For those of you who weren’t up late last night watching the livestream and following the #ows feed on Twitter, let me tell you what went down.
At about one o’clock in the morning, police entered Zuccotti Park and rousted the Occupiers. The protestors were told to remove their belongings and leave the park. Some, of course, refused. Many, however, not wishing to be arrested, chose to comply with police orders.
Note that when you’ve been living in a tent, it is not possible to carry all of your possessions in one armload. Nevertheless, when the *compliant* protestors exited the park, the police did not allow them to come back in to get the rest of their stuff. Everything–tents, clothes, electronics, etc–was scooped up, thrown into dumpsters, and hauled away by the police.
Note also that some of the people who’d been sleeping in the park were actually homeless, and the police destroyed everything they had.
Meanwhile, the remaining (resistant but peaceful) protestors inside the park, the protestors on the perimeter of the park, and the bystanders on the perimeter of the park were tear-gassed and beaten with batons.
Also meanwhile, the press was barred from the scene. Reporters were stopped by police and not allowed within blocks of the park, and news helicopters were not allowed to fly overhead. Total media blackout. Some reporters, trying to do their jobs, were beaten, tear-gassed, and arrested, as was a New York City Councilman.
This morning a judge ruled that the protestors’ rights had been violated and the city needed to allow them, with tents, back into the park. The city refused to comply with the court order. Later in the day, a judge ruled in favor of the city.
The next action by Occupy Wall Street is being planned. As has happened in other cities, the use of repressive, police-state tactics only increases support for the movement and swells the number of protestors.
This scene has come to a close, but the movie is far from over.
EDITED TO ADD:
In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Seattle staged a march and a sit-in today. In apparent solidarity with the NYPD, Seattle PD indiscriminately hosed peaceful protestors with pepper spray.
The coordinated crackdown conducted by municipalities around the country in the past few days has galvanized and strengthened the protestors. Revolution is brewing. Can’t you hear the drums?
Here’s a little citizen journalism for you.
And here’s one of those very dangerous hippie communist protestors, after taking a face full of pepper spray.