Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested over the weekend during the Occupy movement’s 6 month anniversary rally. Between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has said that officers arrested 73 protesters.
According to an Occupy Wall Street protester, Chris Casuccio, police officers beat several protesters while arresting others at Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.
Detective Brian Sessa has stated that protesters were not arrested until after they began breaking the park rules against pitching tents.
Police have said that they have no information officers beating protesters during the numerous arrests.
One of the leaderless movement’s members, Ed Needham, conveyed his hopes that the weekend’s protests would act as a catalyst towards renewing focus on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Needham was quoted saying:
“Every time they use violence to pus down, it only increases the number of people that are empathetic to the cause. It adds fueled to the fire and draws attention to the movement.”
Apparently inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East which have been pro-democracy, the Occupy Wall Street Protesters have been conveying their discontent for U.S. financial policies which they claim has only further increased the gap between the rich and poor which they refer to as the 1% and the 99%. Initial protests in Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011 caused an onslaught of protests across the United States.
Some of the more colorful of Saturday’s protesters marched through the financial district cursing at local law enforcement while chanting:
“Bankers are gangsters!”
While those critical of the movement have made clear their belief that the Occupy movement lacks direction and demands, it appears that there are those within the movement harboring similar thoughts as protesters Paul Sylvester of Massachusetts was quoted saying:
“We need to be more concrete and specific.”
Independent filmmaker Michael Moore was walking through the park prior to police officers arresting protesters and he was quoted saying:
“I think it’s great that this movement continues to grow. I think the goals are clear. People are concerned that they have no control over their own democracy. They have no control over their own lives.”
While arrests were high over the weekend in parks across New York, the arrests seem light in comparison to the 200+ arrests that occurred back in January when Occupy protesters in Oakland, California were tear gassed and arrested by local law enforcement.
If the alleged police brutality is true, what are your thoughts on the police using excessive force in order to quell Occupy protesters?
Here’s a video of NYPD tackling a woman at Zuccotti Park on Saturday:
via Yahoo! News