Pre-Anniversary Occupy Arrests by the NYPD
There have been over fifty arrests of people at Occupy events to mark the one-year anniversary so far, even though the major protest actions to shut down Wall Street are not until tomorrow.
The above video is a compilation of footage of arrests from Saturday, September 15. The video shows occupiers being snatched and grabbed for doing who knows what. A New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) legal observer is arrested after talking to police. Journalists are threatened with arrest (and at least two were arrested). Twenty-five were reportedly arrested on Saturday.
Known Occupy organizer Aaron Black was apparently targeted for arrest Sunday afternoon by NYPD at Foley Square, the site of a free Occupy anniversary concert. He was snatched up and put into an unmarked car and not read his rights. It was unclear why he was under arrest or—to put it another way—why he was being put in the car.
CODEPINK co-director Rae Abileah, at a protest outside of a Bank of America branch, was singled out by the NYPD and arrested.
DNAinfo.com has more details on her arrest:
Abileah, 29, who is the co-director of the women’s social justice group Code Pink, spoke to DNA.com New York after she was released from the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, around 3:20 p.m.
She was arrested after she paused in the morning’s march in order to do a “bra toss” — throwing bunch of linked bras in the air — before continuing on. She was directing the effort, when an officer arrested her, she said.
“I had the bra in my hand, and all of a sudden this officer just comes over without any warning, doesn’t ask us to move, doesn’t ask us to leave, grabs me, and starts arresting me,” said Abileah.
“I just kept saying ‘Look, I’m not doing anything wrong,’ and I think the cops could see that, but the commanding officer was totally out of control,” she said.
To anyone following the policing of the Occupy movement closely, this has become typical of the NYPD: heavy-handed policing, intimidation, harassment and arbitrary arrests that clearly violate the rights of individuals engaged in First Amendment-protected activity.
The NYCLU knows this well, and for anyone interested in the often repeated incidents of harassment and intimidation by law enforcement that fly under the radar and do not make news like instances of excessive force do, the NYCLU has been putting together “Free Speech Threat Assessment” reports since March 17, which clearly document the nature of repression by the police.