Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Militarized Force Takes to Zuccotti for the Economic Elite

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Reader Supported News | 15 November 11 PM

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Brent Schmidt, of Brooklyn, was arrested near the Occupy Wall Street encampment, 11/15/11. (photo: Mary Altaffer/AP)
Charles P. Pierce, Esquire
Pierce writes: "It was, as all of these things have been, a fully militarized operation, launched with a maximum of surprise by armored tactical police who even brought a helicopter, in case they needed air support. They also uncrated all their exotic toys for the occasion. The operation netted the police about 100 arrests, and it is being said that it went off peacefully, although accounts on that do vary. (Keeping the press out while the action is being taken is a particular tell.) The action followed several days of similar operations in Oakland, and Denver, and St. Louis, and a particularly nasty bit of business in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where authorities appeared to require a tactical unit with automatic weapons to protect an abandoned building. All of them took the place by surprise, and in the middle of the night. These are basic military tactics."

Journalists Detained in Occupy Wall Street Raid
Meghan Barr and Colleen Long, Associated Press
Barr and Long report: "Reporter Karen Matthews and photographer Seth Wenig of The Associated Press in New York were taken into custody along with about eight other people after they followed protesters through an opening in a chain-link fence into a park, according to an AP reporter and other witnesses. Matthew Lysiak of the Daily News of New York was also arrested at the park, according to witnesses and the Daily News. Julie Walker, a freelance radio journalist, told the AP she was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge while walking several blocks north of Zuccotti Park after covering the raid that evicted protesters from the two-month encampment. She said an officer grabbed her arm twice and arrested her after she asked for the officer's name and badge number. 'I told them I'm a reporter,' said Walker, who was working for National Public Radio. 'I had my recorder on before he ripped it out of my hand.' Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the NYPD's policy of keeping the media back, saying it was intended to keep them out of harm's way."

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