O.W.S. steals spotlight from Gov. Cuomo

Occupy Wall Street crashed an event in Hudson Square on Tuesday night where Gov. Andrew Cuomo was being honored. The group was protesting Cuomo's opposition to a millionaires tax. Photo by John Bayles

BY JOHN BAYLES  | A march on Tuesday evening, organized by Occupy Wall Street, to protest police brutality was cut short when demonstrators caught word that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was being honored as the “Game Changer of the Year” by Huffington Post at an event in Hudson Square.

The group of demonstrators left the District Attorney’s Office on Worth Street and marched uptown to let Gov. Cuomo know exactly how they felt about his stance on the millionaires tax. Gov. Cuomo, a democrat, is on record opposing the tax.

“Where is Cuomo? Protecting the 1 percent,” was the chant of choice, as the demonstrators marched to the site of the event, Skylight Studios, on Hudson Street.  They arrived at roughly 7:15 p.m. as did a large contingent of NYPD officers.  As they reached the venue’s entrance and as media began to arrive, an NYPD Captain lifted a megaphone to his mouth to tell the group they were “illegaly obstructing a pedestrian walkway.” He told the demonstrators they could be arrested if they did not immediately clear the sidewalk.

The group stepped back and lined up against the wall, continuing to chant.

“This is what a police state looks like,” chanted the group.

One demonstrator yelled, “Mic check,” a method used by Occupy Wall Street members to signal to the crowd that someone has something to say.

“We are the 99 percent,” said the demonstrator. “We are at this location because our Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and some of his millionaire friends are inside. We are protesting [Cuomo’s] tax cuts to millionaires.”

At least two arrests were made during the standoff, which lasted roughly one hour. Feminist author Naomi Wolf and her companion had been inside the venue as guests at the event. When they stepped outside, according to reports, Wolf challenged the NYPD’s assertion that the crowd was blocking the sidewalk. After refusing to get off the sidewalk, Wolf and her companion were taken away in handcuffs.