More NYPD Police Brutality Against Peaceful Protesters?

Image by William Banzai

Protesters Can Stay … For Now

Billionaire mayor Mike Bloomberg and the owner of “Liberty Park” where the protesters have camped out – Brookfield Properties – announced they were going to evict the protesters for “cleaning”, and not let them bring back their sleeping bags or equipment when they were done.

The protesters noted:

“Brookfield Properties is the 1%. They have invested $24 billion in mortgage-backed securities, so as millions face foreclosure and eviction due to predatory lending and the burst of the housing bubble that Wall Street created, its not surprising they threatened to evict Occupy Wall Street,” said Patrick Burner, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street from the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn. “But Brookfield and Bloomberg have backed down and our movement is only growing as the 99% take to the streets world wide to call for economic justice.”

One commenter tweeted:

This is how we lost the occupied capitol building in Wisconsin. we agreed to move to the ground floor for a “cleaning crew.”

The protesters made a valiant effort to clean up the park so that no one would have an excuse (photos courtesy of Daily Mail):

Before they knew: An Occupy Wall Street protester scrapes paint that has dripped onto the concrete in New York's Zuccotti Park ahead of the planned eviction

Before they knew: An Occupy Wall Street protester scrapes paint that has dripped onto the concrete in New York’s Zuccotti Park ahead of the planned eviction

Wash and tidy: Members of Occupy Wall Street clean Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in New York on Thursday

Wash and tidy: Members of Occupy Wall Street clean Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in New York on Thursday

Big effort: The occupiers used sweeping and mopping equipment in an attempt to clean up the park

Big effort: The occupiers used sweeping and mopping equipment in an attempt to clean up the park.

Entertainment magnate Russell Simmons told Mayor Bloomberg he’d pay to clean up the park.

In the end, Bloomberg and the owners of the park decided to let them stay … at least temporarily. But then things turned violent.

Protesters Hurt

CBS reports:

Protesters, apparently jubilant over being able to stay in the park after their furious cleanup efforts, took their brooms, flags and signs and started fanning out at around 7:30 a.m.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported the protesters were saying things to the effect that now that they’d cleaned up the park, they were going to clean up Wall Street.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg was there when a peaceful march turned violent

“The whole world is watching,” they chanted, reported WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman.

A group of protesters headed south on Broadway toward the New York Stock Exchange, carrying their brooms. Police were taken off-guard, Sandberg reported. The group swelled quickly and wound up in a confrontation with police as they tried to gain access to Wall Street. The standoff occurred near Bowling Green as they turned left on Beaver Street.

Police urged protesters to stay out of the street and stay on the sidewalk.

wall street protest6 Violence Breaks Out During Occupy Wall Street March Toward New York Stock Exchange

New York City police officers runs over a Legal Aid Society observer as Occupy Wall Street demonstrators march through the streets near Wall Street, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Police scooters were shaped like a V and moved toward the protesters in the standoff. One man lost his balance, and was run over by a police scooter. Police descended on the protester and got him out from under the bike. Some witnesses tell Sandberg the man was beaten during the arrest.

More excellent photos courtesy of Daily Mail:

Confrontation: A New York City police officer shoves a demonstrator affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street protests as they march through the streets in the Wall Street area on Friday

Confrontation: A New York City police officer shoves a demonstrator affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street protests as they march through the streets in the Wall Street area on Friday

Happy: Demonstrators with the Occupy Wall Street protests confront New York City police officers

Happy: Demonstrators with the Occupy Wall Street protests confront New York City police officers

***

Injured: Members of Occupy Wall clash with police during a celebration march on Friday morning in New York

Injured: Members of Occupy Wall clash with police during a celebration march on Friday morning in New York [Note: This is not the same protester who was run over by a motorcycle; that gentleman had no facial hair and was more clean-cut and muscular]

Update: The Gothamist reports:

