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Eviction and Enlarged Freedom

 

Manhattan--After watching the Packers beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football, I had insomnia, so it was kind of an accident that I checked my email at 2 a.m. and discovered the police were clearing Zuccotti Park. Everyone had been expecting an eviction since it all started on September 17, but not expecting it at that particular moment. On my cell phone, there were several frantic texts from Occupy Wall Street begging for community support. So I hopped on a slow subway and arrived at Chambers Street about 3 a.m.

About a half mile north of the park, I was alone on the sidewalk for a couple of blocks. The only indication that something might be wrong was the racket of several helicopters with spotlights. Walking down Church Street, I ran into little clumps of stragglers who described a scene in which hundreds of police in full riot gear arrived at the park and presented a demand that the occupiers pack up their stuff and leave. If they did that, the police said, the occupiers would be allowed to return in a few hours without tents or tarps, after the park was cleaned. Bloomberg had tried that transparent ruse before, so a violent police eviction ensued with dozens of arrests, pepper spray and baton whacking, as the occupiers linked arms and tried to hold their space. Bloomberg and his cops also promised that everyone would get their belongings back after the eviction. But this also was a transparent ruse, as the the police tossed everything, including the 5000-book library, randomly into dump trucks that were in all likelihood destined for a landfill or garbage scow.

“Hey, there goes my tent!” said a kid at the corner of Fulton and Church, pointing at an overloaded dump truck roaring by about 3:30 a.m.

“Heil Bloomberg! This is Nazi Germany, not America!” said one guy giving the Nazi salute to dozens of cops.

“Hey, there are people being shot in the head right now in Egypt,” said another guy.

“That’s supposed to make me feel better about this?” said the first guy.

“I’m just saying that calling the cops Nazis isn’t non-violent communication,” said the second guy, obviously a graduate of the Non-Violent Communication Workshop in the park.

“Do the cops look like SS troops or not?” said the first guy.
Occupy Wall Street is driven out of Zuccotti Square by brutal police action, but is not going awayOccupy Wall Street is driven out of Zuccotti Square by brutal police action, but is not going away

At the corner of Cortlant Street and Broadway, one block north of the park, an impromptu general assembly of about 100 people was debating tactics in front a long line of police.

“Mic check!” said a woman.

“Mic check!” said the crowd.

“We move north!” said the woman.

“Mic check!” said a young man.

“Mic check!” said the crowd.

“We don’t move! No retreat! No retreat! Occupy Wall Street!” said the young man.

“Mic check!” said the woman.

“Mic check!” said the crowd.

“There are people massing in Union Square! We need to move en masse! We need more people!” said the woman.

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Live Stream of the Occupation of Wall Street! The Revolution will be filmed after all! (Courtesy of Globalrevolution)
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Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

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