Posted 10 years ago on March 22, 2012, 6:45 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
At the new Occupation of Union Square, a pattern is emerging. For five days, since the NYPD attacked the attempted re-occupation of Liberty Square, hundreds of people have Occupied the park in midtown Manhattan. For the past two nights, using the pretext of ¨midnight park cleaning¨, NYPD has responded with heavy-handed tactics to enforce a curfew on the park for the first time in history since it opened in 1882. Twice, NYPD has come under cover of darkness to harass and intimidate the peaceful Occupiers.
Last night, thousands of New Yorkers converged on Union Square for the #MillionHoodiesMarch to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and all victims of racist terror. The NYPD also turned out in massive numbers and attacked the marchers, who responded with chants of ¨no justice, no peace, no racist police!¨ In a scene reminiscent of the September march for Troy Davis during the early days of the Liberty Square Occupation, the NYPD once again stole the show, turning a march against the killing of a Black 17-year-old into yet another scene of police brutality against protesters.
The crowd was split into several smaller marches by police assaults. One group filled Times Square with chants of ¨We are Trayvon Martin!¨, while another headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, and a third converged on Liberty Square (which NYPD had already barricaded). Nearby, top NYPD brass were caught on livestream violently arresting and swinging batons at peaceful protesters.
As the march arrived in the financial district, protesters overturned the barricades on Wall Street and climbed the iconic Wall Street bull that NYPD has vigilantly guarded ever since #OWS began, long a symbol of the banking and financial industry´s greed. The police were quick to rush to defend the symbol of the Stock Exchange, receiving chants of ¨Whose cops? Wall Street´s cops!¨ In the United States, police attack nonviolent protesters for challenging economic inequality, but killers of unarmed youth of color are left alone.
After the Million Hoodie March, many Occupiers returned to Union Square for the night. They were met with an even larger police presence. Occupiers were doing nothing except socializing, playing music, and resting when hundreds of police, with many high-ranking officials and riot squads present, set up barricades. As though trying to incite a riot, the NYPD forced them from their peaceful encampment once again, formed a human chain around protesters, and threatened to arrest anyone who sits in the park.
For two nights now, in a display of wishful thinking, local corporate media has claimed that Occupy Union Square was evicted. But we´re still there. Last night, after being kicked out temporarily, Occupiers merely marched around the perimeter and waited in a tense stand-off until police finally left. Given the increasingly aggressive temperament of the NYPD commanders on the scene, many expected a violent mass arrest which, luckily, did not occur - most likely because literally 100s of thousands of people had been watching the night´s events on Livestream.
It is yet to be seen how long the NYPD will continue this nightly dramatic waste of city resources. While it would cost nothing to allow homeless protesters to sleep in a 24-hour public park, it costs a lot to kick them out. And it is a waste -because every time the city has attacked, protesters have stood their ground nonviolently and returned as soon as the police leave and rush hour traffic wakes up. The NYPD is waging an unwinnable war on dissent.
Stay tuned - there is a lot planned for the coming days!
Weekly Wall Street Marches
Friday, March 23 2:00pm
Every Friday at 2pm we march from Liberty Square to Wall Street in preparation for May Day, a day of massive economic non-compliance and strike. Occupy is returning back to the basics as done in September: accessible direct actions to strengthen our community and voice our grievances to the 1%.
Saturday, March 24, 12noon
Don’t know where to begin? Want help connecting to specific groups and projects? Join us at the next OWS Orientation this Saturday March 24, at noon, meet at the Red Cube across the street from Liberty Square (rain location: public atrium at 60 Wall Street). Email Tascha at email@example.com.
Saturday, March 24, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Disrupt Dirty Power!
United Nations Plaza, 405 E. 42nd Street
Occupy Wall Street and allied organizations will kick off a global month of action leading up to Earth Day, April 22, to connect the dots between the 1% and the destruction of the planet. Mock corporate polluters will set up shop, and the 99% will take them on!
Sunday, March 25, 12:00-2:00pm
Studying May Day and the General Strike – w/ Ruth Milkman
Organized with the Immigrant Worker Justice working group. Facilitated by Occupy University, as part of a series of teach-ins about May Day.
Sunday, March 25, 11:00am-7:00pm
Occupy Town Square IV
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Occupy Town Squares are daytime occupations held in parks and other public spaces around NYC. With info tables, teach-ins, and political discussions, each event seeks to recreate the spirit of occupation and reclaim our public commons. Come share your ideas and stories, learn about the movement, argue with us, debate with us, collaborate with us. http://nycga.net/events/event/occupy-town-square-iv-fort-greene-park
Monday, March 26, 12:30pm
Bronx Foreclosure Auction Blockade
Fountain in Joyce Kilmer Park
Join Occupy Homes and Organizing for Occupation to sing in a moratorium on all foreclosures! Pre-meeting in the park at 12:30pm; action at the Bronx Supreme Civil Court at 2pm.
Every Day in March, 11:30-2:00pm
Cultural Occupation Of Liberty Square (COOLS)
OWS inspired the world by maintaining a presence in Liberty Square – creating a viral action that spread across the country and the globe. COOLS brings, food, discussion, education and fun to the park every day. Bring your appetite and light the fire in your belly that will ignite our actions going forward. Join us – we need each other. Do it now! Tweet using #ows and #CultureOcc and find a full schedule of special events, speakers and performances at http://cools.nycga.net
SAVE THE DATE: May 1
Call to Action: May Day 2012
If you’d like to be added to the announcement and/or discussion listserv or have any questions regarding meeting time, location, structure, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. http://maydaynyc.org