For the past 10 days, scores of demonstrators have occupied Zuccotti Park near Wall Street to protest what they believe are entrenched inequities in the nation’s financial system.
In response to the peaceful demonstration, the NYPD has flooded the Financial District with police officers and has erected labyrinths of steel barricades along sidewalks in front of the Stock Exchange and around the famous bull statue on Broadway.
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On Saturday, police made at least 80 arrests as the demonstrators attempted to march from the park to Union Square. The crackdown led to violent clashes between officers and protestors. In a particularly disturbing incident, a senior NYPD officer was caught on video shooting pepper spray into the faces of four women who were already confined by crowd-control netting.
According to a media report, the NYPD officers have been confronting and even arresting people engaged in photographing and filming police interactions with the demonstrators.
New York Civil Liberties Union staff members are engaging with the demonstrators, learning about their experiences with police and distributing Know Your Rights guides on protesting in New York City and on surviving police encounters. In addition, the ACLU is offering a Know Your Rights guide for photographing police activity.
In the news:
- New York Times: Wall Street Demonstrations Test Police Trained for Bigger Threats
- New York Daily News: Wall Street protesters cuffed, pepper-sprayed during 'inequality' march