In all of these instances, most people think the problem is that these are the acts of a “few bad apples.” But taken together, one has to ask: Should an orchard producing so many bad apples be allowed to continue operating?
Another question is raised by the attitude of some activists in the Occupy Wall Street struggle who believe that the police are part of the “99 percent” that the movement is speaking for. For example, when the arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge were taking place, some marchers who hadn’t been trapped appealed to police with chants of “Join us, you’re one of us.”
A group of occupiers have made their way to the Citibank branch at 555 Laguardia, where they attempted to close their accounts with the bank. They were promptly locked in the branch and are currently being arrested by NYPD.
VIDEO 4: NYPD officer runs over observer for the National Lawyer’s Guild with a scooter, and leaves it on him, before another officer lunges in with a baton. They later “brutally dragged the injured man away, flipped him over, and kneed him full force in the small of the back as they handcuffed and arrested him.”
VIDEO 3: In Belgium, a plainclothes police officer kicks an “indignant” protester associated with the Spanish movement full-on in the face during an occupation of a bank there. The police officer was later arrested. This is the difference between police brutality in the US and in the EU…
To the Mayor of Seattle and SPD: Stop Harassing the Occupiers!
So being a Seattle native, I still have a soft spot for my fellow rabble-rousers in the Northwest. Especially when I read that Occupy Portland had 3-5,000 people marching last weekend! The last thing Seattle needs is more of an inferiority complex about competing with Portland :) so I was glad to hear that Occupy Seattle is picking up some steam this week, slowly winning over the local unions and local media (The Stranger!) alike.
However, reading about how the Seattle Police Department and the Mayor’s Office have treated the occupiers is really disappointing. Over the past few days, they have been harassed by SPD and Park Police constantly, forbidding them from setting up tents, trying to drive them from the square, and generally being assholes. It’s gone so far that the Seattle Police have been ticketing drivers who drive by the occupation and honk in support. Can you believe that? Now, fast-forward to last night:
Mayor’s office spokesman Aaron Pickus said about an hour ago that cops wouldn’t bug protesters at Westlake Park tonight as long as they didn’t have a “structure.” But other than that, things were hunky-dorey.
Cut to right now.
Police are aggressively clearing people out of the park. Cops are telling people they can’t stand underneath the awnings, can’t wrap themselves in a tarp, and can’t even sit down with an umbrella. “You can’t have an umbrella open unless you’re standing and holding it,” a cop reportedly just told a few people who were sitting down next to their umbrellas. Paul Contant, intrepid reporter, just called to confirm that person’s account. And he added, “The cops are lined up under the awnings—I tried to get under an awning to type and and they told me I cannot be under the awning at all.” Police are also telling people they can’t lay under a tarp.
That’s right: you can now be arrested in Seattle’s Westlake Park for sitting down while holding an umbrella to protect yourself from the rain. All because the Mayor’s new ‘rules’ for the park, updated a couple days ago (conveniently), forbid erecting a structure in the park. And umbrellas apparently count as a structure to the police.
So, this is bullshit, right? I’ve already written the mayor to let him know that he can kiss my vote for his re-election goodbye if he doesn’t cut this out immediately. But we need as much help as we can get. If you can spare a couple minutes today, please let Mayor McGinn’s office know that you DO NOT approve of his strong-arm tactics to break up this demonstration!
On October 7, 2011, representatives from Occupy Portland, the Portland Marathon, the Mayor’s office, and the City of Portland met to discuss plans for Chapman Park and Lownsdale Square.
After the conclusion of yesterday’s successful march, numerous people asked for permission to camp in the parks overnight. Those camping were told that the Portland Marathon has had a long-standing permit that began on October 7 at 9 a.m., to allow for preparations before Sunday’s Portland Marathon. This morning, Occupy Portland’s General Assembly held a press conference and stated that they were in support of the Portland Marathon and wanted to work collaboratively on an agreement that would suit the needs of both organizations.
The communication between all the parties has been marked by a desire to be collaborative. At this time, discussions are productive, but have not reached a final conclusion. We will release further updates as discussions progress.
The mood in the parks is relaxed, and people who are camping are otherwise following park rules. The Police Bureau will continuously monitor the camping situation, but are not expecting any large-scale issues.
Last night, one man and one juvenile were arrested by Central Precinct night shift officers after they were observed by a citizen “tagging” several locations in Downtown Portland, including a marked Portland Police Bureau patrol car. The Portland Police Bureau will make arrests as necessary, as we are committed to public safety. However, we believe there is a spirit of cooperation with Occupy Portland, and that participants are educating each other in an effort to deter further criminal activity.
Talk about setting a great example! NYPD, SFPD, Seattle PD, etc.: are you listening?
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET Protest Arrests; Local NY News Crew Hit by Mace, Baton
The protests on Wall Street continue to grow. The rallies and their participants are showing no signs of slowing down. Wednesday evening, crowds surged past barriers and NYPD officers moved in to contain the protesters. By many accounts, mayhem broke out.
Officers swatted protesters with batons and sprayed them with mace, according to video from the scene.
Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes by mace, and Fox 5 reporter Dick Brennan was hit by what he believes was an officer’s baton.
Both were all right and continued to cover the protests and arrests.
Cops arrested dozens of protesters, but the final tally was not known.