Today, New York witnessed a clampdown on the constitutional right to protest: The NYPD kettled the march on the Brooklyn Bridge, and arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters. Among the 700+ detainees were at least two young children, a photographer, and a freelance journalist.
According to Occupy Wall Street (local times):
5:15PM – Brooklyn Bridge has been shut down by police
5:55PM – At least 50 arrested.
8:17PM – NYTimes reporting hundreds arrested – including a reporter – police appear to have deliberately misled protesters.
8:40PM – Around 400 peaceful protesters arrested.
10/2 2:20AM – Over 700 protesters arrested.
New York City Indymedia reported:
OCCUPY WALL STREET: TODAY’S ARRESTS ON BROOKLYN BRIDGEUPDATE 2-About 400 arrested in Wall Street protest. In addition to what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment of minorities, including Muslims, the movement is also protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts. . . . The group has gained support among some union members. The United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which has 38,000 members, are among those pledging solidarity.
According to the Guardian:
The march ended in chaotic scenes with police buses driving up the bridge to be filled with arrested marchers. The packed buses then drove off to central booking. Meanwhile, other marchers waited at the bottom of the bridge’s Manhattan side and cheered as some released protesters, or those who had escaped being blocked off, came back down. «Let them go! Let them go!» was a frequent chant.
It was a different scene from the night before when an equally large march had ended up at the city’s police headquarters. That demonstration had been against the brutal treatment meted out by some police on protesters on a march the weekend before. Video of one senior police officer spraying pepper spray on female protesters went viral on the internet and drew widespread condemnation.
But the incident did help put the Occupy Wall Street movement into American newspapers and TV shows that had hitherto paid it little attention. The group, drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, say they are inspired by social movements in Spain and the Arab spring. Last week the protesters attracted numerous celebrity visits, including actor Susan Sarandon and film-maker Michael Moore. This week they are expected to get an injection of support from local labour unions.
On its City Room blog, the New York Times reported that:
…many protesters said that they thought the police had tricked and trapped them, allowing them onto the bridge and even escorting them across, only to surround them in orange netting after hundreds of them had entered.
“The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us on to the roadway,” said Jesse A. Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street who was in the march but was not arrested.
Meanwhile, street protests spread to other cities. «People rallied in Albuquerque, New Mexico … and marched to City Hall in Los Angeles. In Chicago, the crowd outside the Federal Reserve Bank began growing a week ago. People rallied in Albuquerque, New Mexico … and marched to City Hall in Los Angeles. In Chicago, the crowd outside the Federal Reserve Bank began growing a week ago» claims Occupy Together! «The movement has also started to spread in significant numbers to several other major cities. On Saturday in Los Angeles hundreds of protesters marched on the city hall with the intention of starting a similar encampment. In Boston protesters have already started camping out in Dewey square, near the city’s financial district. Unlike in New York, where protesters are not allowed to create shelter in Zuccotti park, Occupy Boston has been able to set up rows of tents,» says the Guardian…
More updates as they come…
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