Party on Wall Street: Police Pepper Spray 5, Arrest 80-100 (Including Wesleyan Student)

Image from ABC News: Click on it for the article.

If you wanted it to be, yesterday was a pretty action-packed Saturday. Start off with the weekly WILD Wes and Long Lane Farm work days in the morning/early afternoon, catch the football or [American] football game[s] before taking the bus to 350 Connecticut’s Moving Earth Day event in New Haven. After fraternizing with Yalies and other assorted environmentally-concerned folk, take the bus back in time to catch most of the Ishmael show (guys: great posters, greater set) at Earth House, then continue on to numerous debauchery centers throughout the night. Take care to keep schoolwork as far from your mind as humanly possible.

But New Haven wasn’t the only activity off-campus playing host to Wesleyan students this weekend. Another group of Wesleyan students went down to New York to return to Zuccotti Park / Liberty Square, where Occupy Wall Street protests had been ongoing throughout the week and were looking forward to a weekend surge in numbers. What may not have been expected was the weekend surge in NYPD…”protection” of the public. Police used a tactic called “kettling” to splinter marching demonstrators  with nets, arresting many who (nonviolently) attempted to evade the herding tactics. Most official outlets place the number of arrests at 80, but the National Lawyers’ Guild, who has had observers standing by since the first day of the occupation, puts their count at 100. More media (and a little about the Wes student who was arrested) after the jump…

As I mentioned, another (smaller) group of Wesleyan students, mostly returners, went to participate in the protests for the day Saturday. According to the Wesleyan Occupy Wall Street listserv, students were close to the live stream‘s camera for much of the afternoon march that saw the police use increasingly aggressive dispersion tactics and easily dwarfing any past day’s arrest count. A Wesleyan student who’d attended the first weekend, Ross “Motherfucking” Levin ’15, was among those taken into police custody. He was detained for about 12 hours before a 3 A.M. or so release, and is scheduled to return to NYC for a court appearance. Respect to the whole group that went yesterday, everyone from the first trip last weekend, and all of you who’ve shown interest or support on campus/asked someone at the Foss tentstead what it was all about.

Maybe what I’ve said about police action so far seems kind of abstract and rather unfounded. The following video seems to be the most widely circulated concerning police actions in NYC yesterday, and why should become clear upon viewing. If you don’t want to see five people pepper sprayed for no good reason, you might not want to watch this:

Additional coverage, information, etc:

Comment away, gang. Look out for information on future meetings and coordination for those who’d like to go down to NYC this next weekend, if you’re interested.

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26 thoughts on “Party on Wall Street: Police Pepper Spray 5, Arrest 80-100 (Including Wesleyan Student)

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  5. Julia S Baez Valentin

    I think it’s only fair that the people who have taken zero time to actually study this movement and witness the amazing things going on in Zuccotti park themselves kindly step off. Do yourselves and the rest of us a favor, and stop spewing your hatred of things you know nothing about. Whether you are for this or against this, those whom have been there (like myself) can tell when you haven’t done your homework. Regardless of their position in the matter, the grand majority of people who pass by the square are astonished at the level of organization and respect for the Democratic process that occupiers have been able to stick to and develop in just a few days, especially as the movement grows.

    These occupiers have established a media group made up of media/technology savvy individuals (they maintain a live broadcast and speak to MSM), a medical group of volunteers made up of retired doctors, nurses, and people trained in various emergency techniques, there is a security/ diplomacy group which speaks with the police and communicates to the mass, there is a legal team which helps answer questions and takes information to the National Lawyers Guild, there is a kitchen/food group which coordinates and handles food donations (managing to feed the entire occupier/ population/anybody else who is hungry at no cost), there is a library of books which have been brought by occupiers or simply donated, there is an organized group of artists and other creative people who make signs or design shirts, etc etc etc. I bet I even missed a few of the groups…If you call the set up of all of this in 10 days disorganization, then you must have a compulsive disorder or a very ridiculous definition of the word.

    Anyways, this isn’t just about some whacked out hippies and radicals, this is about a system that is doing nothing to sustain 99% of the population of this country. The sheer depth of the discontent of the people needs to be voiced in this nation. To quote one of the posters: “If not us, than who? If not now, then when?” Which side are you on? What have you done? If you disagree with this movement, do something about that too. Learn, debate, observe, blog, tweet. Whatever. But PLEASE, be well informed while you’re at it.

  6. alum '10

    These demands are so broad and incoherent that it’s impossible to actually bring about change. Who are they protesting to? Who is supposed to take notice and create changes? They should be targeting a specific organization/person, or should just shut up, and get jobs, rise up to be attorney general/whathaveyou and make change that way. A group of college-aged protestors isn’t going to end capitalism. It would take worldwide economic collapse to end capitalism. So fucking suck it up.

  7. Anonymous

    It is A part in the first weekend of Wesleyan students detainees. They backup I have the name of his arrest HIR Wesleying. I think the students are innocent in this matter.

  8. SNOOT

    May the lead photo of this post be a lesson for us all: consult an English usage dictionary before making protest signs.

  9. Ayn Rand

    This entire thing reminds me of the tea party. Incoherent Agenda? Check. Bad organization? Check. Naive fantasies about complex issues? Check. If it had more people, it’d be easily co-opted by the establishment (and then this would really line up).

