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Ear to the Ground

Protesters Arrested Outside NYC Courthouse on Bank Transfer Day

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Posted on Nov 6, 2011
Phillip Stearns (CC-BY)

A protester wearing the Guy Fawkes mask that has become a symbol for Occupy Wall Street marches to Foley Square on Saturday.

At least 20 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Saturday as police used nets to clear a sidewalk in front of a state courthouse in Lower Manhattan to make way for nonexistent pedestrians.

The move puzzled protesters, who were blocked from taking the granite steps of the state Supreme Court building before being told by police officers that they had to leave the sidewalk to make way for pedestrian traffic. “We are pedestrian traffic,” the crowd shouted in response. Many wondered aloud what law they were breaking but got no response, said a participant after the arrests.

Activists marched to protest the Obama administration’s allowance of a settlement that would give funds to banks that helped create the mortgage crisis, reports Gothamist. The march coincided with a national drive to get customers of large financial institutions to move their money to credit unions and small community banks.


City Room at The New York Times:

At one point at Foley Square, officers waded into a crowd of people on the sidewalk, grabbed a woman wearing a blue skirt and holding a pink bongo drum and took her to the top of the courthouse steps. Using a bullhorn, a lieutenant warned that anyone who remained would face disorderly conduct charges. The crowd booed. Many remained, and some began walking in wide circles to avoid arrest. The lieutenant announced again that the sidewalk was closed, and the crowd mocked the idea that a public sidewalk could be closed.

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By TheEnd, November 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

Eventually the powers that be will declare martial law.  Once they do the police will have to make a choice: crush the last best hope for justice in America or join the movement.

From the very outset the Occupy movement was deemed ‘unlawful.’  Protesters, much like the homeless and unemployed, are categorized as criminals.  It doesn’t matter how peaceful or hygienic they may behave.  It only matters that some people are demanding justice in response to unbridled criminality.

The rulers and their enforcers disregard our civil liberties and human rights even when we keep in line.  To act in “contempt of corporation” is a grievous insolence which, as we’ve seen, will not be tolerated. I hope the police come around and soon. - TheEnd

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By Craig Stock, November 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So they will jail you if you don’t like the way things are done? Doesn’t seem like much of a democracy to me.

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By ardee, November 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Lower Manhattan on a weekend is pretty much a deserted area. The police are choosing to ignore the fact that they, too, are among the 99% and work against their own best interests.

Perhaps when the police unions are busted, when their own pension funds are looted they may come to regret this decision.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Yep, the ONE PERCENTERS are getting edgy.  They want
this to end….now. I don’t think that’s going to
happen anytime soon. I think the outrage will grow
exponentially every single time these things
occur.  When the protesters shout, “The whole world
is watching” that’s not just chatter.  Millions are
watching. People are being arrested with charges INVENTED after the fact.

Accountability is what the public is demanding. New
York AG Schneidermann, along with other State AG’s
are being pressured to go along to get along.  I
would say that’s just shy of a THREAT.

Quote: “In an interview, Wylde, who is President and CEO
of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City said
she merely told the AG that
it is of concern to the industry that instead of
trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem
to be throwing a wrench into it. Wall Street is our
Main Street
—love ’em or hate ’em. They are important
and we have to make sure we are doing everything
we can to support them unless they are doing
something indefensible.

Is she serious….? Unreal.  Wylde’s bio claims
affiliation with the Manhattan Institute among
various other “non-profits”. The Manhattan Institute
according to Wiki:

“The Manhattan Institute received $19,470,416 in
grants from 1985–2005, from foundations such as the
Koch Family Foundations, the John M. Olin Foundation,
Inc., the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the
Scaife Foundations, and the Smith Richardson
Foundation.[64] The Manhattan Institute does not
disclose its corporate funding, but the Capital
Research Center listed its contributors as Bristol-
Myers Squibb, Exxon Mobil, Chase Manhattan, CIGNA,
Sprint, Reliant Energy, Lincoln Financial Group
Foundation, and Merrill Lynch.”

The link also shows the involvement of the Manhattan Institute with other issues including policing practices, welfare reform, school choice, fracking and medicare among others.

I’m getting to detest that word “partnership”.  How about all our “public-private partnerships”....?  As if the government couldn’t make contracts that are in our best interests without a VALID CONTRACT! It seems now everything is “partnerships” and when we do get a contract it’s NO BID! Even a half-assed businessperson knows better.

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By Tobysgirl, November 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

The NYPD has always been a bunch of cowardly bullies. (And corrupt to boot.) Nothing new here! Would rather harass protesters and old ladies walking their dogs than deal with ooooh oooooh scary criminals!

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By weindeb, November 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A few years back my wife and I wanted to join many others to protest the GOP, at
that time scheduled to hold its convention in our town, New York City. We wanted
to hold a rally in Central Park, which was refused us because of the potential harm
to the grass. Outdoor classical and pop concerts attracting thousands never
seemed to cause hesitation on the part of the grass-defenders. Now recently, also
with Bloomberg as mayor, he said at the time the NYFD confiscated all the electric
generators of the Occupy Wall Street protesters that it was a matter of 1st
Amendment rights vs safety, and of course safety had to win. Seems somewhat
similar to the choice we had encountered in 2004, when 1st Amendment rights
came up against grass, and I’ve already said who, or what, won that one.

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, November 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

NYPD are exposing themselves as being the mindless minions of Mayor Mike and
the Wall Street barons that bribe them with large contributions to their
“foundations”.  Arresting people for being on the sidewalk and “blocking” traffic, in
NYC, would mean shutting down the entire city.  About the only thing that would
illustrate the transparency of their corruption more obviously, would be to allow
the Koch Brothers No Nothing Tea Baggers to stand across the street with their
guns, with NYPD’s protection.

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