Occupy Wall Street’s May Day protests came with promises the city would be “shut down” and fears of massive traffic disruptions and “militant elements” among the many marches. As of noon, we only received reports of a handful of arrests as protesters converged in Bryant Park where the crowd included protest mimes, truants and a staunchly conservative occupier.
Law & Order
An “open source assessment” of Occupy Wall Street’s planned May Day protest produced by the NYPD SHIELD counterterrorism program warns of possible “militant eletments” among the protesters and a variety of “disruptive activities” including “vandalism” and “a blockade of New York City bridges, tunnels, and ferries.” This evening, Twitter accounts affiliated with Occupy Wall Street began sending out the assessment, which was identified as “leaked.”
Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesperson, said the document was “hardly ‘leaked.’”
“This is a summary of stuff the press has reported on all week and that has been disseminated on OWS related sites,” Mr. Browne said. “It was sent on our website used by thousands of security directors for universities, hospitals, corporations, and other employers who are welcome to share it with anyone they want, and who do.”
The Best Laid Plans
Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement have released a schedule of events for their big “general strike” planned for May 1 and it includes, a “meditation flash mob,” a “guitarmy,” a rally featuring the rap group Das Racist and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and an afterparty. The list of planned actions includes both permitted events and protests for which the Occupiers didn’t obtain permission from the City.
Law & Order
A coalition of Occupy Wall Street protesters and attorneys for civil rights organizations filed a Freedom of Information Law requesttoday asking the NYPD to reveal “all information concerning the policies guiding the law enforcement response to Occupy demonstrations since last September.” The FOIL request is part of efforts to investigate the government response to Read More
Law & Order
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was arrested and charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest during the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park November 15. This morning those charges were dismissed in Manhattan Criminal Court. Though the district attorney’s office claimed they “determined that the officers who were involved in Read More
The Transit Workers Union Local 100 is holding a daylong “reclaim public transit” event tomorrow in conjunction with Occupy Wall Street and the Working Families Party, against the backdrop of their protracted contract negotiationswith the Metropolitan Transit Authority. According to the statement announcing the event, it is designed to “highlight funding and infrastructure needs of public transportation across the nation” and “raise awareness about how public transit supports good jobs, sustainable communities, a greener environment and reduced consumption of oil.” Tomorrow’s event will include a pair of press conferences as well as leafleting and petitions calling on the MTA to “reoccupy” underutilized buildings in Downtown Brooklyn in order to cut costs.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece and in an interview on CBS This Morning today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued President Barack Obama’s economic proposals — as well as those espoused by Republican presidential candidates — are fundamentally unrealistic.
“Over the past year, as the candidates jockeying for the Republican nomination raced to the right, the Obama campaign has sought to re-energize its base by tacking left,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote. “The president not only embraced the frustration expressed by Occupy Wall Street protesters—which was real—but he adopted their economic populism.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s staff apparently got quite a kick out of the NYPD’s surveillance video allegedly showing Occupy Wall Streeters pouring poop in a plaza and at a Chase ATM in Lower Manhattan. Two members of Mayor Bloomberg’s press team Tweeted the footage along with mocking parodies of popular Occupy slogans.
“Whose poop? Their poop!” wrote Mayor Bloomberg’s press secretary, Stu Loeser.
Making A Stink
The NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information released a surveillance video showing several people the department identified as Occupy Wall Street protesters allegedly pouring “large quantities of human urine and feces” at two locations in Lower Manhattan on March 14. Police say the security camera footage captured the protesters dumping the putrid cocktail in a plaza on the corner of Nassau Street and Ceder Street. Twenty minutes later, cops said one of the protesters dumped more refuse inside a Chase bank branch on Water Street. One person was arrested in conjunction with the potty protest.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who has been a staunch supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, appeared on the radio this morning to discuss his plans for a “Protester’s Bill of Rights” with John Gambling, who is most certainly not a fan of the Occupy movement. Mr. Rodriguez’s bill was inspired bythe NYPD’s handling of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park last Saturday.
“I believe that in the last couple of demonstrations there have been a lot of questions about how the NYPD has been handling the arrests,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I witnessed the excessive use of force used by the NYPD last Saturday making the arrest and I believe that a ‘Protester’s Bill of Rights’ will help both the protesters and the NYPD to have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of both the protesters and the NYPD.”