An attempt by Occupy Wall Street activists to march across the Brooklyn Bridge this afternoon has reportedly resulted in protesters being coralled or “kettled” on the Bridge, and mass arrests by the NYPD. [Update: as of 6:33pm ET, the Occupy Wall St livestream below reported that 350 people were still stuck on the Bridge and 75 had been arrested.] The Global Revolution livestream has been bringing live video from the Brooklyn Bridge, including the arrest of a young female activist, an action greeted by a cry of “How old is she offiicer?.. Yeah, arrest a child, see how that goes!” from one crowd member. At various points the livestream from the bridge has gone down, replaced by text that reads “members of the media team may have been arrested.” But when it is there (with footage from the bridge, from Zuccotti/Liberty Park or other breakaway marches), you can watch it below:Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com
In These Times’ good friend Allison Kilkenny recently wrote on Twitter, “If the NYPD was looking to strengthen this movement, they just did it… At some point, even our crappy media is going to have to acknowledge thousands of people in multiple states are protesting.” As of 5:50pm ET, other people tweeting live from various locations at the protests in New York City along with Kilkenny include AlterNet’s J. A. Myerson and Sarah Jaffe, In These Times contributor Sady Doyle, Slate’s Dave Weigel and Ryan Devereaux from Democracy Now! You can also hear Devereaux’s reporting here (MP3), in which a woman who was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge alleges that the NYPD may have firstly encouraged protesters onto the bridge, and secondly divided protesters based on gender, with a number of women being arrested first and then allowed to leave, while male protesters are detained on the bridge. Update 6:35pm ET: AlterNet have posted a first-hand account from Kristen Gwynne, an AlterNet staffer trapped on the Brooklyn Bridge. She says:“They’re arresting us one by one. I just asked a cop and they said they’re going to arrest all of us. There are hundreds of people who dont have room to sit down. We’re just clammed in. I’m probably going to be arrested in the next hour or two.”It seems clear that the NYPD is not distinguishing between media and protesters: it’s been widely reported that New York Times contributing reporter Natasha Lennard has been arrested. Perhaps that’s why the NYT has also embedded the above livestream on their website, together with reporting from Lennard and William K. Rashbaum. Oh, and blogger Heather ‘digby’ Parton provides a fascinating bit of context for the NYPD’s actions today and in response to the protests in general: The unprecedented $4.6 million donated to the New York City Police Foundation by JPMorgan Chase for the purposes of “strengthening security” in NYC.
Joe Macaré is a writer, editor and development and communications professional, originally hailing from the UK and now residing in Chicago. His writing has appeared at In These Times, TruthOut, AlterNet, Dazed and Confused, The Times, Plan B and Stylus. He has appeared on WBEZ radio and Chicago Newsroom to discuss his extensive coverage of the Occupy Chicago movement.