NYPD raid Occupy Wall Street, evict OWS encampment after two months

Photo: C.S. Muncy

Hundreds of NYPD officers evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park before dawn this morning, ending the two-month demonstration. A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the police eviction. NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg disputes the judge, and vows to fight to keep the park clear. Live udpates follow.

[10:20am ET] A group of several hundred protesters have been marching from City Hall back to Zuccotti Park, and they are now re-entering Zuccotti, cheering. Journalists/observers who are live-tweeting right now at #OWS on the march back into Zuccotti: @quinnnorton @katz @Newyorkist @joshharkinson @viewofadam @nancyscola @elliotjustin @samgf. Protestors have now reached the edge of park waving Judge Billings' order in the air, and are yelling, "We have a court order!". Those who push in are forcibly removed. People are jumping over police barriers, shouting, "This is our park!" ....And the barricade has been torn down. NYPD is filming demonstrators to identify them later.

[10:13am ET] Here's a snapshot of the temporary restraining order faxed to the mayor's office at 7:50am, just before the press conference during which he hadn't been served. Zuccotti remains closed, in violation of this order.

[10:11am ET] My Boing Boing colleague Cory Doctorow was on-site at Zuccotti just yesterday afternoon, visiting the OWS library and interviewing librarians. All 5,000 books and the library, the structure for which I'm told was paid for by rocker Patti Smith, have been destroyed.

[10:05am ET] For those just joining, here are links to other live-blogs with eyewitness accounts (I am updating from Los Angeles, far away indeed from Zuccotti.] Mother Jones, The Nation, The Guardian, The New York Times. MoJo's Josh Harkinson was inside the park even as police attempted to block all press from the site, his tweets from during the raid are collected here.

[959am ET] At 6:30AM ET, following a 1am police raid that kicked OWS protesters out of Zuccotti Park, Justice Lucy Billings issued an order effectively allowing protesters back in the park, with their tents, gear, and all. "ThinkProgress just spoke to one of the plantiff’s attorneys, Gideon Orion Oliver, who confirmed that the order was served on Mayor Bloomberg and the other defendants via fax at 7:50AM." During his press conference at 8am, the mayor had claimed he hadn't yet been served, and said that this is why the administration was keeping the park closed. ThinkProgress: "As of this writing, Zuccotti Park remains closed to protesters in direct contradiction of Justice Billing’s order."

[950am ET] The court hearing on continued use of Zuccotti Park by protesters, after last night's NYPD eviction, is scheduled to be heard by Judge Lucy Billings at 11:30am ET.

[945am ET] The photographer whose shots you see in this post, C.S. Muncy, tells Boing Boing what we're hearing from many other sources, confirmed by the mayor himself: the New York City police actively pushed press away during the raid. "Press was denied access very early on," says C.S., "I had to hop the barricade to get in. Most were kept blocks away. I saw no evidence of the LRAD ["sound cannon" rumored to be present, a kind of nonlethal sonic weapon and crowd control tool]. However, I did get a big whiff of mace."

[930am ET] @CBSNews tweeted during #OWS raid, "NYPD is trying to clear air space." CBS News was not allowed to fly its news helicopter over Zuccotti Park. As @NYCaviation noted last night, NYPD has no airspace authority. If the CBS News report was true, how is this legal?

Photo: C.S. Muncy

[9:30am ET] Live ABC News stream of Bloomberg's presser here, NYC stream here. There's a large crowd outside. Journalists to follow, who are there, include: @antderosa, @quinnorton, @jonswaine.

Bloomberg: "Our intention was to allow people to go in and protest, or peacefully enjoy the park. They will not be allowed to use tents or sleeping bags and will have to follow all park rules."

Bloomberg says Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, asked for the city's help clearing the park. He cites need for cleanliness and safety within the park, as reason for the raid, as well as tents posing fire hazard. "Inaction was not an option." Says governor Mario Cuomo offered to send help, too. First Amendment does not give protesters a right to sleep in a park, put up tents in the park, or take over a public space, Bloomberg says— is this correct?

"Protesters have had two months to occupy the space with tents. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments." All of this is in the prepared statement his office released earlier, not much new.

Photo: C.S. Muncy

"There are allegations of people defecating in alleys," he says, but is unable to cite any evidence, and says his administration found no evidence. (wait, then why cite it?)