Here is disturbing video of a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild getting run over by an NYPD scooter during this morning’s Occupy Wall Street march. We’re still trying to determine how badly he was injured, but one witness speculated that he broke his leg. Attorney Gideon Oliver, a member of the National Lawyers Guild, confirms that the man seen in this harrowing video is in fact a legal observer for the NLG, and that he was arrested and then hospitalized. He’s currently in police custody in the emergency room. We’ll update more as it comes in, but for now, there’s this:


The NYPD repeatedly drove scooters at high speeds through crowds of demonstrators during this morning’s march, and another demonstrator was beaten after kicking a police scooter. In this case, the unidentified legal observer will be charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, and two counts of criminal mischief.

Oliver tells us, “It’s absolutely outrageous he was assaulted in the first place, it is outrageous that he was arrested, and outrageous he was assaulted after he was arrested—he has injuries to his face. It’s an example of the police putting charges against someone just to cover their ass. We ask that the NYPD releases him without charges immediately after he’s treated.”

Here’s video from a different angle, via The Local:

OWS_PoliceScooter from The Local East Village on Vimeo.

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  • http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/ Dredd

    Your coverage of economics and OWS has been exceptionally well done.

    The germ theory of government must emerge for contemplation in these premises.

  • tal

    Brookfield Properties didn’t evict the protesters because they have no legal right to do so. The more Brookfield pushes against the protesters, the more the protesters will delve into interesting details of the company & the mayor whose ‘significant other’ sits on Brookfield Properties’ board of directors. Mayor Bloomberg is the 10th richest individual in the US with an estimated fortune of 18.1 BILLION. Brookfield Properties just received a $168.9 million loan guarantee (of taxpayer dollars) from the Obama administration. THEY are the .01%.

    “The park was built originally in a 1968 deal between the builders of the U.S. Steel tower (the building presently called One Liberty) that allowed them to build nine stories higher than zoning laws permitted in exchange for creating a public plaza that would by law be open to the public and subject to various restrictions in its design and operation meant to ensure that the park would be useful to the public.

    “These aren’t privately-owned spaces that the developers have in their magnanimity allowed the public to use,” said Gregory Smithsimon, an assistant professor of urban sociology at Brooklyn College and author of The Beach Beneath the Streets: Contesting New York City’s Public Spaces. “There’s really an explicit contract between the developer and the public.”

    It’s a contract enshrined, in part, in New York City law regulating the existence of “bonus plazas” and other publicly owned private spaces.

    When it comes to Zuccotti Park, that agreement is also enshrined in city records dating back to the 1960s, obtained by Smithsimon under a Freedom of Information Law request this week.”

    http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/10/3608746/owners-park-center-occupy-wall-street-protests-are-losing-patience-w

    Also see this great takedown:

    http://glennobrien.com/?p=146

  • Jeff

    I think the passivity of the crowd is disheartening while one of their members is brutalized. The sheer numbers involved there could easily mow down those cops within seconds. Granted, the cops have weapons, and serious injury or death can occur. It is not easy to assume the risks associated with self-defense when you can give up or flee. Just as the cops make examples of some of the protestors, the protestors could easily make examples of some of the cops, whether on or off the battlefield.

    • Concerned Octopus

      The police already know this. That is why they lash out – because they are afraid. The protesters need to perform the job the police should have been doing. Who do the NYPD claim to Protect and Serve by defending Wall Street trash that funnel money into the drug and sex trade in NYC? If the police won’t do their job, then those men with real backbones must begin the dirty work of cleaning up the offices of high finance; starting by taking out the underworld trash they support.

    • Big Swede

      I think that would have been incredibly stupid, these occupations, can gain nothing with violence. Let’s not dumb it down!

      Violence is what the police are trained for, let them make fools of them selfs til they get arrested.

      Just make sure that camera is aimed.

