In an action expected only in dictator-run countries like Syria, Libya, and Iran, NYPD in riot gear have descended upon the Occupy Wall Street peaceful protestors in Zuccotti Park in the middle of the night, forcefully evicting some and arresting many.
Mother Jones reporter, Josh Harkinson, is Tweeting live the events taking place.
Harkinson: "I can see the park from se barricade. Cops dismantling tents. There is a huge dumpster by the park already filled to the brim with tents and other belongings of occupiers. People are massing at Wall Street bull right now. Cops have the bull blocked off. Not letting people stand on sidewalk there. National Lawyers guild says NYT journalist arrested already. Crowd now blocking dump truck on broadway. Crowd has successfully blocked this dump truck. It's now backing up. Big cheers! Tons of riot cops surrounding #OWS kitchen. A slew of riot cops with batons heading down broadway. Cops have a giant orange bulldozer that they've used to scrape everything up. There are, very roughly, 25 ppl in the food tent resisting cops. So far police leaving them alone."
"Kid wearing gas mask holding sign: "No law shall abridge the right of the people to peaceably assemble". Another occupier is waving an American flag. Overheard from cop: "They've been violent against their own people." There are police big wigs in suits all around me. Sweaty guy in suit and neon vest ripping off signs: "I've been waiting a long time to do this." Still big garbage piles around perimeter. Sani guys behin me sweeping and loading dump truck. Cops with zip cuffs now massing by food tent. Arrests seem inevitable. I am afraid of walking around because I could get arrested too. "
Harkinson says he’s going to find people to interview who’ve seen the reported use of police batons. One city council member has already been reported to have been beaten upside the head and bloodied.
Where is our leadership during this raid? Who ordered it? Why is unnecessary force being used on peaceful protestors who were asleep for the night?
Is this the United States of America or a Middle Eastern country where democracy is crushed under the iron fist of the police and military?
OWS protestors in Zuccotti Park are harming no one. They are exercising their First Amendment rights according to our Constitution, but tonight, the city of New York under Mayor Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated that our rights are not respected, are an illusion.
Shame, New York! Shame, Denver! Shame, Oakland! Those in power do not respect your individual rights. They will beat you, pepper spray you, intimidate and threaten you to protect their own interests.
The question is…is this their America, or is it your America? The time to decide is now. This is the defining moment.Update: Cops just violently shoved me away as I tried to shoot this man in a stretcher being loaded into ambulance http://twitpic.com/7efa2v. The man was on oxygen, indicating serious injury. He was wheeled out of the park.
Please Read "America, Mic Check!" from Naithom.