Occupation 2 – 700 arrested

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, October 3rd, 2011 - 16 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, us politics - Tags:

The second in what may be a series of posts about the Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Together movement.

The Occupation, now into its third week, seems to be growing.  As is the Police response.  In the latest development:

Police Arrest More Than 700 Protesters on Brooklyn Bridge

In a tense showdown above the East River, the police arrested more than 700 demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street protests who took to the roadway as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

The police said it was the marchers’ choice that led to the enforcement action.

“Protesters who used the Brooklyn Bridge walkway were not arrested,” Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department, said. “Those who took over the Brooklyn-bound roadway, and impeded vehicle traffic, were arrested.”

But many protesters said they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across, only to trap them in orange netting after hundreds had entered.

“The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us onto the roadway,” said Jesse A. Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street who marched but was not arrested.

Interesting to read the account of a journalist caught up in another Occupation protest event and jailed:

Jailed for covering the Wall Street protests

On Sept. 24, while working on a story about citizen journalism for my employer, I found myself arrested, along with many other people. My arrest gave me a unique vantage point on the risks and rewards of citizen journalists, those non-professionals who capture stories (usually without pay) using videos and images via portable technology like a cell phone camera. Anyone, even a passerby or a police officer can be a citizen journalist. That’s its power. …

As more people spilled into the street, police started to demand that protesters stay on the sidewalk. But as people seemed to be retreating from harm’s way, police began pushing the protesters. I saw police use large nets to corral people en masse. I watched as police pepper sprayed several young women in the face. (An NYPD spokesperson confirmed the use of pepper spray to MetroFocus.) I saw senior citizens and teenagers get arrested. I saw about 20 or 30 police officers tackle people and prod them roughly with police batons. …

Multiple videos from Sept. 24 show police arresting people holding cameras and audio equipment. An NYPD spokesperson told ABC News that the police were not targeting camera operators. …

Between when the Occupy Wall Street protests began on Sept. 17 and this weekend’s wave of media coverage stemming from the arrests, the protesters have complained about being largely ignored by traditional media, including the major national and even metropolitan newspapers, the cable TV news channels and the local network news stations. Meanwhile, argue the protesters, similarly sized Tea Party demonstrations in recent years have received considerable coverage. The general consensus among the Occupy Wall Street protesters was that it was important to document constantly what is happening, and to present their own story when other media hasn’t. …

But as we all sat in a jail, I noticed an interesting thing happen.  People began to talk very seriously about organizing in a more cohesive way than they have been. Jailhouse rookies, who had never been arrested or involved in radical political activities, listened attentively as experienced activists spoke about the need to set clear demands in order to rally broader public support for specific outcomes.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to Occupy Wall Street as a movement. Maybe it will fizzle out, maybe it will grow. I do know that whatever happens will be documented. And I know that there’s a history of activist movements being bolstered when leaders and followers alike are jailed together.

On the matter of media coverage, Yahoo was forced to apologise after blocking emails that linked to the OccupyWallSt.org website (an error according to Yahoo), and Phoebe Fletcher on TUMEKE! takes The Herald to task on its appalling coverage. Though we’re getting plenty on Dan Carter’s groin strain, so I guess it’s all good.

 

16 comments on “Occupation 2 – 700 arrested”

  1. vto 1

    Most of them coppers are pretty darn portly. The protestors should just run away from them, they would never be caught. Probably shot though.

  2. Anton Angelo 2

    I accidentally caught the One News breakfast coverage of this, and the only description I can have of the TVNZ stringer being interviewed was “stooge”. Paris ’68 this isn’t. Yet.

  3. Afewknowthetruth 5

    As has been noted many times, the chief role of the police is to protect the slave masters from discontented slaves.

    Freedom, demcracy, justice? You can forget those if there is corporate money involved.

    Things are clearly nowhere near bad enough in the US yet, so the protesters are few. Just wait for another year or so and the protesters start to occupy the streets by the million.

    Or wait for the police to murder some peaceful protesters. That day will come.

  4. It is getting pretty ugly.  There is this scene of some young women being coralled and pepper sprayed.  How could the police be so stupid, let alone callous in doing this in broad daylight in public.
     
    The stuff that I have read suggests that the protesters are resolute and things are snowballing.
     
    I am not surprised.  I cannot believe how Wall Street was able to continue. 
     
    Maybe the times, they are a changing …
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I am not surprised. I cannot believe how Wall Street was able to continue.

      Many of the major trading centres and most of the “black pool” exchanges are now located well away from Wall St.

  5. Hilary 8

    Even TV1’s Tim Wilson has discovered the movement growing in New York with a report on the news tonight. As well as the thousands demonstrating against the Tories in Britain Maybe it won’t be so fashionable to be a wealthy money trader, before very long.

  6. AAMC 9

    Another goodie from Boston, voices of the people.

  7. johnm 11

    Hi Kunstler wraps it up from the American point of view:

    “Here Come the OWSers!
    By James Howard Kunstler
    on October 3, 2011 8:24 AM

    All last week across the media landscape, in pod, blog, flat-screen, and crunkly old newsprint columns, fatuous professional observers complained that the Occupy Wall Street marchers “have no clear agenda” or “can’t articulate their positions.” What impertinent horseshit. I saw a statement on one OWSer’s sign that said it all:

    $70,000 College Debt
    $12,000 Medical Bills
    I’m 22
    Where’s My Bailout?

