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Occupy Wall Street demonstrators march to protest against p

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:18 am    Post subject: Occupy Wall Street demonstrators march to protest against p Reply with quote

div class="track"img alt="" src="" width="1" height="1" //divp class="standfirst"Hundreds of demonstrators march from Zuccotti Park to Union Square chanting anti-police slogans/ppHundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators marched to protest against police violence and demand the resignation of New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly on Saturday afternoon./ppProtesters marched from the movement's original base of operations, Zuccotti Park, in lower Manhattan to Union Square, where occupiers and police have been facing off for the past week./ppThe mood varied from playful to confrontational throughout the afternoon. A handful of occupiers had fashioned their bicycles to look like police scooters, wore mock police uniforms and barked familiar orders at protesters as they passed./ppThroughout the march protesters repeated anti-police chants. A chant of "hey-hey, ho-ho, Ray Kelly has got to go," steadily morphed into "Hey-hey, ho-ho, every cop has got to go". "Fuck the police" was also a popular refrain./ppEarly on, at least two young women and a man were arrested after the women laid on their backs in a busy intersection. "I don't respect your authority," one yelled as she was led away by police./ppTensions escalated as the march moved into the SoHo and Chinatown districts, where streets are narrow and ill-equipped to accommodate scores of energetic protesters. Approximately a half dozen more people were arrested or detained in a brief period of intense confrontations in the area. Participants in the march had made repeated attempts to move into roadways and the police responded by sending in helmeted officers carrying batons and bundles of zip-tie handcuffs./ppOne protester appeared to suffer an injured ankle and a plainclothes officer was seen blocking the camera of a New York Times photographer as he attempted to document an arrest./ppAs protesters carried on into more spacious areas, the intensity died down. The march arrived to Union Square amid chants of "stop, stop, stop police brutality" and "One, we are the people, Two, we are united, Three, this occupation is not leaving."/ppOccupy Wall Street called for the demonstration following last weekend's mass arrest of at least 73 protesters, a crackdown most Occupiers described as excessively violent. Organisers framed Saturday's action as a critique of an array of NYPD tactics that tend to disproportionately target low-income communities and people of colour. Protesters repeatedly pointed to the department's widespread use of street-level stop and frisks and the surveillance of Muslim communities as examples of failed NYPD policy./ppBy early evening, there had been 14 arrests. City councilman Jumaane Williams, a supporter of the Occupy movement, was on hand for the march and attempted to de-escalate confrontations between police and the protesters./pp"My primary job is to make sure everybody's rights are protected and nobody is harmed," Williams said./pp"I think we're seeing the frustration and anger raised on both sides, the protesters and the police and I blame that squarely on the mayor and the commissioner," he added. "They refuse to address the issues that we're trying to discuss. They refuse to acknowledge there's a problem with the culture within the NYPD."/pp"I don't blame the rank and file NYPD. I blame the leadership of the NYPD and the city," Williams went on to say. "When you try to suppress people's speech, they do tend to get angry. What I saw last week was people using Zuccotti park in the way that it was supposed to be, they way that they were told that they could legally use it and they still got beat up and they still got arrested."/ppThe focus of Saturday's action, however, left some protesters worried./pp"I'm a little concerned about our message getting watered down," Occupy protester Aaron Black told the Guardian. Black argues that while protesters have suffered aggressive treatment by the police, the movement should remain focused on economic issues./pp"We started the conversation in September," Black said. "What we're upset about is that they keep interrupting the conversation."/pp"We keep getting our heads kicked," he explained. "That's not constitutional."/ppBlack said he fears continued clashes with the police could obfuscate Occupy's opposition to things like corporate personhood and the influence of money in politics, "I hope it's not a constant showdown with police."/ppProtester Liesbeth Rapp said the issue of police violence is impossible for Occupy to ignore. Rapp said she has witnessed "an insane amount of police brutality" against Occupy protesters over the past six months./pp"We didn't target police brutality. Police brutality targeted us," she said. "We have to make people aware of what the state is doing, but it's a complex issue./pp"We have to make them aware that their tax dollars are being misused to suppress people exercising their first amendment rights and any form of dissent. That's very important for people to know," Rapp added. "I feel it's a vital thing to call attention to."/pdiv class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"ullia href=""Occupy Wall Street/a/lilia href=""United States/a/lilia href=""NYPD/a/lilia href=""Protest/a/lilia href=""New York/a/lilia href=""Occupy movement/a/li/ul/divdiv class="author"a href=""Ryan Devereaux/a/divbr/div class="terms"a href="" copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our a href=",,933909,00.html"Terms Conditions/a | a href=""More Feeds/a/divp style="clear:both" /
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