***** latest from OccupyWallStreet at OccupyWallSt.org: A little after 9:00pm tonight, police moved in and used billy clubs and pepper spray on protestors. Several members of the media team were arrested. Go to OccupyWallSt.org and their LiveStream for videos of the incident as well as the aftermath in the paddy wagon. I was in the park until about 7:45 pm tonight. Throughout the day and into the evening, the interactions I witnessed between the protestors and police were overwhelmingly positive. Each side treated the other with mutual respect and protestors exercised control over the rowdier and angrier protestors, keeping everyone cool, calm and collected. OTOH, it must have been a long day for the NYPD. The march went on for hours into the evening and by the time we got back to Zuccotti Park, it was pretty clear that a lot of protestors had no intention of melting into the night and going home. They’re here to stay. If you drive them away, they’ll just come back. It’s hard to tell from the OccupyWallSt videos what exactly sparked the crackdown. But I doubt that the media team had done anything to provoke the kind of action they were subject to. None of the organizers or media team members looked like loaded springs looking for trouble.
My best guess is that the NYPD was given the go ahead to clear the park tonight and getting the media team out of the way was the first step. Turns out that some protestors were trying to cross the barrier that kept them out of Wall Street, which makes you wonder why the police are trying to keep the protestors off of Wall Street. Are they also barricading the bankers out of the rest of Manhattan? I mean, if we’re trying to keep dangerous people from getting out of control, we should build a cage around Wall Street and knock *their* bandwidth back to dial up speed. See how they like it. Anyway, the crackdown didn’t help at all. There are plenty of people with cell phones who will race to the nearest Starbucks to upload to youtube.
Keep an eye on this.
Onto some of my pics. Will load as I import them. I won’t write a whole bunch because I’m flagged but here’s the good stuff:
This is pre-march footage from Zuccotti Park. The park was packed. It’s not a big park. It’s about a block wide and half a block long (if that makes sense). I was standing under the big orange tripod and got a good shot of the crowd. As you will note, everyone there is young but some of them were on the older end of the young spectrum.