    What part of that is unclear to interlocutors of what we called “the establishment” back in the day? That would be the day of the Vietnam War and the Aquarian Upsurge. One difference being that in 1968 we at least had some solidarity in the older generation coming from figures of gravity like Senators Robert Kennedy (bumped off), Eugene McCarthy, J. William Fullbright, George McGovern, Rev Martin Luther King (bumped off), and even one US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. Today, the entire “establishment” is a clueless, hopeless blob of self-interested, craven opportunism. Even the arty fringe – the people who pretend to be an avant-garde – are nothing but narcissistic self-branding operations masquerading as culture leaders.
    The worst offender this past week was the prating empty vessel Nicholas Kristoff at The New York Times who affected to offer the OWSers his own tidy agenda of nit-picky, arcane tax reforms (e.g “Close the ‘carried interest’ and ‘founders’ stock’ loopholes”) and limp-dick banking regulations (e.g. “[move] ahead with Basel III capital requirements”). David Plotz and his Gen X sidekicks at the Slate Political Podcast were equally mystified. I have some heartier suggestions: bring the full weight of the RICO act and the federal anti-fraud statutes down on Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Brian Moynihan, Angelo Mozilo, and a host of other impudent schmekels still at large in their world of Escalade limos and Gulfstream vistas. Or, if that’s just too difficult, how about a handy lamppost and about 40 feet of stout nylon cord?
    It is cosmically ironic, of course, that the same generation of Boomer-hippies that ran in the streets and marched through the maze of service roads around the Pentagon has become a new “establishment” more obtuse, feckless, greedy and mendacious than the one they battled with over 40 years ago. I guess they just don’t see that their time has come to get right with reality – or get shoved aside and trampled. The essence of the OWSer’s argument is pretty simple: they’ve got a raw deal; somebody dealt them a bad hand; someone ran their society into a ditch and not a goddammed one of the older generation will set in motion the machinery to correct the situation, or even acknowledge it.
    At the apex of this new establishment is the Baby Boomer’s moral trophy president: Barack Obama, whose election made the Boomers feel good about themselves – while they preceded to loot the national treasury’s accumulated capital, and then reach forward a few generations to rob their legacy, too. I haven’t heard Nicholas Kristoff (or any of his colleagues at The New York Times) complain about Mr. Obama’s stupendous inattention to the crimes of Wall Street, or to the dereliction of his proconsuls in the SEC and the Department of Justice. I’d at least send somebody to hold a mirror under Eric Holder’s nostrils to see if he is actually alive.
    For my money, the OWSers have plenty to yell about. Apart from the crimes and turpitudes of their elders, the younger generation hasn’t even been prepared for the massive change in reality that these times are heaving them into. If it was me out there, I’d conclude that I’d better make up the future on my own, with no help from my parent’s generation. In fact, that future is rushing toward all of us so cold, hard, and fresh even in this autumn season that it might splatter the banking establishment – and the global economy – like a bug on a windshield. The OWSers have a front row seat down there in lower Manhattan. The financial gangrene (thank you Zero Hedge) is not just seeping anymore, it’s blowing through the arteries of the money underworld like fracking fluid. The damage can’t be contained. Let the Arabs have spring. The OWSers of America own the fall. Rock on OWSers and don’t let the “pigs” (as we used to call them) get you down.”

  8. joe90 12

    http://williamhogeland.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/occupy-wall-street-and-the-history-of-democratic-finance-protest/

    Like it or not, though, it is Occupy Wall Street that has the most in common, ideologically, not with those Boston merchants and their supporters but with the less well-known, less comfortably acknowledged people who, throughout the founding period, cogently proposed and vigorously agitated for an entirely different approach to finance and monetary policy than that carried forward by the famous founders. Amid horrible depressions and foreclosure crises, from the 1750′s through the 1790′s, ordinary people closed debt courts, rescued debt prisoners, waylaid process servers, boycotted foreclosure actions, etc. (More on that here and here.) They were legally barred from voting and holding office, since they didn’t have enough property, so they used their power of intimidation to pressure their legislatures for debt relief and popular monetary policies. Their few leaders in legit politics included the visionary preacher Herman Husband, the weaver William Findley, and the farmer Robert Whitehill.

  9. Rodel 13

    Any chance this kind of protest will reach NZ? I’d join in.

    I’m sick of $5-6 million a year CEOs getting ( note I didn’t say earning) 50 times more than the workers and getting a $3million handshake when they fail… and people simply believing the bullshit that they’re worth it. Kiwis are so apathetic in the face of this obscenity.

    Dave Barry has an excellent article on the nonsensical logic surrounding the myth of CEOs .
    No it’s not envy . It’s good old fashioned egalitarianism! Righties look it up!

  10. I will march against greed in New Zealand! In Australia NewZealand, Ireland and England we used to covet ” Made in the USA” goods, because it meant quality !Now we all have been reduced to junk status by” Made in China” goods ! Greed was the motive ,source it as cheap as you can, no regulations no unions no morals! That and unregulated stock market greed is why we the working class find ourselves very angry without jobs houses or money!

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