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:
- Official things from the organizers: Website, Twitter,’round-the-clock streaming video of the event. Just on the livestream: a 96-year-old was interviewed about her own motivations for participating in the movement. Her first protest was as a teenager in 1927.
- Formal news coverage of yesterday’s crackdown: The Guardian, New York Daily News (apparently, this was a front-pager), ABC News, The New York Observer (we’re mentioned by name).
- Major opinions: The Guardian, NYT, the Waging Nonviolence blog.
- Telling images and videos: here, here, here, and pretty much all over the internet.
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.