Council members Jumaane Williams and Melissa Mark Viverito were arrested today as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests, a spokesman for Mr. Williams confirmed.
The two were arrested as part of a group of 99 others who sat on Centre Street on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge, chanting “We are the 99 percent” and “All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!”
Among the group was SEIU president George Gresham.
According to Stefan Ringel, the spokesman for Mr. Williams, the group sat there for a few minutes before police asked them to stand up and began arrested them one by one. The group did not resist.
“It was an act of civil disobedience which was meant to send a very clear message to Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Cuomo and other elected officials in government that the issues which aren’t being talked about, like income inequality, are serious, and so are they,” Mr. Ringel said.
Mr. Williams was also arrested during the West Indian Day Parade in a highly publicized incident that led him and others to accuse the NYPD of racial profiling. In this instance however, Mr. Williams surrendered willingly in order to press his point.
“A fundamental sea change is needed in the way our society views the equality gap and it needs to be accompanied by real policy changes,” Mr. Ringel said.