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September 21, 2011
Occupy Wall Street: Day 5 - Two More Violent Arrests
By Chaz Valenza
Yesterday, Tuesday, September 20th was hump day for Occupy Wall Street. It was a tough one. The word came down from on high: Use some intimidation and get these assholes out of Liberty Plaza and out of the city.
New arrest video is now available on: GlobalRevolution
Two eyewitnesses (see video) have confirmed that two more violent arrests. Police claim protester was told to get out of the street when he was already on the sidewalk curb. The account of the other arrest said a protester stepped into the street to ask an NYPD officer a question.
Yesterday, Tuesday, September 20th was hump day for Occupy Wall Street. It was a tough one.
According The Guardian UK and the New York Times: "One of New York's better-known billionaires, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, commented on the protests: 'You have a lot of kids graduating college, can't find jobs. That's what happened in Cairo. That's what happened in Madrid. You don't want those kinds of riots here.'"
So, the word came down from on high: Use some intimidation and get these assholes out of Liberty Plaza and out of the city.
The NYPD started with a couple of nonsense arrests on Sunday and equally easy harassment tactics.
They confiscated the gasoline needed to run the generators that supplied the power to the live video stream. You know, fire hazard, can't have that in the park.
They also intercepted resupplies of food and water. Can't bring all that stuff in the park, sorry.
They also had a thing about bullhorns (too loud), signs (can't put those up) and writing on the sidewalk with chalk (two arrests, they are both back at Liberty Plaza).
But yesterday the NYPD saw what they thought was their moment and took a shot.
Just after 7:30 a.m. it was raining. Perfect. A white shirted senior officer entered the park with reinforcements. He made a quick announcement. He wanted all the tarps and signs down in five minutes. But he didn't wait the five minutes.
Seconds later three protesters were in the clutches of some big blue shirts. One was a key media team person. These were people trying to protect the communications equipment from the rain.
The police strategy was simple: get that video feed stopped. Make a show of force. Scare the crap out of these whiners and poop this little party.
In the resulting scuffle one protester lost a tooth. There's a great photo of an officer stepping on another protester's ankle and doing a little hop with the other foot - a little dance otherwise known as the NYPD Two-Step. (I'm hoping it will become a mocking sensation across the nation.) It's all on tape and it's brutal.
This all happened with a senior officer in a white shirt watching closely. He will be the one that will testify that there was no action taken against those being arrested that was not warranted.
(One suggestion to those with cameras should this happen again: don't just shoot the action, get shots of the NYPD officers' faces and shields.)
None of this mattered in the end. The mass media did not pick up the story. The protesters did not leave. The General Assemble meetings went on. The working groups: comfort, out-reach, media, etc. continued to do their jobs. The space was not surrendered.
Later, the rain stopped. And much later, at about 9:30, at the tail end of the General Assembly meeting a representative from out-reach had an announcement and offer for consideration.
He had spoken to the International Workers NYC local. They represent restaurant and retail workers to name a few. They wanted to help, they wanted to join the effort. The General Assembly shouted their unanimous approval.
An Industrial Workers of the World NYC-GMB representative would come to address Occupy Wall Street. The time was set for 12:30 p.m. today. The IWW would send their workers and the children of their workers for an evening march of solidarity tomorrow, Thursday, September 23.
To the Party of Wall Street: see that light at the end of the tunnel? It's a train.
And that, my friends, is what democracy looks like.
10:00 AM - Live video stream from Occupy Wall Street down. Communications team has been allocated money to purchase better equipment and get it up and running for Thurs. Sept. 22.
11:00 AM - Vote on Occupy Wall Street Demands: HERE
12:30 PM - NYPD Officer Caradona the punched a woman in the face and tackled another to the ground! Both protesters arrested.
2:01 PM - Speakers in Liberty Plaza are not allowed to "stand" when the speak.
3:00 PM - Printable flyer for NYC 9/24 Events available: HERE
(As I did yesterday - I will post time-stamped updates as revisions to this article above. I will be at the event on Thursday, September 22nd.)
Today's Occupy Wall Street Agenda:
Facilitation Training - 12:30 pm
IWW Local Workers Struggles - 12:30 pm
Teamsters Meeting - 2:00 pm
General A ssembly - 4:30 pm
March!!! - 5:00 pm
Corporate Personhood Presentation - 5:00 pm
Social Media Training - 8:00 pm
General Assembly - 9:00 pm
Above is the image the authorities did their best to stop on Saturday, September 17 by closing all entries to Wall Street. Protesters in front of the sacrosanct NYSE.
Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is: www.WordsWillNever.com