In what appears to have been an unprecedented coordinated clampdown on peaceful protest, the NYPD today trapped and arrested hundreds.
Today, New York witnessed an unprecedented clampdown on the constitutional right to peaceful civic protest: in what appears to have been a coordinated move by authorities, the NYPD tricked protesters into walking onto Brooklyn Bridge so it could execute a meticulously planned mass arrest of hundreds of entirely peaceful protesters. Among the 400+ detainees were at least two young children, a photographer and a freelance journalist.
UPDATE: Associated Press just revised the total tally of the NYPD’s detention spree up to 700.
The demonstrators were taking part in a positive-spirited march organized by the budding Occupy Wall Street movement, which seeks to draw attention to the crimes and injustices perpetrated by the U.S. financial sector. The Wall Street Journal (that lovely piece of Murdoch-owned corporate propaganda) was one of the first to report on today’s mass arrests:
On its City Room blog, the New York Times reported that:
Posted: 01 Oct 2011 05:44 PM PDT
As thousands occupy Brooklyn Bridge in New York, major unions throw their weight behind the protests and solidarity occupations take off across the nation.
Thousands of protesters have occupied Brooklyn Bridge en route to Wall Street today, in what is undoubtedly the biggest day of protests in the Big Apple since the occupation started exactly two weeks ago. Early reports from the movement’s organization claim that the NYPD has blocked the bridge’s exits, kettled the protesters, and arrested at least 50 people so far (UPDATE: 400+ arrestsaccording to Reuters!).
Today’s march and mass arrests come exactly a week after a bout of police violence saw at least 80 people arrested and numerous injured. Yesterday, some 1,000 demonstrators marched on the NYPD headquarters to complain about the entirely unwarranted police repression of last week. In the meantime, as the images of police brutality went viral (our piece was shared by over 10,000 people on Facebook), the movement appears to have grown wings, inspiring solidarity occupations across the nation, from Boston to LA, and beyond.
While CNN is busy covering the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera covers the American Fall. Last week, the Qatar-based broadcaster observed that “The protests on Wall Street are growing larger, despite police using pepper spray and making arrests.” Today, it reported that:
The Washington Post observes that the movement is largely being ignored by the mainstream media, even on the left:
Yet the protesters must be doing something right. As Jim Newell writes for Gawker:
Business Insider made a similar observation, writing that:
All in all, with labor unions joining their side, a nationwide outburst of solidarity protests, and thousands of New Yorkers flocking into Lower Manhattan to join the largest march in the 2-week lifespan of the movement, one thing is now abundantly clear: these protests are not going to go away anytime soon. In fact, they are only growing stronger, bigger, more diverse and more defiant. It took some time, but it looks like the sleeping giant is finally starting to wake up: