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Students Support Occupy Wall Street, Shut Down Traffic

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“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.

 

Related content:

San Francisco Occupiers Fight Back Against Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street’ Issues First Official Statement

5 Ways To Support The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement

Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread Across The Nation

Wall Street Protests: Police Brutality Caught On Tape [Video]

Hundreds Occupy Wall Street In Protest Of Broken Financial System

 

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.

 

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Photos by Jimmy Carr

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26 comments

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8:44AM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

PRAISE GOD! WE ARE MARCHING FOR OUR RIGHTS!

3:37PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

I never stop at Starbucks. Starbucks founder and CEO is for tax fairness.

9:28AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

As the anti-corporate protesters walk down the street carrying their cellphones and iPods, then hit Starbucks on the way home...

12:22AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:28PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

NYPD one layoff away from being in the march..

8:18PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

I just left the Occupy rally in San Diego. It was great, couple of thousand very peaceful people. It was populated with diverse opinions on the changes needed. But the main themes seemed to be stop the wall st greed and the manipulation of our wealth into their hands. The need to pass the President's jobs bill. Our number one need right now is jobs. Call the Republican leaders to demand that they stop trying to ruin President Obama and do the right thing for the American worker. Demand that they pass the jobs bill.

8:11PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

New York's finest…

5:12PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

1.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was A Civil Disobedience Action Against A Private Corporation. In 1773, agitators blocked the importation of tea by East India Trading Company ships across the country.
2.) The Original Boston Tea Party Feared That Corporate Greed Would Destroy America. As Professor Benjamin Carp has argued, colonists perceived the East India Trading Company as a “fearsome monopolistic company that was going to rob them blind and pave the way maybe for their enslavement.”
3.) The Original Boston Tea Party Believed Government Necessary To Protect Against Corporate Excess. Smithsonian historian Barbara Smith has noted that Samuel Adams believed that oppression could occur when governments are too weak.
4.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was Sparked By A Corporate Tax Cut For A British Corporation. The Tea Act, a law by the British Parliament exempting tea imported by the East India Trading Company from taxes and allowing the corporation to directly ship its tea to the colonies for sale, is credited with setting off the Boston Tea Party.
5.) The Original Boston Tea Party Wanted A Stronger Democracy. There is a common misconception that the Boston Tea Party was simply a revolt against taxation. The truth is much more nuanced, and there were many factors behind the opposition to the East India Company and the British government.

Yeah, #Occupy is WAY more like the original Boston Tea Party than the astro-turf organization of the same name.

3:53PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Since most all avenues are closed to any person getting their rights back.....what else can the citizens do???
We could behead them..eat them (eat the rich) oh..how about 'tar and feathering them' ?

Did anyone see the pictures of the wall street employees drinking champagne while watching the people marching by?

What more does any one need to see and have done to them before they 'get it'?

Vote and stand up for your rights.

11:29AM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

'bout time!!! Go USA!

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