The mayor seems to be saying that #OWS would have been allowed back into Zuccotti park, but now they city of New York has a restraining order matter to contend with, given the judge's ruling. Unclear what's going to happen next. But he's saying protesters will not be allowed to bring tents, kitchen gear, and the like, "no big objects" allowed. Will go to court this morning to fight to sustain the eviction. About 200 were arrested in the raid, he says. [Commissioner Ray Kelly says later, outside courthouse, that 142 people were arrested inside the park, and about 50 or 60 at other sites.]

Why were so many working press banned, and physically blocked from the site by police?

"NYPD routinely keeps press off to the side to prevent the situation from getting worse," Bloomberg said. "It's to protect the press."

[ NYT's Brian Stelter says (Per @LindseyChrist) that the riot police didn't distinguish between media and protesters during the raid. "They took a Post reporter and threw him in a chokehold."]

Bloomberg says among those arrested there were no serious injuries, but some may have hurt themselves "when they banged themselves on the ground."

He refers to judge's temporary restraining order, which this administration plans to fight— "presuming it exists."

It does, and it bars the city from "evicting protesters" and "preventing protesters from re-entering with tents & other property."

[9:13am ET] On @theother99's Ustream, narrator is saying that a judge has ruled that Mayor Bloomberg's eviction was illegal, and that protesters are welcome back. "Belongings are gone and destroyed, my tent is gone, but Zuccotti will be ours."

And he's right. A judge has issued a temporary restraining order.

Photo: C.S. Muncy

From the NYT live-blog:

The order by Justice Lucy Billings set a hearing date for Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and said that until the matter was considered at that hearing, the city and Brookfield Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park, would be prohibited from evicting protesters or "enforcing 'rules' published after the occupation began or otherwise preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized."

[9:00am ET] Hundreds of New York City police officers cleared out Zuccotti Park before dawn this morning, "effectively ending the nearly two-month-old Occupy Wall Street occupation and destroying much of the occupiers' gear," reports eyewitness reporter Rosie Gray at the Village Voice. Coverage at the NYT is here.

At 5am PT/8am ET, Occupiers are headed to City Hall to disrupt NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg's press conference (watch here). Police are swarming on them as I type. The stream narrator: "Police are coming, looks like we're gonna see some action." The group then mic-checks, and asks the police why, if they're running a live video stream to broadcast the story, they are not allowed inside the press conference.

So: Why the raid, and why now? “Protestors have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags,” Bloomberg said. “Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.” More in the spoke to the New York Observer. "Make no mistake," Bloomberg said, "The final decision to act was mine."

There are widespread reports of credentialed press being physically blocked from access to the site by police. Rumors are also a-Twitter that police used chemical agents and an LRAD ("Sound Cannon, a sonic weapon) on protesters.

Quinn Norton of Wired was there throughout. At around 5am New York Time, the raid was complete. "The last bits of the occupy are being power washed off Zuccotti park," she tweets. " I've been ejected from Zuccotti."

Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson was present throughout. He tweets:

In certain ways, the eviction of #OWS could end up helping the movement. A lot of social problems and tensions have sprung up at Zuccotti. Occupiers were devoting tons of resources to fixing them. The eviction allows #OWS to start fresh and, when it regroups, do it in a smarter way, learning from past mistakes It also may galvanize public support for the huge November 17 day of convergence, turning out more numbers Of course, eviction is a setback in other ways. But it's definitely not the end of the story.

Phone video of NYPD destroying the #OWS kitchen is here, with a POV from inside the tent.

Here's a timeline being RTd by various Occupys (I cannot independently verify the times and details shown at the time of this blog post, so caveat lector).


  1. Ah, the LRAD. First tested on the G20 protesters in Pittsburgh, MILES from the actual meeting of the Elder Ones. Illegal to use on civilians, of course, but legality is the last thing on the enforcers’ minds.

    I think Mikey needs to occupy his shitter with the power of his arguments, because it’s painfully obvious who Number Two works for.

    1. I was watching the live stream last night when the LRAD arrived. Just backing up your assertion that it was there.

  2. Yep, its definitely fueled my intent to be there on the 17th.  The way they’ve done it is disgusting — trashing peoples equipment and belongings, with no respect at all for the citizens they are supposed to protect.  Then again, what’s different about this than the way the rest of “our” government and corporate miscreants treat citizens?  We are treated as fodder for fraudsters and criminals, with government aiding and abetting the theft and wealth transfer.  The loss of democratic sovereignty in Greece, Italy, Ireland and others is merely a different form of the same phenomenon — government being hijacked for the purposes of debt slavers and “technocratic” fascists.

