Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Liberty Park Re-opens, Occupy Wall Street Day 60

At around 11AM when we got to the now evicted Liberty Park, things were quiet, cops with riot helmets were guarding the gated off Liberty Park. People were walking back and forth, screaming various phrases at the cops such as "This Is What A Police State Looks Like" and "Let Us In" Then all of a sudden the marchers come back from Foley Square, they went across near the police vans and cars from broadway to trinity place, where they were blocked by police, and forced to turn around. When they started marching in the other direction, we hear some shouts and barricades rattling, then we see someone getting cuffed and hauled away. We then turn to Liberty Park to watch the cops and the mysterious people in bright green vests. As we are looking at the cops, we hear a woman ask "excuse me sir, why do you wear green vests and who do you work for?", the guy replies "we're sanitation", we found that to be a little odd, considering those "sanitation" guys didn't have any sort of ID on them whatsoever. A few minutes later, another protestor is seen arrested. At this point, we go closer to the park, and step on the barricades to get a better view. All of a sudden a woman, who was next to us on the barricades, rushes over them, sits down, and holds her hand up. Her hand immediately gets grabbed by a cop, and the TARU trains his video camera on her. Then we walk around the park to the front, and get spoken to this girl about how the cops are a bunch of pigs, and that there was this "one very mean cop, who gives everyone a hard time". Both us and her get told repeatidly to "move along, and not block the sidewalk", we continue to move, but the girl gets fed up, and tells them " you can't make me move, show me a law that says I need to move from this spot" all of a sudden 4 cops come in and restrain her, they zip-tie her and take her away. Almost right after that, the cops proceed to force us off the sidewalk, they start pushing and shoving us. As we are getting pushed and shoved off the sidewalk, we see another protestor getting arrested. Eventually everyone who was on the sidewalk, gets split into two groups on either side of the park, parallel to eachother. At 5, a plan was made to "Occupy the four corners of Liberty Park" after that was put in motion, there were talks of 4 GA's (General Assemblies) happening simultaniously. During this time, they got confused about what the verdict of the Liberty Park Occupation was. Some said, there was no verdict yet, others said there was, and that they couldn't return to the park. We got told by a reporter that the verdict came in and it ruled that, they couldn't continue occupying the park, or sleep there, but was able to be let back in. Then slowly the cops started letting people in from the side. The cops were accompanied by those guys in the green vests checking bags. A set of rules that were announced over the megaphone by the cops included "no tents, structures of any kind, and sleeping bags," As the protestors were let in a bunch at a time, they all had their bags checked by the green vests. upon entering the "occupied" Liberty Park, there was this eearie feeling that came over us, like we were being monitored constantly. Then we walked around the park, it was quite a sight, those who wanted to get into the park, those who didn't want to come in, the cops on the outside of the barricades, and us on the inside. After walking around a little, we notice some medics rush to the middle of the park. We find out that a man was passed out, the medics tell us that "he had gotten hit on the head by police the day before, and that, he had been complaining about headaches all day". He wasn't really responding to them. Then a green vest, and two cops come over, and them and the the medics help the guy on a stretcher. We later found out that the green vests were security contractors hired by Brookfield Properties (possibly on their payroll) but no name of the Sec company has been established yet.