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WEF Update: Day of Action Begins - Scattered Arrests throughout NYC.

As thousands gather for marches on the World Economic Forum this afternoon, scattered arrests have been reported throughout the city. Usually, the violations cited have been extraordinarily minor.
As thousands gather for marches on the World Economic Forum this afternoon, scattered arrests have been reported throughout the city. Usually, the violations cited have been extraordinarily minor.

New York Indymedia has confirmed that two arrests have occurred at 52nd and Park. Seemingly, at least one protester was arrested for violating the obscure 1845 mask rule.

CIMC reporters have confirmed that five arrests have occurred around Columbus Circle between 11AM and 11:45 AM EST, with those arrests apparently being opportunistic collars by the police. "Eyewitnesses say police seem to be arresting people randomly rather than targetting particular people," says CIMC's Dawn Roberts. Roberts also reports that people are streaming into the central march gathering space by the thousands, and NY IMC reports that upwards of 3,500 people had gathered in Columbus Park for the unpermitted Reclaim the Streets march by around Noon EST.

According to NY IMC, although three cars carrying puppets were ticketed for "obstucted vision in a vehicle," early reports are that the car will be allowed to unload its cargo after the tickets are written. One passanger in the car is reported having been arrested after questioning the reason for the tickets.

- Transcript of Firsthand Description of Arrests at 52nd and Park by NYC / Atlanta IMC

Conversation between Mike Burke, NYC-IMC, and Greg Roberts, Atlanta IMC at the scene:

Mike: We're speaking with Greg Roberts from the Atlanta Indymedia center. Can you explain what you just saw on the street?

Greg: Sure. About 15 minutes ago, at the corner of 52nd and Park, just northwest of the Waldorf-Astoria, a young man with a bandana around his face was put up against the wall spread eagle. There was some commotion. The police were asked, with badge numbers covered up for the most part, why he was being detained. There was no answer whatsoever from the police including some commanding officers on the scene.

"Two levels of commanding officers were summoned and the crowd started to get a little rowdy, chanting "why is he being detained? Why is he being detained?" He was cuffed, and he went limp. He was dragged up to the cop car. At the same time, another person was chanting, and they also were put down on the street, cuffed, and put into the cop car.

There was a lot of mainstream press there. All the press were pushed back semi-violently by two officers specifically. One officer with badge number covered up was extremely rough with the press and the pedestrians, calling the pedestrians loiterers and saying "If you’re on the street you have three options: you can get off this street, you can get in the protester pen, or you can be put under arrest right now." That was the options given to every single person on the street.

Basically, I was at the front of that group. There were about 8 police, 8 tall police pushing people backwards, and they were pushing pretty hard, at times forcefully grabbing and lifting up, and I have it all on video.

Mike: Did you have any interaction personally with the police officers?

Greg: Other than being threatened with arrest, told that all my press credentials were invalid, that I was a loiterer, and being grabbed and thrown about, uh, no. I had no meaningful discussion with them. They would not answer any question I asked, they only gave me demands.
 
 

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