    1. Now there’s an archaic word, “citizen”. It is consumer that is the proper word now. Only troublemakers refer to themselves as citizens. Where is your credit card, consumer? Don’t you know that said card is mandatory? Well in that case go and talk to the boys in blue over there, and they will help you out. /s

  3. Well, it was a good run gents and ladies. Time to pack up the camping gear as OccupyWallStreet’s work is finished.

    Except that this minor item still requires national attention and reaction:

    The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks..


    and we mustn’t forget the annoying income distribution factoid that keeps popping up:

    not that congress is coddling billionaires:

    while Republicans fuck us over:

    and regularly beat the stock market by 12% using insider information:
    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/60_minutes_some_in_congress_ma.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/24/members-of-congress-get-a_n_866387.html

    those pesky illegal foreclosures by law firms that throw Halloween parties mocking the homeless:
    http://boingboing.net/2011/10/29/top-us-foreclosure-law-firm-threw-halloween-party-where-staff-dressed-as-homeless-foreclosed-upon-americans.html the hobo-Halloween foreclosure mill has been shutdown: http://boingboing.net/2011/11/21/tiniest-violin-plays-sad-song.html

    supreme court justices dining with lawyers from cases they’re supposed to judge fairly:

    the militarization of police, unnecessary use of force by those police without retribution or comment by officials, corporate personhood, corporations hell-bent on breaking the internet, the revolving door between regulatory agencies and companies they’re supposed to regulate, abuse of the classification system to hide documents from citizens, extra-judiciary spying upon and assassinating of US citizens, etc, etc..

    Yep, mission mostly accomplished, let’s head on home.

    P.S. Bloomberg, this isn’t over as much as you’d like to pretend it away with media blackouts and spending it away with police.
    The United States has serious issues that require attention. As the economy sinks there will be more bodies at these events.
    P.P.S. The pipes are busted. Put away your mop and call a fucking plumber before we all drown in the deluge.

  4. Brief video of what went on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqyT4F7HIbM

    Harkinson is certainly being optimistic. The flip side to this is that the 1% has shown again that they control the game.

  5. This is how OWS ends, not with a bang but a whimper. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    The OWS movement has made a significant impact on the public discourse about the economy, financial policy, wall street bailouts and joblessness. It has garnered media and public attention, and even support from unlikely allies. It has encouraged people all over the US and the world to stand up for fair economic treatment. And it has gathered enough momentum to have a lasting impact on policies and politics.

    But in the last few weeks the police have become less patient, even brutal in some cases. The OWS movement, excluding the actions of a few individuals, hasn’t done anything to deserve this, but it is going to continue and likely get worse. And as the violence gets worse it becomes the main focus of the media, drowning out the message.

    Winter is coming and with it there is little doubt that the occupation part of OWS will eventually end, or at least be so minimal as to not have any impact. Rather than let the movement fade away with winter, or have the violence become the message, OWS needs to end on a high note; a major march or rally, a conference, or a congress to establish a true platform and plan to continue the movement. Something that will return the message to the headlines.

     OWS must end the occupation on its own terms or the police, weather or, worst of all, public indifference will end it. It’s time to end the occupation so that the movement can survive.

    1. I just saw Gandhi again last night for the first time since I was a kid. What struck me was the absolute resolve of India to gain its independence. This is even after women and children were shot and/or killed. It may be a different situation but it’s tyranny nonetheless. If the Occupy movement were to ever end then that will be the end. You can attempt to have polite political discourse as much as you’d like but this has been going on for a very long time. Nothing has changed. It has only gotten worse.

      In my mind, if we are ever to reach the end goal through non-violent protesting, then the blueprint has already been given to us by Gandhi and MLK. Like in the past, it will get bloody. Nobody gives up power without a fight. It’s just a question if we will sacrifice enough for it.

      1. OWS isn’t one “end goal” – it’s not a fight for racial equality, it’s not a fight for independence. It’s a collection of ideas, sometimes disparate, sometimes incoherent. If you were to ask 100 protesters in Zucotti Park what they are fighting for, what they are willing to be clubbed and jailed for, you’d get 200 answers. Even when the ideas are clear, they are a lot more nuanced; it’s difficult to imagine someone willing to die for “It’s wrong to create a mortgage backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so you can sell it to a client who isn’t aware that you sabotaged it…” Increasingly the cause seems to be becoming free speech itself, but that argument just ends up looking like protesting for protesting’s sake.

