Video: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Returned to Liberty Plaza, Arrested in Another Midnight Raid
Just before midnight last night, eight Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested in Zuccotti Park, also known as Liberty Plaza, in what appears to be an attempt to re-occupy. They arrived at the park they were evicted from more than three months ago following a march to Union Square. Protesters say the private security guards policing the park told them they could have blankets, but when they started laying down, police who had been waiting in NYPD vans began confiscating "sleeping bags." Gotham reports that, like many other Occupy-related sweeps, the arrests appeared to be random:
Shortly before midnight, a group of officers began moving through the park, inspecting bags, and shooing away the handful of protesters, some of whom scattered immediately rather than have their bags inspected. When asked what law they were breaking, Officer DiPace replied, "There's a law against everything. That's America." At the entrance to the park, the arrests began with the individual seen in this video, who insists police arrested him after sat down on the sidewalk
Because Zuccotti Park is a privately-owned park in New York City, it must always be open to and accessible by the public, twenty-four hours a day.
Asked why the park was closed, one of the officers standing guard in the east end of the park replied, "Why are you asking stupid questions?" At this point, Officer Rosado began to point out people with backpacks to arrest who weren't standing inside the park, as if he was picking the remaining apples from a denuded tree. By 12:45 a.m., about 20 protesters remained.
Gotham says that people who "objected to the arrests" were also arrested, resulting in eight arrests, seven for disorderly conduct, and one for obstructing governmental administration.
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