    • signalfire

      Their authority comes from their uniforms, their badges, their guns, mace, handcuffs and billy clubs. TAKE THEM AWAY!!! If that crowd had surged forward and stripped those cops naked and thrown them back into the greater crowd, how many cops would come out the next day and the next and the next? How much money does JP Morgan Chase have to buy replacement clothes for all the cops?

      WE PAID FOR THAT GEAR AND IT’S BEING USED AGAINST US! The cops can still change sides, but until they wise up and do, it’s us against the Praetorian Guard (Caesar’s guards).

      TAKE OFF THEIR FUCKING CLOTHES, STRIP THEM NAKED, THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!!!!

  • amicusbriefs

    Public parks, public roads, bridges, waterways and common areas are not the property of the State. The State is the legal custodian, and the funds for maintenance come from the public. The people are the owners of these facilities. Unconstitutional restrictions or the unauthorized sale and transfer of these people-owned facilities to private equity is criminal.

  • http://Myownmarketnarrative.blogspot.com Never accept the terms of service

    Jeff above, that is why I don’t agree with this “Arab spring” comparison. People over there were ready to fight for their rights. These guys are just asking to be beaten.

  • fnook

    Never accept the terms of service:

    Facile comparisons to Arab Springs and “people over there” aren’t helpful. I take it you don’t believe in the power of non-violent civil disobedience in the U.S? Too bad, as others do and there are huge opportunities for effective non-violent action going on now, as we speak. In many places relations between protestors and local police are going quite well, as the police are part of the 99% too.

  • David

    LOL!! Keep it up Flea Party … Great entertainment! And yes … the world is watching!!

  • Charles Yaker

    Somebody remind me. Where there Monetery damages paid by the city to people arrested after the Republican Convention and are the New York City taxpayers on the hook for this. If so somebody should remind them in such a way that they demand that their Mayor stand down.

  • http://Uh Ben Heckscher

    Is it me, or is he laying parallel to the scooter at 0:23 and then has his leg underneath at 0:30?
    Something bugs me about a lot of these videos: the focus is on police brutality rather than on the message of OccupyWallStreet. Not only do these officers clearly have a duty to keep streets clear of pedestrians, but there is sometimes an element of goading the police. I don’t hear a single allusion to what people are actually protesting about here – this doesn’t get the message across. Are we mad about these police officers or about the financial industry? At about 2:40 we hear people talking about when to get arrested – they’re doing it on purpose, which is fine to draw attention, but don’t get all indignant about it!

  • Betty Bop

    Don’t worry–sometime soon the .01 will pay some dumb ass to carry a weapon into the protests and shoot a cop and then, it’s “game on.”

    They’ll come down so hard that Arab Spring will seem prosaic.

    Because the truth is, the US is now better equipped to deliver martial law than we are to educate kindergarteners.

    It’s what the .01 percent has been planning for all along. If the .01 weren’t afraid of picking their own lettuce, and cleaning up their own shit, the 99 percent would have been reduced to rubble years ago.

  • http://www.attackandcritique@blogspot.com Frank Miata

    Dear Washington Blog,
    Ms. Bop has a point about the country being more than prepared for riotous behavior. However, the people out in the streets in New York are not street fighter and when they are brutalized by the police, the deligitimization of the State power is evident. Street fighter Jeff misses the point, this is a political struggle above all: nonviolence is the perfect tactical appoarch because the State really can’t handle it.
    As good as it might sound to deliver street justice to the cops, it is a lossing tatic and could turn the public against the demonstrators in the short run.

    • Kat

      Very good point there. ^^

  • Kat

    I personally would have to agree, to some degree at least, with all of you. You all bring up a rather smart choice, maybe one that should be delivered to the protesters. But the singularly most important massage that needs to be gotten across is: What exactly does OccupyWallStreet want? Do they want to protest against the 1%, or do they want to piss off the police as much as possible? A sympathy vote is not going to win them anything in this battle. Maybe it’s time the US learned when to pick it’s battles.
    And the saddest thing of all, is that I’m 14 and already smarter than them…

 

 

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