|Wall Street barricaded off empty except for NYPD|
On Oct. 5, while protesters were holding a rally in Foley Square, the NYC police were barricading off all paths to the Stock Exchange on Wall Street. I photographed the march form Zuccotti Park to Foley Square and then took a subway to Wall Street, thinking i would meet the marchers there. Instead i found lines of metal barricades and loads of police. It became clear to me the marchers weren’t going to make it to Wall Street so I left the area and made my way to Zucotti Park, which was full to capacity. For the first time, the park was barricaded. You could get in but only at the corners of the park where police were controlling movement creating a claustrophobic environment.
|Protestors in Foley Square|
As i was leaving, I witnessed a long procession of cops headed to Wall Street. Something menacing was in the air. When I got back to my base, I read tweets that said ambulances were stationed at the Wall Street bull and cops had attacked protesters. Later on Fox News I saw a report from the front lines: The cops used their batons to strike not only protesters but the media too.
There was footage of protesters knocking over a police motorcycle and trying to enter Wall Street before violence began. Once again the police have their side of the story to justify their heavy-handed tactics. But I wonder why didn’t the police let the Occupy Wall Street people march on Wall Street? The crowd was much smaller than the thousands that had marched to Foley Square. The Wall Street offices were closed, so business would not have been disrupted. Had they let the protestors march the streets in the financial district, that would have been that. Instead, countless man hours were spent to make the streets impassible turning downtown NYC into a police state, setting up a situation bound to lead to confrontation.
Is it Police Commissioner Kelly or Mayor Bloomberg calling the shots in this uncharted new chapter of civil disobedience in NYC, a city that is big on law and order? Whoever it is in charge has empowered the protestors once again with their actions. If the whole world wasn’t watching, they certainly are now.
To see my images from the Oct 5th march and rally click on my set on Flickr.
Click here to see a slide show and my first hand account from the Brooklyn Bridge on the Atlantic’s website .
And here to see video of one of the protestors resisting arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge.
And advice given to protesters by Lawyers Guild before the march started.
|Occupy Wall Street Protestors march to Foley Square|