Mayor Bloomberg & NYPD seem to be losing their patience with the #OccupyWallSt protests. “People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it,” Bloomberg said last week.
This past Saturday hundreds of people carrying banners and chanting “shame, shame” walked between Zuccotti Park, near Wall St., and Union Square. The National Lawyer’s Guild said the arrests are nearing 100.
Protesters report the NYPD using typical crowd control tactics like breaking the crowd into smaller groups, attempting to herd protesters in different directions and other divide and conquer tactics. Chaos ensued as protesters became confused and then agitated, which was no doubt the goal of the NYPD. Typically in these situations if law enforcement can provoke a reaction from a peaceful crowd that gives them pretext to shut the protest down.
“These type of tactics are typical , especially when you have military contractors like RAND corporation writing NYPD policy and procedures. They use the same techniques in Afghanistan.” said one “Anonymous” protester.
Footage of the attacks show several young women, being held in a makeshift pen, surrounded by orange nets and NYPD officers. All of these women could have easily been cuffed and subdued by the officers, instead one higher ranking officer approached quickly sprayed the girls who were holding up their fingers in a gesture of peace. The officers then bolted from the scene possibly to mace other protesters?
“I saw a girl get slammed on the ground. I turned around and started screaming,” said Chelsea Elliott, 25, from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who said she was sprayed. “I turned around and a cop was coming … we were on the sidewalk and we weren’t doing anything illegal.”
“I was shocked because it seemed like one person after another was being brutally tackled, and it wasn’t clear why,I was deeply disturbed to see them throw a man [down] and immediately they were pounding on him. Their arms were going back in the air. I couldn’t believe how violent five people needed to be against one unarmed man.” Meaghan Linick told the NY Daily News.
As the evening progressed tensions seemed to mount as police amassed, and rumors of more mass arrests circulated. Main stream media set up cameras along Broadway which may have affected the NYPD’s decision to sweep the park. As of sunrise Sunday morning there were no more arrests.