Arrests and the Closing of Zuccotti Park on Occupy Wall Street's Six-Month Anniversary
Written by Patrick deHahn
Occupy Wall Street assembled in Lower Manhattan last night to celebrate their six-month anniversary and it resulted in a yet another closing of Zuccotti Park.
Throughout the day on Saturday, Occupy protesters gathered in their home base of Zuccotti Park, just blocks away from Wall Street. After their November eviction and their unsuccessful Duarte Square occupation attempt, they declared that last night was going to be a 24 hour occupation at their 7 PM General Assembly.
Shortly after the general assembly started, members of the Left Forum Conference taking place at Pace University walked from Spruce Street to Zuccotti with Michael Moore.
Michael Moore at Zuccotti Park via steffiekeith on Flickr
The hundreds of protesters then started to practice “park defense” techniques throughout the General Assembly. And shortly after the lesson ended, protesters danced and gathered in the middle of the park as a tent went up.
A somewhat-covert method of tent building, using the Occupy banner strung between two trees, a green tarp, and cardboard boxes
The tent was taken down by NYPD when the protesters abandoned their camp to see what was happening when a bagpipe band began playing south of the park.
NYPD moves into the park and tears down the Occupy tent
At 11pm, NYPD officers made an announcement asking the demonstrators to disperse and leave the park or they would be subject to arrest.
NYPD pushed in on the protesters who remained in the park, some who linked their arms as a non-violent defense tactic, but the park was cleared, barricades were put back in place around the perimeter, and 73 protesters were arrested (USAToday).
The protest and subsequent closing of Zuccotti Park resulted in many issues, including ambulances arriving on scene for a protester who had a seizure while in zipcuffs, MTA buses being used to transport arrestees, Zuccotti being barricaded after a court order ruled it was unlawful, and a glass door being broken in a scuffle between protesters and police later in the night.
Protesters marched to Union Square and a reported 20 protesters slept there overnight.