MASS ARRESTS IN NY November 19, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Social Environment, US Politics.
The arrests were not limited to New York with the suggestion that there has been a coordinated effort to “evict” the occupy encampments across the country.
Perceptions of the dynamics of events are different based on the direct observations of live streaming and the reports of the mainstream press. What is the objective description?
There are, in my opinion, good reasons to consider major quality newspapers as important as journals of record and opinion. For one thing they provide an aggregation of news that no single individual can match. We can read critically, but hopefully not dismissively. We cannot help but be aware that their business model is in crisis, although I thought the Leunig Calendar was worth the price of the paper today.
The Sydney Morning Herald carried an article concerning the multiple arrests in New York during the day of mass protests immediately following the removal of the Occupy Wall Street tents and personal possessions from Zuccotti Park in the early morning. The personal and common property of the protesters was appropriated, in some instances broken and trashed, including the library books, the media centre and medical centre equipment and then thrown into dump trucks. A judge issued an injunction to allow access to the park which the police and the Mayor ignored. A women with a copy of the injunction was hit in the face. The NYPD seems to have a licence to be physically violent against citizens. On the live stream feeds one notices that male police officers show no restraint against assaulting women. I cannot tell if these behaviors may well be the norms there. So much for American soft power.
Here is a clear example from You Tube of violence by a police officer against a women:
Of course we do not see the development before the White Shirt police officer hits the woman, nevertheless extraordinary behavior for a public servant. Is this, as was suggested for the pepper spray incident with the netted women, intended to ignite crowd violence?
The report of the protest arrests in The Sydney Morning Herald does presume to provide some context:
The New York City Police Department arrested 252 people in connection with yesterday’s Occupy Wall Street protests, mostly for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said.
Thousands of people took part in yesterday’s demonstrations, which began with unsuccessful attempts to disrupt the New York Stock Exchange and ended with a peaceful march across the Brooklyn Bridge.
More than 1400 people have been arrested since the protest began in Lower Manhattan on September 17, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
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New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said some of the people who took part in yesterday’s protests tried to provoke law enforcement officers.
“There is no question about it there was a group of people bent on confronting the police,” Kelly said.
“They were taunting them.”
One demonstrator was charged with assault after throwing a liquid believed to be vinegar on five officers, Kelly said. Another was charged with attempted assault after throwing a battery and pieces of a pen at officers, pushing a barrier into them and removing a deputy inspector’s hat, he said.
A group of 65 people who were arrested on Centre Street at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge had arranged their arrests in advance and didn’t resist, Browne said.
Photos of Brandon Watts, the protester arrested after taking the inspector’s hat, show him with blood on his face, Browne said. Watts, 20, whose address is unknown, struck his head when he was “brought down” while resisting arrest and was treated at Bellevue Hospital for the injury, which wasn’t serious enough to require admission to the hospital, Browne said.
Watts, arrested for the fifth time since the protests began, was in custody this afternoon, Browne said.
“Clearly that individual was intent on being arrested,” Kelly said.
One protester among the 30,000 plus was violent. The police were consistently violent. When protesters stepped onto the road from the footpath, the livestream showed them being tackled and handcuffed.
Given the circumstances, including the crush of people created by police barriers and the protest’s intention to close down the stock exchange, the protest was remarkably nonviolent. Such an opinion is not reported in the article, nor the fact that two New York City Counsellors and accredited journalists were arrested went unrecorded. The crowing irony, if indeed that it what it amounts to, was that the article is sourced to the Bloomsberg new agency.
As Mark Twain said if you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed and if read them you are misinformed. The papers surely have to start bringing awareness in the reports they carry of what their audience can see for themselves through media such as live steaming and You Tube.
At AlterNet, Joshua Holland records ten earlier instances of US police brutality. There is a pattern, yet not much reporting by the news agencies.