Occupy Wall Street, day four: letter from the front

I received this from my friend Gary today. His nephew, a student at NYU, is participating in the ongoing Wall Street protest, which, unfortunately, as of this morning, took a darker turn.

Hi Uncle Gary,

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been involved in a movement called #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. It began on Saturday, with a few thousand people marching through the financial district. There, we found the blocks around Wall Street completely shut down by police barricades and a massive NYPD presence. The area was legally “frozen,” and civilians were asked to show ID to prove that they lived or worked in the area in order to get in. The famous bull at Bowling Green was also fenced off, and has had between 4-14 NYPD guarding it inside metal barricades since late Friday night (that’s a lot of overtime pay at taxpayer expense!). This video shows one of the marches, along with a face-off with wealthy locals sipping champagne on a balcony and laughing at the outraged civilians below:

Since Saturday night, a few hundred activists have settled in to a plaza called Zuccotti park on Broadway a few blocks from Wall Street, which has been renamed Liberty Plaza. Protestors have been occupying that space for three nights now. The NYPD have been moderately cooperative but tense, until today.

I personally slept out in Liberty Square on Saturday night, and spent much of Sunday and Monday there. I intend to keep returning and providing whatever resources I can between my classes and other collegiate responsibilities. I’m also engaging in online support and outreach.

This afternoon, a small force of police entered the plaza to tear down tarps that had been erected to protect media equipment (cameras, laptops) from the rain that started this morning. During that raid, three activists were arrested while trying to engage the police in discussion about their actions. Many were bloodied and dragged across the concrete. One activist was tacked so hard he lost a tooth. One activist had an NYPD officer kneel on his lung, initiating an athsma attack. That protestor is now confirmed to be in critical condition as a result of the treatment by the police. There is also a video of that assault:

There are lots of resources that interested parties can visit.
www.occupywallst.org
On Twitter: @NYCSep17, @OccupyWallSt, @OccupyWallStNYC, or the hashtags #TakeWallStreet, #OccupyWallStreet, and #Sep17
People not able to make it to the protest can also donate. So far, the money has been used to buy rain ponchos, gasoline for the generator that fuels the live-stream, food, and tarps. bit.ly/sep17.
Finally, the occupation is being streamed live on www.livestream.com/globalrevolution.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, and appreciative if you would be interested in passing this on to your network of interested parties.

Love,
Brett

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