Wall St. protesters to rally against 'brutal' arrests by NYPD
The protesters rallying against Wall Street and the rich have set their sights on a new target: the NYPD.
In response to more than 80 arrests during a demonstration Saturday near Union Square, protesters plan to rally Friday afternoon against what they say was “brutal” behavior by cops, and will march from Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, to the NYPD’s headquarters at 1 Police Plaza.
“They have completely lost control,” protester Larry Hales, 34, said of the police’s response, noting that several videos on Youtube appear to show cops shoving, striking and using pepper spray on protesters. “We’re hoping to make demands that they stop targeting the activists down at Wall Street and that the charges are dropped for those that were arrested.”
“They haven’t scared activists into going underground,” Hales added. “They’re not going to stop people from protesting.”
The deputy inspector who protesters say is on video pepper-spraying female activists on Saturday is also being sued for his actions during the 2004 Republican National Convention in the city, according to The Guardian newspaper.
The NYPD did not comment Tuesday on the weekend’s arrests on Friday’s planned protest.
Bruce Bentley of the New York Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which is representing the arrested protesters, called the pepper-spraying incident “unreasonable,” adding that one of the women sprayed may also sue. But Bently said he was hopeful that Friday’s protest would remain peaceful. A march on Monday was held without incident, he pointed out, and those arrested on Saturday have all been released.
“If the police know about it and can make arrangements for traffic, it’s my experience the police will let it go,” Bently said.