At 3:07am Stephen Boyer texted, "The parks been violently raided, people have been beaten and tear gassed." I headed over to Liberty Plaza ten minutes later. Walking down Broadway, I couldn't walk any further towards the plaza because the police barricaded it all the way from Broadway and Pine Street. The occupiers and everyone in solidarity passionately hollered "We Are Unstoppable, Another World Is Possible..."
I only saw a few people with press passes and heard that major media sources had been instructed not to cover the largest raid that has taken place at Zuccotti Park since two months ago when the occupation began on Sept. 17. The raid coincided with other raids in various cities. Some say it also has to do with the NYGA announcement of a General Strike on Nov.17. Some also say multiple raids were planned and coordinated by police departments and officials. The excuse of "sanitary precautions" is clearly a scapegoat to hold responsible for the middle of the night raid. If anything, why not stage a raid in broad daylight?
At about 4am on the corner of Broadway and Pine at least one hundred marchers peacefully moved toward the GA already gathered and waiting at the barricade. Those at the barricade yelled and praised solidarity marchers encroaching from a street adjacent to Broadway St. Observing from the sidewalk, I saw a bald white male aged 50s-60s wearing a burgundy Seattle University sweatshirt welcome an African American provocateur-type trying to detract announcements from the human mic. Soon after there was a break rift between the occupiers on the street who fought to not be video recorded. Some were yelling at the presumably hired agent provocateur to shut up and go away. A protester said he's seen these types show up to make noise and then disappear. Another casual observer said that the relationship between the man in the sweatshirt and the provocateur is suspicious. The casual observer, a tall early 30-something white dude in jeans and wearing Dov Charney ca. 2008 looking eyeglasses kindly smirked and said "I'm starting to feel paranoid," and dashed between the street and sidewalk.
In the middle of the crowd, I relayed the event to a friend over the phone who was watching it on live stream and said there was hardly any live coverage to be found online and that he was watching it from UStream. This was expected. As a casual observer on the ground, I noticed only two or three journalists with official press passes, at roughly 4am, before more journalists started to arrive. Occupiers sitting in a circle were hostile towards photo journalists and demanded that they not be documented. One girl with a red scarf over her face shouted "Have some respect!" From helicopters above, to civilian and news media journalists on ground, people in solidarity with occupiers that had been raided in Zuccotti Park was being covered from all angles. I even saw and heard a man reporting in Italian to his friend on facetime on iPhone who was present in real time from Italy.
Stephen Boyer (co-editor with Filip Marinovich of the OWS Poetry Anthology) was among those raided at Zuccotti Park. Later on, I heard he quickly ran to a table and stood on top of it when the raid broke out and started reading poems aloud from the OWS Poetry Anthology to NYPD and said that some just stood there to listen and others wanted to arrest him. 5,000 books have been removed from the People's Library and discarded by police. Its unlikely not even half of them will be returned. But one thing is obvious: the raid has only sparked even more rage from the 99% (which I'd like to arguably call the 100%) and it will only strengthen the various Occupied Cities.
I took this photo on the corner of Broadway & Pine and writing this now on a Super Shuttle on the way to JFK airport from OWS.