The biggest story today was, of course, the police action in New York. Where to start? The mayor ignored a court order against him, the police beat up a bunch of people (including a city councilman), barred the press from the area, even barred helicopters from covering their actions, arrested numerous reporters, and cleared the park.
- Starting at about 1 AM ET, police efforts to clear protesters from the park (and media from the entire surrounding area, apparently) began:
In a surprise early-morning action, hundreds of New York City police cleared Occupy Wall Street out of Zuccotti Park on Tuesday, arresting dozens, throwing protestors’ tents into garbage trucks, and touching off a chaotic scene in lower Manhattan.
- Nothing says freedom and liberty like imposing an egregious press blackout:
Rosie Gray, a writer for The Village Voice, recounted telling a police officer, “I’m press!” She said the officer responded, “Not tonight.”
- Other stories from reporters being blocked from covering the police raid are similarly outrageous. And reporters are ticked off.
- When you’re mayor, apparently it means you don’t have to follow temporary restraining orders. Who knew? Screw you, little people. When you run the police department, you can do whatever the hell you want.
- Unions condemned the raid.
- This afternoon, a judge issued an order allowing Occupy Wall Street to use the park, but upholding the rule against erecting tents.
- The protesters were allowed back soon afterwards, without tents, with police searches of purses and bags (never know when someone’s going to try to sneak a tent in their purse.) Protesters also responded by “occupying” the Brookview Properties lobby: Brookview is the private owner of Zuccotti Park.
I’m beginning to think this entire episode was mostly an attempt by Bloomberg to make himself look like crap for a day. If so: well played.
In other Occupy news around the country:
- Today was the Occupy Cal Day of Action:
The Occupy Cal Day of Action is under way on the UC Berkeley campus with a noon rally in progress at the time of writing, and news helicopters aloft to cover the action. According to the BPD, an estimated 1,500 people were gathered at Sproul Plaza at midday.
- Mayor Jean Quan continues her uninspiring leadership in Oakland. Today, though, she strongly implied that cities were coordinating their efforts to crack down on the devious, camping protesters:
[Quan] casually mentioned that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . . .”
- A lawsuit has been filed by the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild in an attempt to prevent any police eviction of Occupy Boston.
- It looks like the New York Post is making crap up about Occupy Wall Street:
More doubt is being cast on a New York Post story alleging that Occupy Wall Street protesters were responsible for graffiti at the new 9/11 memorial at ground zero.
“We know of no link between Occupy protesters and acts of vandalism,” 9/11 memorial spokesman Michael Frazier tells me.
- The NRSC continues to think that associating Elizabeth Warren with Occupy Wall Street is a great strategy. Those hoodlums, with their tents and stuff! Such outrageous actions!
- Hey, remember back when Republicans started showing up to health care town halls and outside Obama public events armed with rifles and the like, not to intimidate or threaten anyone but as a form of “political speech”? Yeah, camping is much worse. That was free speech with guns; this is free speech with camping. So you can see why they have to crack down. With police in riot gear, no less.
- The Occupy movement on California campuses continues to grow.
Daily Kos community members continue to contribute on-the-scene reporting from Occupy events around the country. For those and the other Occupy-related stories, follow the Occupy Wall Street group and the Occupy Wall Street tag right here on Daily Kos.