Well, it appears Occupy Wall Street’s brief “truce” with the NYPD has ended. Last night, the NYPD arrested five OWS protesters (though the National Lawyers Guild puts the figure at twelve) for allegedly blocking the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange where about 100 activists have been sleeping throughout the week.
Protesters had been citing a court ruling from 2000 that defends their right to remain on public sidewalks as a form of a political protest, but that held no weight with the police.
“Sitting or lying down on the sidewalk is not permitted,” a captain announced, the New York Times reports. “Anyone who is sitting or lying down must now get up or be subject to arrest. Also, it is unlawful to leave moveable property on the sidewalk.” (photo by @mollyknefel)
There were several instances of violence throughout the night, according to reporters. The Times’s Colin Moynihan wrote about a hostile confrontation between a protester and an officer:
The first arrest took place on the east side of the street, just before 8 a.m., when an officer grabbed a large piece of cardboard from a man.
“That’s my cardboard,” the man said, trying to grab it back.
“You’re going to resist?” the officer said before arresting him. A few feet away, officers arrested a woman sitting on a curb.
Moments later, an officer placed a video camera close to the face of a man walking on Nassau Street. The man swung a bag toward the lens and the officer threw a punch at the man and then arrested him. A fourth arrest took place on Wall Street.
One of the other protesters was arrested for “making excessive noise.” Ironically, it seems several residents of the neighborhood, who came down to the protest to complain about the noise, ended up getting into screaming matches with the activists themselves
via The Nation.