“Are you gonna pen us in? Are you gonna trap us like animals?” shouted the crowd. The protesters claim that these same orange nets were used to force them onto the road on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, resulting in the mass arrests. One protester who has been arrested that day said, “They’re going to start arresting people. They’re going to close us in. Wait for the paddywagons.”
The paddywagons came, as did officers with large bunches of flexcuffs visibly attached to their pockets. As these officers positioned themselves, the real reinforcements arrived from Wall Street: police officers mounted on horses. The protesters screamed their disapproval, disgust and fear at such a show of force. According to witnesses, one woman punched an officer in the face, was sprayed with pepper spray, cuffed and arrested. Another man was cuffed and taken away, though it was not immediately clear what he was accused of doing. “Shame! Shame! Shame!” the crowd yelled.
By now, the students and the fair-weather observers were gone; those camping in Liberty Plaza don’t have homework to do. Yet, during the day, these same protesters held signs supporting particular reforms or changes. At night, it becomes hard to tell which causes the marchers support. Instead, they seem united in opposition to one thing: the NYPD. The marches—which, during the day, were displays of support and of peaceful anger, became little more than a means of frustrating and goading the NYPD.
Evening brings nastier run-ins
After the march on Wall Street, a smaller contingent headed further south toward Bowling Green. Before reaching there, however, the march fell apart into a series of altercations and arrests that sent protesters running and officers chasing to tackle. These happened so quickly and sporadically, however, that it’s tough to figure out why most occurred. At one scene, protesters asked angrily, “What did she do?” The officer responded, “Why did you run?”
After regrouping, the marchers set out again, this time winding a path throughout the Financial District that did finally bring them to Wall Street. Tensions rose, and then subsided, when the orange net again made a brief appearance. In-fighting began in the self-proclaimed “leaderless group” over which direction to take the march. The human mic wasn’t working, so the group broke apart. As the protesters turned west toward Liberty Plaza—temporary home for many—the march became a quieted trudge. Many would continue their night with additional marches and assemblies, but for some, it was time to rest so that they could occupy Wall Street again on Thursday.
This first-person account comes from Jimmy Carr, a sophomore at NYU, where he studies journalism, Arabic and history with a focus on wars and revolutions. He has also written for Movements.org and BornLikeThis.org.
Photos by Jimmy Carr
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.