Wall Street protesters have spoken against corporate greed and social inequality for the past two weeks. This movement is growing-Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa, Los Angeles are currently protesting-- San Diego, New Orleans and Denver within the week.
The latest update on Occupy Wall Street reports that protesters were trapped by policemen on Brooklyn Bridge for mass arrests. Prior to this, large numbers of protesters were streaming into traffic lanes and stopping traffic on the bridge. Before reaching Brooklyn Bridge, the demonstrators numbered several thousand, with over 500 ending up on one lane of the bridge.
NY Times reporter, Brian Stelter, who was on the scene, tweeted that most of the protesters were staying on the pedestrian path, but hundreds were heading into traffic. After a while, he tweeted that there was no traffic coming out of Manhattan at all…it had been completely stopped. (Gothamist)
When the police arrived at 4:30 pm, a swarm of tweets from protesters began on two white shirted policemen beating someone up, videoed by a person nearby. Meanwhile, police had blockaded both sides of the bridge and were holding nets, a situation that was on the verge of becoming ugly. By 5 pm, the NYPD was pushing the line of protesters forward onto an area of the bridge where they were penned in with orange netting and arrested.
The police was accused of leading the mass of demonstrators into a trap in order to arrest them. This statement was verified by a video clip on You Tube that showed a body of police officers marching ahead of the protesters toward the road. Additionally, video footage showed no signs of violence by the protesters yet the police were strong-arming and grappling with them.
However, the police rejected any of this,
Paul Browne, the deputy commissioner, said protesters were clearly told that if they went on to the road they would be arrested. "Some complied and took the walkway without being arrested. Others proceeded on the Brooklyn-bound vehicular roadway and were," he said. (Guardian)
The Brooklyn Bridge and Financial District of Manhattan, in New York City.
Facebook and Twitter have been the main sources of information coming out of the movement. Tweets from @jopauca said, “NYPD keeps moving line forward. Its getting really hard for ppl to breathe. Meanwhile, Chen was tweeting “Caravan of police buses heading to the bridge. Have a feeling they arrested a bunch of stragglers.”
A true statement, Twitter’s @NotifyNYC had tweeted on October 1, “Due to police activity, BK-bound traffic is temporarily suspended on the BK Bridge. There are also extensive delays MN-bound.” Protesting NYPD heavy-handed tactics, according to the Guardian’s “Occupy Wall Street protest: NYPD accused of heavy-handed tactics,” by Ed Pilkington in New York, protesters claimed they were deliberately led onto the road before being penned in and arrested. nWikinews @en_wikinews has reported that Natasha Lennard had been arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, known as a leading contributor for the New York Times.
So far, the NYPD has been severely criticized for holding the protesters for several hours before arresting close to 700 of them. Approximately 1,000+ protesters have been arrested within the past two weeks. Activists and commentators claim that the police force’s response level was out of proportion to the type of movement being addressed.
Arrests for the incident at Brooklyn Bridge:
UPDATE: 5:15PM - Brooklyn Bridge has been shut down by police
UPDATE: 5:55PM - At least 50 arrested.
UPDATE: 8:17PM - NYTimes reporting hundreds arrested - including a reporter - police appear to have deliberately misled protesters.
UPDATE: 8:40PM - Around 400 peaceful protesters arrested.
UPDATE 10/2 2:20AM - Over 700 protesters arrested.
Salman Rushdie put it in a tweet: "The world's economy has been wrecked by these rapacious traders. Yet it is the protesters who are jailed."
NYPD officers standing in front of a Mobile Command Post at 5th Avenue and 59th Street in Midtown Manhattan near the entrance to Central Park.
Many individuals who participated in the march felt everything was a misunderstanding, as originally their plans were to go up the pedestrian roadway. However, due to a huge bottleneck, the massive group of protesters could not fit. People began jumping onto the road as they thought it had been open to them. By Sunday, most of those arrested had been released with a disorderly conduct citation.
Now called “The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge,” week-end protests have spread to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Washington and many other cities. WRAL News in NC tweeted that “Hundreds ‘occupy’ Raleigh, Durham to echo Wall Street protest.”
The Huffington Post has posted an article about Occupy Wall Street that stands in support of the movement:
… before any lasting structural reform will advance, we must build a diverse movement of millions that cannot be ignored. Americans from the right and left must abandon the polarizing rhetoric from our leaders and our TV screens, and join hands in support of a 21st century democracy reform agenda that reclaims our government from moneyed special interests.
The future of our nation depends on it. The time has come. The beginning of a much larger uprising is at hand. The journey begins at the Occupy Wall Street website or Rootstrikers.org.