti Park, clashed with police, were arrested in significant numbers, and were ultimately re-evicted, as police forcefully dragged them from the public plaza and re-erected the barricades blocking off the park.

At 11 a.m., protesters set out from the square for a winding march that wound through the narrow streets of the financial district. Where many of Occupy Wall Street's recent actions have consisted of no more than a couple hundred protesters at most, this march was unquestionably larger.

The protesters were clearly enjoying their greater numbers, and some took the opportunity to taunt police, hurling insults and flipping the bird at officers attempting to herd the march. For their part, police were also more aggressive than in recent Occupy actions, repeatedly shoving protesters who got in their way.

When the march returned to the square, there were further standoffs, as police arrested half a dozen protesters, provoking an angry response from the occupiers.

Three times, senior "white-shirt" officers paraded in a column through the center of the park without discernible purpose, agitating protesters and escalating the level of tension in the park.

OWSNewTent.jpg
C.S. Muncy
Protesters briefly erected a tarp in Zuccotti Park before police tore it down.
As the afternoon wore on, though, the mood began to lighten, as police lowered their profile and the protesters began to enjoy the familiar sensation of a crowded and lively Zuccotti Park. Protesters conducted a General Assembly, a drum circle was convened, and their numbers were buttressed by a delegation from the Left Forum, a radical conference being held up the street at Pace University.

Blankets -- allowed by the park rules, which forbid sleeping bags and tents -- were brought into the park. Occupiers erected an impromptu rain-fly, and began assembling cardboard boxes to serve as bedding. For the first time since they were evicted in November, occupiers were going to spend the night in Zuccotti Park.

But that was not to be. By about 11:30, the number of police surrounding the park had grown significantly, and an officer announced that the park was closed. The protesters, many with fresh memories of the last eviction, and schooled in the park owner's legal obligation to keep the park open 24-hours a day, refused to leave, sitting and joining arms.

Over the next twenty minutes or so, police waded into the park, pulling people out and arresting them. Photographer C.S. Muncy said he saw police drag a woman out of the park by her hair. (Three hours later, Occupy Wall Street Jail Support team said it had the names of 25 people arrested during the closing of the park, but that the number was likely to grow.)

At 11:50, Cecily McMillan, who fellow occupiers say was hurt by an excessively forceful arrest that cracked her ribs (ambiguous video suggests she might have thrown an elbow at a cop before they threw her to the ground) suffered a seizure.

Liesbeth Rapp, an Occupy protester who later visited McMillan at New York Downtown Hospital, said trained EMTs among the occupiers were not allowed to treat McMillan, and an ambulance did not arrive for more than 15 minutes after she began seizing. At the hospital, Rapp said, McMillan complained that police were not allowing her to call her doctor or her lawyer.

OWSReEvictionShowdown.jpg
C.S. Muncy
Police dragged protesters out of Zuccotti Park last night.
As Zuccotti Park was being emptied, police and Brookfield Property's private security guards unlocked the stacks of metal barricades that have stood in a corner of the park ever since January, when, under increasing legal pressure, the city finally reopened the park.

"What you're doing is illegal!" protesters screamed at the police, referring to zoning provisions that restrict the fencing-off of a public plaza.

Police weren't swayed by that argument, and soon hundreds of protesters launched an impromptu march, snaking north, mostly up Broadway. Police followed on foot and on scooters, flanking the marchers and forcing them back onto sidewalks whenever they tried to take the street.

A few blocks south of Canal street on Broadway, a young waiter smiled through a restaurant window and raised his fist in solidarity with the marchers. Nearly simultaneously, someone in an upstairs apartment of the Tribeca building upended their drink on the crowd.

Crossing Canal Street, the march jogged through Soho and Nolita. Police employed by now well-honed tactics to break up and separate the march, racing in on scooters to divide the protesters at intersections. At the corner of Broadway and Howard Street, a group of 20 or 30 protesters were corralled by police for several minutes. Recalling training given earlier in the day by the National Lawyers Guild, they asked "Are we being detained?" Police didn't answer, but released them shortly afterwards.

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C.S. Muncy
Police arrest a man on Crosby Street last night.
As the march veered south on Crosby Street, police arrested one man after throwing him up against metal shutters. C.S. Muncy, who photographed the arrest, described a police officer smashing his megaphone into the back of the man's head.

Continuing north, the march crossed Houston, then swerved left down 10th street, which was again the scene of violent arrests. Police threw one man into a plate-glass window, cracking it, before cuffing him. At least three others were also arrested there.

By the time finally reached Union Square, protesters were exhausted and confused. Using the people's mic, they read out tweets and emails from some of those arrested, including Shawn Carrié:

ShawnCarrieTweets.jpg

Around 2:30 in the morning, many began to leave -- some to go home, others to provide support for fellow protesters in jail or the hospital.

Back downtown, Zuccotti Park remained fenced off and deserted except for police and security guards. Children's chalk drawings from the morning were still visible on the flagstones.

ReemptiedZuccotti.jpg

[npinto@villagevoice.com] [@macfathom]

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Security Guards Houston
Security Guards Houston

    Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us

Exevez
Exevez

Continue your brave actions everyone. This level of brutality will be brought to justice. Allow them to step on you for just a bit long. Their is higher power in this world higher than the pigs. And I hope they stop them soon.

Nonstop to JFK
Nonstop to JFK

These cops better hope Obama keeps the troops overseas longer.

When the Marines get home to a country with no jobs for them, they will not sit idly by and let these OWS kids fight their battles for them.  They will join.

