Press conference protests NYPD tactics against Wall St. protest

Stephan Levine, Councilmember from Brooklyn.
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Photo by Tequila Minsky

Last week, just days after the six-month anniversary of its historic protests, and as the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement (and the NYPD) gear up for a milestone demonstration on May 1, 74 people were arrested as hundreds converged on Zuccotti Park on Saturday, March 17. Several protestors sustained injuries, as did some police officers.

The March 19 press conference at Zuccotti Park, at which aggressive police tactics was the subject, was not the first showing of solidarity between members of the New York City Council and Occupy Wall Street.

City Council members Ydandis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams, long-time supporters who were arrested during various OWS actions, denounced the police abuse of power at the press conference.

In the democratic tradition, people meet in the public square, Williams said. (This) “is suppression of dissent.”

Rodriguez called for a “Protestors Bill of Rights” and for people to come out to protest on March 24.

Brooklyn councilman Stephen Levine called for Speaker Quinn to hold a hearing on the conduct of law enforcement.

Several OWS supporters, present Saturday night spoke. Bill Livsey showed a large black and blue mark sustained from a police baton. In tears, Liesbeth Rapp, a 27-year-old activist, described one female protestor who had a seizure and was not able to obtain timely treatment, barred by the police. The park was closed Saturday night, following the arrests.

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