        It’s hard to justify bleeding, dying or even breaking the law when there is no platform, and no clear antagonist against whom to fight. The longer OWS stays in “occupation” mode the greater the chance that the antagonist will become the police and that is a losing fight, both physically and in terms of public support. OWS could do a lot more at this point by focusing on taking the movement beyond the streets.

        1. Most people aren’t good speakers or writers. Ask most people today what they want and they don’t even know what’s best for them, even with the most simplest of things. If you were to ask Indian people at that time they would’ve given you different answers as well. Gandhi, himself, was not immediately for the end of British rule in India or South Africa. He was for small freedoms at first. His demands only escalated after atrocities were escalated.

          I’m not saying that people should die for bank and investor fraud. It is about the end result. People should die for a country that does not present them a future or have a job to feed his family. This is why the Arab spring started. Starve a person of these things and they will fight back. We may not be at that point yet in this country but we are getting there and fast.

          There is no chief symbolic figure that is needed for people to believe in. As much as I’d hope it wasn’t the case, many people need something visual or that they can touch so they too can believe that a cause can be reached. However, I do believe that this a time for heroes to be made if they’re willing to step up.

          As for breaking the law, I do not consider breaking an unjust law illegal or morally wrong.

          1. I think comparing OWS to Ghandi, the civil rights movement or the Arab Spring is a stretch, but I see where you’re going. I agree – these are things worth fighting for. And I certainly agree that people have a right to protest and that sometimes laws must be broken in order for justice to prevail. My only point is that right now I don’t think the occupation part of OWS is helping the cause, and in fact it may ultimately hurt it. If the movement requires that there be people be stationed in Zucotti Park at all times, then it is doomed from the start – that will end at some point one way or the other. But I don’t think the movement needs to “occupy” any particular place to be successful, except people’s hearts and minds.

          2. I agree completely.  The Occupy movement has worthy goals (when you can find someone who can clearly articulate them), but if they think they can affect any chance simply through occupation, they’re going to be disappointed.  The movement needs to learn how to effectively promote change by getting the average Joe to identify with them (something which most protest/social activism movements have challenges with).

            OWS has created some of the critical mass it needs to move on to the next stage of protest, but now it needs to move beyond simply collecting bodies to it’s cause; it needs to propose solutions, rather than just complain about problems, and it needs to educate it’s followers to be able to present those solutions in ways that most people can identify with.

        2. Isn’t that part of the point of these occupations? To prove that we’re at a point where the 1% cannot stand to see any kind of resistance, no matter how passive and scattershot?

          Step 1: Set up a tent.
          Step 2: Complain that the 1% won’t even let you set up a tent.
          Step 3: Watch as the police tear down your tent and hit you with their sticks.
          Step 4: Go to Step 1.

          I think it’s brilliant, though I guess I could totally misreading this ‘movement.’ And I don’t necessarily see public support waning because of the duration of the occupation – some have become more interested, some never supported it at all – and the general public has always tended to support the elites anyways, so maybe this isn’t For Them. It’s a make-work project for the dispirited Left.

          1. “… the general public has always tended to support the elites anyways, so maybe this isn’t For Them.”

            And, yet, that’s *exactly* who it should be for.  Without the general public on side, change will never happen.

  6. “Protestors have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags,” Bloomberg said. “Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”

    Translation” “You are free to  occupy the Platonic ideal Zuccotti Park where I can’t see you.”

  7. Here is the temporary restraining order issued by one of the NY judges which allows the occupiers to return to the park and prohibits the mayor from evicting them until a hearing later today: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/266582-order-re-liberty-park/

    1. It is hard to imagine a legal basis on which the protesters could win. The first amendment does not prevent the state from placing limits on the forum and manner of expression so long as those limits are content-neutral.