And when that happens -- when thousands and thousands of battle-hardened veterans start protesting in the street, what will these coward thug NYPD gorillas do then?

I can't wait to see.

TRUTH 101!
TRUTH 101!

Poor DieOccutardsDie. It sounds like your not taking your medication today!  Maybe a good 25,000 volts of electroconvulsive therapy would do you some good? It's very apparent your in need of some type of therapy! Maybe a high dose of thorazine would help your mental problems dude? Believe it or not but the world doe's not revolve around you sad fanny-perpendicular! There are many of us hard working Americans who have lost our jobs, no fault of our own. Just because our politicians have let the greedy rich send our jobs to communist countries that have slave-labor. Maybe that's what you are? A pro communist. Ihave friends that are 80 to $140,000.00 in debt going to college and can not get a job. It's very obvious that you have not been well educated. And are indigent in having any understanding of other dilemmas of life. One more thing, just because you do not bellieve in GOD does not meen HE does not. Ido have some very powerful voodoo friends. Ican ask them to put the fear of heaven and hell into. They would be much willing. Thier abilities are very powerful and very on the mark! Hate is a very sad and sick abnormality! Get help soon. Arrivederci! DieOccutardDie This was not ment to diagnose or cure any sickness or illness. That would take an extraordinary occurrence!

TJ Peterson
TJ Peterson

Anyone else tired of the protest theater?

Nonstop to JFK
Nonstop to JFK

What's wrong, TJ, nothing newsworthy to talk about in white-trash hell-hole Southern Florida?

It's only "theater" because your only exposure to it, and anything else important, is on TV.  Keep regurgitating words and ideas that belong to someone else, troll.

It's hard to get a handle on all of these complex issues from your mom's trailer in South Florida. 

TJ Peterson
TJ Peterson

Rob S., all I'm trying to say is that some occupiers seem more interested in being arrested than they are on focusing on the issues. I didn't notice this for the longest time. I'm getting a bit sick of it.

I don't know what you're getting on about concerning news TV, considering I did not mention it- and I don't watch it. I'd still probably be better off watching it than getting my info solely from the VV, which seems to print the press releases of OWS as news.

PS. South Florida as a white-trash hell hole? Comical. Filled with old insensitive republicans, perhaps. But not white trash, you're thinking of Tallahassee.

TRUTH 101 !
TRUTH 101 !

Well OCCUTARDISM, I wander what your badge number is? Or are you just a piece of brain dead dried white dog crap that manages to maintain it repulsive stench. They didn't go home and jerk off over what they did to Americans. They are jerk offs. This is America, the land off the free, and the home of the brave! How can the NYPD fell good about what they did? Oh I foregot thier brain dead dogs that had thier chains tugged by orders of big corporate fascist business. The one %ers! We pay these hoodlum's wages. They forget that they work for us! The more that they abuse the children of the time that is to come hereafter the moe they lay the seeds of decent and deceit among the children of the future! What the NYPD sows they shall in the end reap. We are the children of GOD! NYPD your just employees of WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, YOUNG AND OLD! We have our rights. You may be told differently. That doe's not make what you do to us right.You can not discen right from wrong. You can not distinguish that you are discriminating against our right to protest. When they take your pensions away from you, we will laugh. What goes around, it comes around! So help me GOD!THINK WHAT YOU ARE DOING. OR ARE YOU NOT THAT BRIGHT. OR THAT YOU NOT THAT MORALLY COMPREHENSIBLE!

DieOccutardsDie
DieOccutardsDie

Die occutards die!

picaflor
picaflor

 But sweetheart,if that happened, what would you do with all your free time?

Isaac Loew
Isaac Loew

You know dam well what he would do if that happened! He would lick his ass like a dog would!

Jeremy Dolan
Jeremy Dolan

Last night I was assaulted by the NYPD for standing in a public park. Twenty minutes later, and a block away from the park, I was struck multiple times with a baton for not retreating down the sidewalk fast enough. As the police charged, many of us fell; some were trampled. I saw a young woman in hand-cuffs, in the midst of a seizure, slamming her head repeatedly into the pavement, unattended by any police or EMT. A prominent organizer had his thumb broken, possibly his jaw. A window was shattered when the police shoved someone's head into it. This was a new level of unprovoked police violence against Occupy Wall Street. The atmosphere of our six-month half-anniversary was nothing but joyous. I didn’t see anyone drinking. We were a few hundred people peaceably gathered. At 11:20, the police decided the park was closed. Knowing that the courts had ordered that the park must remain open 24-hours, we sat down together, peacefully. A phalanx of 150 cops marched in, and their reckless actions sent 60 people to jail, sent several people to the hospital, and might well have sent someone to the morgue. They weren't treating us like human beings last night. What authority does a municipal police force have to instigate violence in removing people—those whom they are charged with serving and protecting—from a public park?

Nonstop to JFK
Nonstop to JFK

Goose-stepping gorilla thugs.

They'll all go home to Lawn Guyland and jerk off thinking about how they beat up a bunch of white kids tonight.

Avoid the NYPD at all costs.

Neo-Realist
Neo-Realist

More likely places like Nassau County, Maspeth, Staten Island--Mostly White Ethnic Thugs.

Occutardism
Occutardism

Smash their faces in and jail them!  Eat shit, occutards!

Nonstop to JFK
Nonstop to JFK

Come up from your mom's basement and get some sun, tough guy.

Anthony Melendez0531
Anthony Melendez0531

An accurate account. The actual number of arrestees now stands at 64 among them Cecily McMillan. Outrage!

Michael
Michael

Obviously illegal park closure and arrests. Everyone arrested should sue their arresting officer. 

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