An Amazing scene in Washington Square Park before last night’s arrests. Of interest is the difference between the decency of the rank and file police officer who just wants to go home and his superiors, in white shirts, who can’t resist a bit of petty obnoxiousness. Also note their efforts to avoid any press witnessing or recording of the arrests. Freedom of the Press is as contingent as Freedom of Speech and Assembly in Bloomberg’s New York:
The owner of the park (with billionaire Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend on its board) backed down on ordering the NYPD to evict Occupy Wall Street. Here the news is read to the assembled crowd ready to resist eviction:
On the negative side, the Colorado Governor and Denver Mayor moved to evict Occupy Denver, in a move to crush protest there.
A handful of people have been arrested as police in riot gear moved into the Occupy Denver camp in front of the Colorado Capitol early this morning to dismantle tents and remove debris.
The initial order to disperse came shortly before 3 a.m., but arrests weren’t made until after 6 a.m.
Around 6:25 this morning, police marched lock-step through the camp, moving protesters into the street.
“The whole world is watching,” chanted some protesters.
A core group of about 25 people remained around a makeshift structure that served as the camp’s kitchen and medical tent, dubbed by protesters the “thunderdome.”
Some of the core protesters who refused to leave were physically lifted by police, moved out of the immediate area and then allowed to disperse on their own.
By 7 a.m., only about a half dozen protesters remained.
By 7:30, officials had dismantled the “thunderdome.”
Chris, a 21-year-old student from Naropa University in Boulder who refused to give his last name, was among the final protesters. He said police gave him the option to leave or be arrested. He decided to leave.
“I don’t want to pay a fine to finance more billy-clubs and tear gas to be used to repress my brothers and sisters,” Chris said.
Casey Childers, a 27-year-old student from the University of Colorado at Denver, said she was kicked off a median in the middle of Colfax where she was holding a sign with a blue peace sign on it.
“They showed up in full riot gear and all we have are signs and slogans,” Childers said. “I’m very concerned we are not able to protest peacefully and freely.”
The protesters say they will regroup later today.
The experience of the last few weeks make clear that authorities, whether Democratic or Republican, are threatened by spontaneous protest and will crush it if they can.
[Boston Police attack Veterans for Peace (white flags) at Occupy Boston ]
Early this morning, Boston Police moved in and arrested oer 100 at Occupy Boston’s second site:
At 1:20 am, police moved in with more than 16 police vans along with police cruisers and unmarked vehicles on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Boston. Officers dressed in black and equipped with plastic handcuffs surrounded part of the camp, protesters were given a five minute warning to leave or be arrested. Most protesters remained, linking arms with each other and peacefully resisting. Police moved in and, according to Boston.com, “each protester was individually put on his or her stomach, cable-tied, and dragged off as others tore down tents and arrested and detained people on the fringe of the park.”
Eye witness reports and video have come in showing that police dealt violently with members of Veterans for Peace who had come to support Occupy Boston. Other reports are still coming in regarding other instances of police brutality, but remain unconfirmed.
Some street medics, clearly marked with red crosses, were arrested despite repeated requests for medical attention from some of the protestors. One street medic on the scene who was not arrested said that police refused to call EMTs. There have been no reports of pepper spray being used on protestors.
Please flood Mayor Menino’s phone line with protests: 617.635.4500.
“Many things separate us,” he said. “National borders. Homeland insecurities. Armies, corporations and police. They have their laws. They have their debts. And we have our revolution. We are the 99 percent.”
Ezzeldin, a 28-year-old self-described “leftist activist” who is currently living in Jackson Heights and studying at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, told HuffPost he was camped out in Tahrir Square just a few months ago and is now spending days in Zuccotti Park. [From Huffington Post.
Patrick Howley, an editor from the right-wing rag, The American Spectator, brags online of his efforts to incite violence at yesterday’s Air and Space Museum protest.
After sneaking past the guard at the first entrance, I found myself trapped in a small entranceway outside the second interior door behind a muscle-bound left-wing fanatic and a 300-pound guard. The fanatic shoved the guard and the guard shoved back, hard, sending this comrade — and, by domino effect, me — sprawling against the wall. After squeezing myself out from under him, I sprinted toward the door. Then I got hit.
Being pepper-sprayed is a singularly agonizing experience — enormously painful, but even worse for a hypochondriac. When the spray begins soaking into your eyeball, swelling your eyelids and rendering them largely inoperable, it’s hard not to worry that you might soon have to invest in stronger-prescription glasses.
But as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story. Under a cloud of pepper spray I forced myself into the doors and sprinted blindly across the floor of the Air and Space Museum, drawing the attention of hundreds of stunned khaki-clad tourists (some of whom began snapping off disposable-camera portraits of me). I strained to glance behind me at the dozens of protesters I was sure were backing me up, and then I got hit again, this time with a cold realization: I was the only one who had made it through the doors. As two guards pointed at me and started running, I dodged a circle of gawking old housewives and bolted upstairs.
The tourist reaction within the museum — like the reactions of those on D.C. tour buses and sidewalks Saturday — was one of confusion and mild irritation. In the absence of definitive national polling on the matter, that may be the best opinion sample we yet have of this rash of ill-defined, anti-corporate and anti-bailout protests developing across the country. What began on Wall Street is now spreading, and the question still remains: is it dangerous?
He admits the protesters were not seeking a confrontation:
But just as the lefties couldn’t figure out how to run their assembly meeting (many process points, I’m afraid to report, were left un-twinkled), so too do they lack the nerve to confront authority.
From accounts I’ve read, it sounds at least plausible that there may not have been any pepper spray incident if Patrick Howley had not set out to create trouble. What do you want to bet there won’t be any investigation of this deliberate attempt to provoke violence?