  8. They came like thieves in the night…Bloomberg’s Blue Shirts…and robbed us of our rights, and our possessions. all the while preventing reporters from reporting on the scene. Bloomberg, the self-proclaimed number one defender of free speech (pause for gagging), said in no uncertain terms: “yes, you have the right…the right to remain silent. So just shut up and obey”. This is only the beginning dear Mayor .0001%. This WILL be your legacy- of repression. But you will NOT succeed. These mayors, governors, city councils, police chiefs, and street cops of America need to realize that it is NOT UP TO THEM whether or not Americans peaceably gather, protest, discuss, or demonstrate. It’s up to a document called the US CONSTITUTION. You can beat us and arrest us and tear-gas us, you can try to “permit” us to death….but you can’t kill an idea. You can’t keep down a people’s hopes and dreams for a better life….for us, and for our kids. America USED to work. The people had work. The system worke (sort of). Hey, EVEN the Congress used to work (sometimes). God knows, it was far, far, far from perfect -but at least we all had some share in the struggles AND the rewards. But somewhere along the way, we lost our way. Because now we have an economy and a political system that seems to work only for the rich. With OWS America has found it’s voice, and that voice demands fairness and justice – for ALL. This land IS our land! AND WE WANT IT BACK! We want our LIVES back! We want our FUTURE back! But it’s much more than just words…. it’s much more than politics….. it’s your freakin’ LIFE, and how you want to live it, and how you WILL live it. Find a quiet place somewhere, and consider this: Each of us has only one brief life….one chance….one roll of the dice….and many choices. The time has come to choose….to risk…and to act. If not now…then when? If not you, then….who? You DO have the power my friend….and the choice IS yours. Don’t let your dreams die….

  9. Come on Mr. President. I think its time for you to visit the site and talk to the protestors. Time to exhibit that you are connected to the concerns of all americans. Time to show you are willing to take up these calls for reforms. Don’t let one of the other presidential hopefuls beat you to it.

    1. Yes. Herman Cain is on his way. Followed by Michelle Bachmann. Hurry, Obama, don’t let them get there first!

  10. Can someone please tell me what the most legitimate organization is that I can send cash to to help those arrested and beaten at OWS? Is it the Lawyer’s Guild? ACLU? Has OWS set up their own fund? I got paid today and I’m more than willing to get a percentage to them.

    1. I voted for him, because he was a social liberal; hey, you want to run independent & promote civil rights, I’m down.  That being said, his handling of OWS, & the whole post-crash economy, makes me unlikely to vote for him in any other capacity again.

  11. http://www.evernote.com/shard/s123/sh/b6da2bb3-fd6f-42ab-b79b-53e83b056a0e/52decf788ec3d7562124f697a6f804a0

    1. invoke an internal and external threat
    People who are afraid are willing to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do.
    2. establish secret (unaccountable) prisons where torture takes place In a secret system, the government does not have to provide any proof of wrongdoing by those it holds, so it can incarcerate anyone it wants.  
    3. develop a paramilitary force
    A private military force — under the exclusive direction of the “commander in chief” with no accountability to Congress, the courts, or the public — blurs the line between a civilian police force and a militarized police state. 
    4. surveil ordinary citizens
    People who believe they are being watched are less likely to voice opposition.  To scare a population into silence, the government need only monitor the activities of a few to make everyone fear that they are being surveilled.  Every closed society keeps a “list” of so-called opponents it tracks.   
    5. infiltrate citizen’s groups
    Spies in activist groups put psychological pressure on genuine activists by undermining their trust in one another. They may also disrupt legal activities, undermining the effectiveness of group efforts.  
    6. detain and release ordinary citizens
    Detention intimidates or psychologically damages those arrested and also lets everyone know that anyone could be labeled an “enemy combatant” and “disappeared.” 
    7. target key individuals
    People are less likely to speak out when those who are highly visible, like journalists, scholars, artists, or celebrities, are intimidated or have the livelihoods threatened.  Targeting those who are especially visible makes it less likely that people will speak out and robs society of leaders and others who might inspire opposition.  
    8. restrict the press
    The public is less likely to find out about government wrongdoing if the government can threaten to prosecute anyone who publishes or broadcasts reports that are critical of the government.  
    9. recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason
    People who protest can be charged with terrorism or treason when laws criminalize or limit free speech rather than protect it. 
    10. subvert the rule of lawThe disappearance of checks and balances makes it easier to declare martial law, especially if the judiciary branch continues to exercise authority over individuals but has no authority over the Executive branch.

  12. This made evening news here in Aus and I just thought “Yeah, f-ing right this is over. The only thing that is over is Bloomberg’s career as NYC mayor”. Prove me right.

    The system is even against this.. what kind of shit-for-brains is gonna vote for that banker ass-licker now? The USA is looking more like China every day, what with the government’s panicked response to this and their (failed) shifting of legal goalposts.

    Keep it up #OWS – the bastards are squirming.