    1. No Name

      It’s so easy to be judgmental from afar.  Considering that they started organizing once they got there (a remarkable thing by itself for a protest that sets it apart from anything else going on in the US), they are pretty well-organized.  And they are currently working on a set of “principles,” the draft of which is public:

      But even without that draft, if you’ve read any news about the protest, you should know that it is promoting democratic processes and economic fairness.

    2. Anonymous

      ~*_/$$”Incoherent agenda”$$|_*~

      I used to pretty much concede this point when people asked me about it, but now that’s been 9 days, the ball is fully and squarely in your court if by now you haven’t managed to read the first three paragraphs of any news article about it, skim the official website for even a minute, talk to someone involved, or otherwise show any kind of interest. If you don’t know what they’re protesting about, you aren’t trying (and I guess that really makes YOU the 99%, amiritelololol?!?!?!!!!!???!?!).
      Perhaps I should be charitable and narrow the scope of your complaint, so that it’s easier to understand without having to think about it too much (kind of like what many people wish was done regarding Occupy Wall St.?). Let’s pretend you said “they don’t have a single coherent demand or otherwise simple message.” Well, surprise: You’re right! Even though the plan was for the General Assembly to decide the demand democratically after the protesters had gathered, the collective internet was still tapping its foot. And when they finally issued ( ) a one demand, it was actually ELEVEN, and it wasn’t even the official release! Seriously, what is this bullshit? How could anyone living in this country have MORE THAN ONE ISSUE with [corporate control of] government? What a bunch of entitled prick. All these college kids, musicians, career activists, professors, former investment bankers, veterans, nonagenarians, LGBTQ-whiteboy-hoodrat-illegalimmigrant hippie dippies need to man up and get a haircut and a job. Seriously.

      ~*& &#&&&&&Bad Organization(#*##*~~~~~~~
      Yeah, I’m not gonna argue this one, either. Even I have to agree that often-productive direct democratic assemblies, food and financial support both on the ground and through the internet, outreach teams that recruit people on the street, a constant live feed and lots of recording devices, power generators, media spokespeople, and a volunteer medical team are the hallmarks of shoddy organizational work. They didn’t even actually go sleep on Wall St. as promised! Seriously, what’s stopping them? Hundreds of police officers? Gimme a break.

      {{{{{{[[[[[[[[|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|Naive Fantasies About Complex Issues|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|]]]]]]]]]}}}}}}}}I honest-to-God could provide you with so much literature/audio/video supporting corporate control of the United States (and beyond), I don’t know where to start. And I’m just some blogger asshole. Wait until you meet someone who actually *studies* this stuff.

      TL;DR it’s too bad the occupation isn’t hundreds of thousands of people converging on historic sites in the nation’s capital (wait a couple of weeks for the DC occupation ;] ), but 1) that’s part of the problem we’re all so generally miffed about anyway, and 2) that says nothing about how solid the factual basis behind the protests is.

  10. query

    “transformation of the whole system?” Do you or anybody have a less ambiguous explanation of the goals/demands of this protest?

    A new system of government? New reforms to economic regulations?

    Or is the protest a symbolical (and still potentially valuable) demonstrations of mass discontent and desire for some kind of change?

    1. 99percent

      shit, accidentally “liked” this post. doesn’t mean I hate it.

      The goals of the protesters are, admittedly, somewhat diffuse, largely because this is a flagship action aimed at drawing popular support from a wide range of folks (working people, students, reformists, radicals, Dems). I’d say the ultimate goal is the abolition of international capitalism, replacing it with systems of mutual aid and self-determination. But this is airy and scary for a lot of people, so let’s break it down into two very reasonable demands being made by almost everyone who showed up:

      1. An end to corporate personhood
      2. The imposition of a transaction tax, applicable to various financial transactions from large-scale currency changing to massive investments to funds transfers.

  11. Anon

    Stupid kids protesting for the sake of protesting. Next time, vote on what you’re protesting before you demonstrate if you want anyone to take you seriously…

    1. Anon

      You’re an ignorant idiot if you think voting in our neoliberal two-party framework does anything.  When your demand is nothing short of transformation of the whole damn system, direct action is the ONLY way to get noticed, and taken seriously.  And the rapidly increasing media coverage of Occupy Wall St is proof of that.  How about you get off your elitist high-horse and get into the streets!  Then you might actually change something.

      1. Anon

        You’re an ignorant idiot if you think going to the streets because you hate something but don’t understand why you hate it or how it works is going to change anything. How about you get on your elitist high-horse and hit the books before you make intelligent liberals look stupid.

        1. Post-left

          “how about you get back to school/the workforce before you make nervous liberals look spineless”

          There, I fixed it.

          1. Anon

            This is a pointless conversation. We both know you are, and should be, embarrassed about how incompetent the organizers of this “event” are and how little they know about what they’re supposedly fighting against (whatever that may be).

          2. Anonymous

            Some ~~~*&&&_evidence_%%%*~~~ to support either of those claims just might go a long way towards shutting people like Post-left and myself up, you know. Just sayin’.

          3. HelloSDS

            Anon. Get your head out of your ass. Take it from someone who has two degrees studying social movements that what these people are doing is more effective than anything that’s been done in decades. They are actively building and demonstrating the world they wish to inhabit, all while showing how the current order is hypocritical. This is real, potent, and powerful. Everything you’re saying reflects the left’s misunderstanding of what worked during the 60s. It wasn’t having a “specific issue” that needed solving with each protest… It was demonstrating how everyone can behave in line with a different set of values. 

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