Occupy Wall Street protests took place in New York and around the world yesterday. In New York, thousands packed Times Square, then broke off into smaller groups occupying other public areas of the city.
Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones was reporting from the protests in NYC yesterday, and captured this video that shows riot police arresting protesters at Washington Square Park. Watch the whole thing.
Harkinson was nearly arrested in the course of filming this, as you can see for yourself towards the end, when he identifies himself as a member of the press who wishes to document the arrests. The NYPD clearly did not want any such documentation.
The police officer who approaches protesters initially is sympathetic and respectful. He pleads with the protesters to go home; all the officers have been at it since 8AM and are tired, and want to go home to their families. The protester replies by reading out the First Amendment. A protester is singing the 1940 Woodie Guthrie anthem, "This Land Is Your Land."
Unlike the park that houses the original OWS occupation near Wall Street, Washington Square is a publicly-owned space that's subject to a 12 a.m. closing time imposed by New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation. As midnight approached, the New York City Police Department dispatched more than 100 police officers in riot gear to push out the occupiers. Some of them chose to resist, and I was there inside the police cordon to capture this exclusive video (the confrontation with police happens near the end).
"This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California to the New York Island."
Follow Harkinson on Twitter here.