It’s safe to say, however, the events of March 17th 2012 have changed me and I will never be the same. Whatever your feelings are about Occupy Wall Street, I think any rational person can see the tactics used by the NYPD are absolutely unacceptable. Cecily McMillan left for the hospital on a stretcher with a broken rib. Another protestor suffered a panic attack and was manhandled for it. One protestor had a black eye and marks all over his face from police officers punching him. One occupier suffered a broken thumb and an injured jaw. It was a disgraceful scene and the NYPD was entirely responsible for creating it.
An actor transforms from supportive activist to committed occupier on #M17.
On the east side of the street there is a strip of grass. People are often sitting, waiting–usually for hours–for loved ones to walk out of the gates, always looking over their shoulders to make sure they don’t miss them. Sometimes when you’re in the area you get the pleasure of witnessing one of these reunions. People run into the street to embrace their families with smiles and sometimes even tears.
Even further south is the entrance to another division–Division 10–where two of my friends, two of the NATO 5, are currently being held. I go to visit one of them, Sabi, usually once a week and I can tell the guards are beginning to recognize me.
From Philadelphia to NYC: the #99MileMarch
"It’s important that everyone is able to contribute and play a role in society, and for that week, the march was a society. Like Zuccotti, as I’m sure other occupations around the world, building a functioning society is not done without its tribulations. I wish I had been able to stay for the entire march to watch that evolve."
A story (with photos!) from the #99MileMarch.
How Do You Sleep at Night?
I threw my arms in the air in an attempt to visually reinforce that I was not resisting any type of arrest, only their blatant disregard for our right to peaceably assemble. I was thrown backwards into the sea of blue, my arm still being squeezed by the brute. I screamed “I DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE, THE PARK IS NOT CLOSED.”
He rang my arm tighter. “If you don’t get the fuck out, I’m going to arrest you.”
Occupy National Gathering Roundup!
#NatGat is done; what did you miss? Check out our stories from the gathering in Philadelphia leading up to Independence Day:
- Occupy National Gathering, Day 1: Upon arrival to the National Gathering in Philadelphia, protesters and police clash.
- What Would William Penn Do?: At NatGat’s first casseroles march, protesters are split on what tactics are most effective.
- Wild Cats on the Run Through Philly Summer Night: Police kettle a group of marchers at the National Gathering and make a mass arrest.
- The Bank Sleep-in at National Gathering: On #NatGat’s second night, a group sets up a sleepful protest outside PNC bank.