Though it’s only the first day of the 1-year Anniversary events (Occupy Wall Street started Sept. 17th, 2011), police have already arrested dozens of Occupiers.
From the Wall Street Journal:
About 25 people were arrested Saturday as hundreds gathered in New York City to mark the coming one-year anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a representative for an organization defending the protesters said.
The activities started Saturday in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park and culminated with an evening march to the Financial District.
Police had expected a largely peaceful day in the Greenwich Village’s Washington Square, where protesters had focused their efforts late last year after city authorities shut down the encampment in Zuccotti Park in November.
Saturday’s gathering, which organizers dubbed “Occupy Town Square,” was the first event in a series planned to mark the Sept. 17 anniversary of the group’s first day in Zuccotti Park.
Last year, the protest spread quickly across the country, as groups took on the Occupy brand and applied it to their own cities or causes. There were moments of violence. Notably, Occupy Oakland clashed with police and led to an attempt to recall the mayor.
On Saturday in Washington Square Park, people advertised their opinions about issues such as personal debt, capitalism and even so-called fracking, or the extraction of natural gas from shale deposits using hydraulic fracturing. The localization of the movement was evident. Nelly Tournaki, a special-education professor at the College of Staten Island, stood at a table with a banner saying “Occupy Staten Island.”
“It’s a very emotional day,” she said, speaking over the drumming. “I believe we should give to the movement, things like compassion and passion and a will to change for a better a life for the 99 percent.”
From the New York Times:
police officers plunged into the crowd and made arrests on sidewalks. Further arrests followed after the crowd reached its destination. In all, it appeared that at least 15 people were taken into custody. Police officials could not immediately provide information about how many people were arrested and with what they were being charged.
Standing nearby, Shir Campeas, 17, said she had been passing by when the arrests occurred and did not witness what initiated the police action. “All of a sudden the police went into the crowd,” she said, adding that the protesters “got really mad.”
The marchers continued south, chanting “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” and “We are the 99 percent.”
More arrests took place near White Street. Again, officers ran onto the sidewalk and grabbed people in the crowd. A commander wearing a white shirt took one man by the arm and threw him forcefully face down on the sidewalk. Some in the crowd said that officers appeared to be pointing out specific individuals for arrest.