Today the news blackout is ending. The Wall Street protests are no longer simple regional news.
** See the first comment for an update.
DO SEE COMMENT #4 for a first hand account.
That article looks like it is from the city section rather than the national news section. Though those distinctions don’t mean as much with the web, hypertext etc. Also, I don’t know if they revised the article afterwards, but it’s now saying 700 protesters were arrested (!)
The NYT features national or even international news that occurs in New York City in its City Section, in my experience.
I followed the DSK case fairly closely and while that case was front-page news in the media worldwide, the NYT always put in the City Section, at least in its online feature.
I think I’ve tended to conflate being in the city or regional section and being buried. For some time, I saw nothing of the protests either on the opening page online or in the print version’s frontpage, which we also get. Now it is still classified as local news, but it is getting frontpage coverage.
Thanks, Nemo, for the update. The NY Times has a delicious piece today about how helpful the police actions have been in making sure the protest is covered in lots of newspapers.
I was arrested yesterday. I was hoping I could share my experience with this.
I went to the March with some other CUNY Grad Center philosophers (students and faculty). This was my first time participating with Occupy Wall Street, though I have done protests in the city before. We were in the middle or toward the back of the march. Nobody received the march route beforehand (apparently this was a choice the organizers made after last weekend’s events with the cops pepper-spraying and beating people near Union Square).
When we got to the BK Bridge the group forked in two directions; we happened to be on the right side so we entered the vehicle entryway (without realizing it, at least for me). I noticed that the other group was sloping up while we were sloping down but didn’t think anything of it. Nobody directed us to stay off the vehicle road at any point. There were cars to the right of us, and maybe a couple cops who didn’t seem concerned that we were on the road. We got to the middle of the bridge and had a bit of a dance party.
Then we saw a mass of cops coming toward us on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Everyone sat down and the organizers tried to do a “mic check” to figure out what needed to happen next. Then the cops started putting up orange fencing toward the back of the march. Some of the other students I was with climbed up the railing to the pedestrian path — this was about 12 feet of steel girders over a drop down to the BQE, stories and stories below. No joke, if you fell through the girders you would have died. And I wasn’t about to do that, so I went back to the fencing since they were letting people through.
The cops at the fences let a big group of protestors through the fence, saying “Leave now, if you stay you are subject to arrest.” A GC Philo faculty member got through this way. They shut the fence right in front of me, saying “NO MORE.” Then they let a few other people through to the other side, single file. Then one of the cops opened the fence and motioned for me to go through. When I stepped across four cops surrounded me and placed me under arrest. I was totally confused and shocked, because I was just doing exactly what they told me to do. I started yelling and crying because I literally had no idea what I had done wrong (I did not hear or see a single cop telling us not to be on the vehicle road, and I was following instructions on what to do now that I was there). A cop told me not to get so upset or I would also be charged with resisting arrest. They put me in zipties and told me “Yeah, not all fun and games NOW, is it?” and then put me in a paddywagon. I did not know we weren’t supposed to be where we were until the other women in the paddywagon told me.
The paddywagon ended up having about 10 women in it: ethnically diverse, young, old, employed, unemployed, retired. On my paddywagon there was: a preschool teacher, an art historian, a retired Verizon employee, a former nun, a computer consultant, and an international student from Japan. We were all Tweeting and Facebooking with our phones tied behind our backs. They took us to 1 Police Plaza to central booking and put us 5 to a cell. There were many more men than women. They confiscated a Muslim woman’s hijab at central booking and made her sit without her scarf for hours. They gave us cheese sandwiches with mustard. I was arrested on the bridge around 5 PM and released around 3 AM.
Oh, sorry, also: I was issued a court summons for November. I think it is for disorderly conduct or obstructing vehicular…something, but I don’t know exactly what because the ticket they gave me doesn’t say what I was charged with.
I was very lucky. I was not beat up or pepper-sprayed like some of the folks last week, and my move through transit and central booking was relatively quick. There were people sitting on MTA buses with their hands ziptied behind their backs for 4 hours; they finally made it to 1 Police Plaza after midnight, after being taken to precincts in Brooklyn and Manhattan that didn’t have room for them. Last I heard the total arrests were around 700-800 people.
Again I want to emphasize that we were a very diverse, peaceful crowd — the women I was with (they separated us by gender) were students, union workers, mothers, retirees; queer women, women of color, non-native English speakers. We were not violent punks or anarchists as some of the media outlets seem to be reporting. Many of us were just in the wrong place at the wrong time during a peaceful protest.
Rachel, thanks so much for your comments. I’ve changed the post to draw attention to them.
Kate, I can’t imagine that the summons does not have enough information on it – such as a code section – to permit a determination of the charge. But if it does not, you should call the office of the clerk of court in a couple of days and give the citation number in order to find out more.
Sorry, my last comment above was addressed to Rachel, not Kate. Apologies for getting your name wrong.
Oh, my bad. Just looked it up. Under “Offense Charged” it clearly states “PL 240.20(5).” Which is, as any competent English speaker would clearly see, synonymous with “Disorderly Conduct.” :-)
Right, Rachel, a few more arrests and you’ll become an expert at reading this stuff. In the meantime, you needn’t apologize.
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