  13. I heard the OWS people were eating babies, too.  I mean.  Allegedly.  We investigated & found no evidence of that, though.  I’m just bringing it up.  Satanic baby eaters.  From what I heard.  From Vinny on the block.

  14. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  15. Billionaire acts to end protest against wealth inequality.  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.  Disappointed, but not surprised.

  16. My girlfriend is a video journalist for the AFP. She has been covering the OWS for several weeks now and was arrested last covering the eviction. She says she was shoved numerous times by Police, and finally asked a Police where she could move to when she was told to clear the sidewalk. The Police pointed her where to go which lead into a corral where her camera was taken away and her hands bound with ties behind her back. Thankfully the Police were willing to put her video camera back into her backpack. She was taken downtown, processed, and eventually released around 6AM.

  17. Michael Bloomberg has finally shown his true colors. For a while, we might have convinced ourselves that Occupy Wall Street would maintain a friendly but adversarial relationship with the City of New York, but Mayor Bloomberg has chose to side with the heavy-handed tactics of police in the interest of “public safety,” over the rights of peaceable protest. His intent was clear: break up the demonstration in such a way as to keep it from reassembling itself to the same degree as before, in order to weaken the resolve of the protesters.

    Occupy Wall Street must now move beyond the narrow confines of protests in parks. This groundswell must be channeled into fielding independent (read: not party-affiliated) candidates and backing them in up-coming elections, to unseat misguided and misanthropic politicians like Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Quan. This nation still operates under the auspices of “one person, one vote” — despite the attempts of the conservative Right to limit who can actually vote — and it is time to use the power of the disaffected millions to alter the political landscape. It is time to Occupy A Voting Booth, and take back local, state, and federal administrations, and restore America to its original birthright of freedom & liberty for all citizens.

  18. BBC America had really good coverage into the wee hours. CNBC had some as well. The rest of American media: crickets. Thanks a lot Sandusky and Herman Cain’s forehead.

  19. You know there is a serious problem in America, regarding public trust in its basic institutions, when your 70-year-old mother begins to sound like many who have been at OWS.  The police are not going to sweep this problem away nor is the mayor of New York.

  20. “We’re worried” *beats in the face with a stick* “about your health” *slams on the ground* “and safety.” *breaks wrist*

    What, did Bloomberg watch a mafia-movie-marathon this weekend?!

  21. Wow: this article is a great round-up of sources; thanks boingboing!  …I’m not surprised that it’s come to this.  Well it’s time for a new front to replace the government, taking the change to the ballot box.  Check out http://OccupyGovernment.org for a virtual yet actual mobilization.  The citizen agreement hooks you up with local candidates and gives us a common integrity as voters.  Or go all out and become one such candidate; please, we need you!  http://BeYourGovernment.org (a sister site) really makes it look easy and I think deserves more attention.

  22.  > LRAD … Illegal to use on civilians, of course

    @hassenpfeffer:twitter  – Is that true, or were you being sarcastic?  I’ve never heard that, but could have just missed it.  I’d be surprised.  I do remember when the Active Denial System heat ray weapon was entering public awareness that some high U.S. official said it would never be used on civilians (heh), but not a discussion of legality of that and related weapons.  (I consider that reassurance to carry as much weight as the “everything is under control, please go about your business” claim on day one of the Fukushima reactor disaster, so I won’t be surprised when ADS shows up in the hands of domestic law enforcement too.)

    > i definitely, absolutely, without question got hit by that LRAD last night

    @twitter-15707229:disqus  – What was that like?

    1. My understanding is that, in the US, the LRAD is for use ONLY by the military and ONLY against foreign combatants. Which of course fails to explain why the NYPD as well as Pittsburgh PD each have/had at least one. It was also used in Toronto during the G20 there, and I can’t imagine that Canadian law is any more “liberal” about its use than US law.

      The big caveat is that IANAL; I’m a Pittsburgh resident and recall discussions about the (at-least-then) illegal use of the LRAD during the G20 here.

    2. Unsurprisingly, I seem to be wrong on any number of counts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LRAD#Against_protesters

      The LRAD was used for the first time in the United States in Pittsburgh during the time of the G20 summit on September 24–25th, 2009.[9][10] Pittsburgh police again utilized LRAD as a precautionary measure to prevent unruly crowds from getting out of control following the 2011 Super Bowl. LRAD systems were also purchased by Toronto Police for the 2010 G20 summit….LRAD was also reportedly[12] used by the Oakland Police Department during the clearance of the Occupy Oaklandencampment on the morning of 25 October 2011…..LRAD use was also reported as the New York City Police department cleared protestors during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park on the morning of 15 November 2011.[2]

      Note that I actually have no objection to LRAD or whatever else being deployed on rowdy Stillers fans.

