Occupy Wall Street’s big day of action is has seen about 245 protesters arrested. After gathering in Foley Square, the protesters marched to the Brooklyn Bridge, where they staged a sit-in at the base of the structure. In the morning they tried to shut down the New York Stock Exchange. Demonstrators clashed with police, who had set up barricades around the exchange, and trading began on time at 9:30 a.m. Several NYPD officers were reported injured. The throngs of protesters and the metal barricades set up by police brought traffic in the area to a standstill. The protest comes exactly two months after the activists first occupied Zuccotti Park and two days after they were evicted by police. After congregating around the exchange, protesters plan to block several major transportation hubs and then proceed to Zuccotti Park. There were arrests around the country as demonstrators were evicted in Dallas, resulting in 18 arrests, marchers in Portland were arrested when they tried to cross the Steel Bridge in defiance of police and Los Angeles police arrested at least 20 people during an attempt to shut down a downtown intersection.
Occupy Flexes Its Muscles
by Michelle Goldberg
Reinvigorated by a midnight raid this week, Wall Street protesters nearly shut down lower Manhattan. Michelle Goldberg reports on the movement’s new luster—and its growing pains.
Who’s really behind the protests in Zuccotti Park? Not just hippies and college kids populate the protest site, which was raided by the NYPD in a harsh crackdown Tuesday night. From a political-science professor to a union officer, Newsweek & The Daily Beast interviewed some of the protesters sustaining the occupation two months after it was launched. WATCH VIDEO HERE.
Live Twitter Updates From The Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg
Before a New York City cop pepper-sprayed peaceful female demonstrators at Occupy Wall Street in September, few were paying attention to the movement. It didn’t really start gaining momentum until police arrested more than 700 people during a march across the Brooklyn Bridge in October. Now, once again, the New York Police Department, with its wildly overwrought response to civil disobedience, may have reinvigorated the movement it meant to crush.
Because there were so few journalistic witnesses, it’s hard to get a read on just how much violence the police used. But amateur video from the confrontation is harrowing, suggesting that serious force was deployed against the demonstrators.
Video: Cops Evict Zuccotti Protesters Early Tuesday Morning
Heated confrontations were probably made inevitable by the well-intentioned impulse of mayors across the country to allow the Occupy Movements to set up semipermanent camps in public or private parks. Why? Because there is no right to sleep indefinitely in public or private parks; the right of assembly is not the same thing as the right to occupy.
Long before a Manhattan Supreme Court judged ruled against the protesters, the Supreme Court settled the matter of protests camping indefinitely in public parks in Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence (1984), with a majority opinion written by JFK-appointee Byron White. The case law protecting private-property rights from permanent protest occupancy is rooted in Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins (1980). While the states have a great deal of latitude in determining their individual rules—and Zuccotti Park’s odd status as a privately owned public space creates room for debate—basic property rights are not suspended for protests, no matter how heartfelt.