Police Brutality, Mass Arrests Draw Attention to “Occupy Wall Street”

By:  Alex Newman
10/03/2011
       
Police Brutality, Mass Arrests Draw Attention to “Occupy Wall Street”

As the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York and global “solidarity” demonstrations continue gaining support — especially among labor unions and socialist groups — reports of alleged police brutality and mass arrests are helping to propel the purportedly “leaderless” movement into the media spotlight around the world.

Before the events officially got underway on September 17, organizations affiliated with the movement insisted the so-called “occupation” and “Day of Rage” would be non-violent. At the same time, however, organizers were disseminating instructions on how to engage in civil disobedience, resist arrest, and even disrupt court proceedings.

While the protests — far smaller than the 20,000 hoped for by activists — began relatively unnoticed in terms of media coverage, that is quickly changing. Recent police actions have helped garner unprecedented publicity and even some sympathy for the largely anti-capitalist agitators.

Over the weekend, for example, hundreds of protesters were arrested and released after repeatedly disobeying orders not to block traffic across the Brooklyn Bridge. Dozens more were handcuffed and taken away on buses. And the press dutifully descended upon the scene.

As the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York and global “solidarity” demonstrations continue gaining support — especially among labor unions and socialist groups — reports of alleged police brutality and mass arrests are helping to propel the purportedly “leaderless” movement into the media spotlight around the world.

Before the events officially got underway on September 17, organizations affiliated with the movement insisted the so-called “occupation” and “Day of Rage” would be non-violent. At the same time, however, organizers were disseminating instructions on how to engage in civil disobedience, resist arrest, and even disrupt court proceedings.

While the protests — far smaller than the 20,000 hoped for by activists — began relatively unnoticed in terms of media coverage, that is quickly changing. Recent police actions have helped garner unprecedented publicity and even some sympathy for the largely anti-capitalist agitators.

Over the weekend, for example, hundreds of protesters were arrested and released after repeatedly disobeying orders not to block traffic across the Brooklyn Bridge. Dozens more were handcuffed and taken away on buses. And the press dutifully descended upon the scene.

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