  23. Shutting down the subway. Throwing away a free public library of 5000 books, Destroying protester’s property. Arresting 200 people. And what “public emergency” necessitated this enormous exercise in police power over the citizens they and the Mayor Bloomberg are sworn and paid to protect and serve?

    This is as blatant an abuse of police power over peaceful political expression as we have seen since–oh, yeah, the arrest of 1,8000 peaceful protesters at the Republican National
    convention in 2004, and their illegal placement in preventive detention for 44 hours on “Guantanamo on the Hudson.” The largest, most illegal use of “preventive detention” against political expression in the history of the USA. Same city, Same mayor. Same police chief.

    Closing down the subways all around, Destroying protester’s tents and a free public library of 5,000 books and arresting 200 people.  As though the freedom of peaceful political expression justifies this use of “emergency” police power. It is time to elect a government that represents the people, not the corporations and billionaires who control and have corrupted our political system. Time to http://www.OccupyGovernment.org 

    Our next front needs to be to occupy the ballot box, in 2012, using our social networks to replace stupefying TV ads. It is time to stand as, or support, candidates willing to represent the 99%. Not the misguided, misuse of government and police on power, ego and greed. 

  24. check the live stream link above, there’s movement at the fence and I think there’s going to be an announcement on the judge’s ruling?
    the police just moved everyone away from the barrier…
    the police seem to be deliberately not arresting people..
    Edit, LOL not live reporting anymore… too many false verdicts!
    should be about a minute according to the ppls mic…
    Somebody in NY get to the hallal food cart next to the coffee shop next to the big red statue and get the cameraman a banana!!

  25. Fascinating how hard the City works at creating different classes of people on the fly, to then treat entirely differently from day to day.

    “Protestors” are “the public”.

    “The public” is not blocked from anything, it’s just that there is limited space, and individual protestors are using some of it. When you protest you don’t lose any rights. Rights are not things that can be denied you. Either nobody uses the park, or anyone does.

    Funny the capitalist types would try to use that ‘tragedy of the commons’ argument against anyone else. Ironic, even. 

  26. Mayor Bloomberg is insulting us all when he reduces what the protesters are doing down to an issue about a public park being open to play ball and walk dogs. This is about how 1% of society is bleeding the other 99% dry. Bloomberg’s personal fortune is nearly 20 billion dollars. Why should he care about you being able to pay the bills or having a job to go to? The powers that be want to characterise these protesters as scruffy anarchists hell bent on destroying capitalism. But this is far from what it is really about. It’s time we all get off our backsides and say enough is enough. Capitalism does not have to be about a society where 99% of people have to scrimp by, so that 1% can live super wealthy lifestyles.


  27. Looks like the “power of their arugements” won out with a court order and Bloomberg is dishonestly ignoring it using dirty tricks and lies in order to avoid having to abide by it. It’s not in the mayors political power to ignore court orders because they’re inconvenient; and if his administration were to seek an emergency injunction against the order he’d have to acknowledge it first.

    Pushing journalists away from OWS before the raid is demonstrably and grossly anathema to the proper execution of our liberties. We’ve already seen this sort of bad behavior on the part of police forces at the Battle of the Beanfield–the aftermath of lies about “safety” didn’t stand up well in the courts of law then either.

    The presence of journalists would serve to protect the police from false allegations as much as it would server to justify true allegations made by the police against protesters; otherwise, the ensuing lawsuits and failure of the police to support their own allegations may have to become the truncheon by which they’re brought back into line. It saddens me that New York City and the NYPD stand to lose a great deal more money over this OWS eviction than they would have if they’d chosen to take a less violent, stupid path.

    I am also gravely concerned about the standard of “safety” when midnight raids target unarmed civilians with troops wearing armor and wielding caustic chemical agents as weapons. During one of these rousts, the police may end up killing someone by deliberately putting them in the most dangerous situation possible–blinded by night, unable to flee, choking on tear gas, surrounded by confusion and strife.

  28. According to the mayor’s twitter, the books are at least partially not destroyed. http://twitter.com/#!/NYCMayorsOffice/status/136544900815663106

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