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
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.
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, 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.
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
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: