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Table of Contents
Pre-Demonstration: Organization | Anonymous Endorsement | International Support | DHS Issues Warning | Orientation | Protests: Sep 17: Occupy Wall Street | Sep 18: Protesters Arrested | Sep 23: Art Auction House Protest | Sep 24: Protesters Maced in Union Sq | Sep 26: Tear-gassing Cop’s ID revealed | Sep 29: Celebrities & Musicians Support | Sep 30: Labor Unions Join the Protests | Oct 2: Mass Arrests on Brooklyn Bridge | Oct 7: #OccupyTogether | Oct 7: Occupied Wall Street Journal | Oct 13: #wallstcleanup | Eviction | Nov 17: #n17 Protests | Search Interest | External References
Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of protests in New York City and elsewhere across the United States that seek to resolve socioeconomic inequality and influence of corporate lobbying on Washington politics, as well as a number of other social injustices. Mostly coordinated via social networking services like Twitter and Facebook without a central organizer, the flash-mob demonstration began on September 17th, 2011 and its participants have since set up base in Zuccotti Park (formerly known as “Liberty Park”) near Wall Street.
On July 13th, 2011, Adbusters posted an article titled #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, which called on 20,000 people to assemble in lower Manhattan on September 17th, 2011 and occupy Wall Street for indefinitely to demand that President Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence of money in Washington politics.
According to the blog post, Adbusters’ flash mob campaign was inspired by the successful turnout of Tahrir Square protests in Egypt under Hosani Mubarak’s regime in January 2011:
“The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people.”
-- Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain
Hundreds of readers chimed in with comments supporting the occupation of Wall Street. Adbusters continued to bring updates on logistics through their campaign news page and custom Google Map, while numerous websites in support of the occupation emerged within days of the announcement, including OccupyWallStreet.com and OccupyWallStreet Tumblr blog among others.
On Facebook, Adbusters launched an online poll asking people to vote for one agenda that will be put forth as the peoples’ demand. “Revoking Corporate Personhood” is currently in the lead with over 2,000 votes and the official Facebook event has been RSVP’d by at least 6,800 people (as of September 8th, 2011).
On Reddit, a subreddit thread called “OccupyWallStreet” was created to "discuss ideas, strategies, tactics and logistics related to the popular occupation of Wall Street in New York City. On July 18th, Redditor Midnight818 posted a link to a custom Google Map titled “Collaborative Map of Points of Interest”:
Beginning on July 26th, hashtag #OCCUPYWALLSTREET began trending on Twitter and @OccupyWallStNYC was launched to provide news and details of the occupation plan. @USDayofRage, which had been previously involved with Operation BART in San Francisco, also adopted the campaign via Twitter.
On August 23rd, the single topic Tumblr “We Are the 99%” was launched to curate inspirational messages submitted by those planning to attend the September 17th protests.
On August 10th, an Anonymous-affiliated bulletin blog AnonOps Communications posted two fliers for the event, which was subsequently picked up and retweeted by @AnonOps on Twitter.
On August 23rd, Anonymous uploaded a video communique endorsing #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, featuring its trademark computerized voice and the Guy Fawkes mask. The video called on protesters to participate in the mass occupation of lower Manhattan starting on September 17th, 2011:
“flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months … Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.”
According to Adbusters, a group of Spanish demonstrators known as Los Indignados (The Angry Ones) joined the campaign and set up their own camp outside the Madrid Stock Exchange. Since its launch, the off-shoot movement in Spain has become associated with its own Twitter hashtag #TOMALABOLSA. Throughout the month, the news of the campaign quickly spread overseas via social networking services and blogs, inspiring similar initiatives of peaceful occupation in the financial districts of major cities like London, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto among others.
Related Twitter Hashtags
- #TOMALABOLSA in Madrid, Spain
- #TOMALABOLSA in Valencia, Spain
- #OCCUPYFDSF in San Francisco, USA
- #usdorLosA in Los Angeles, USA
- #TakeTheSquareWI in Madison, USA
- #OCCUPYBAYSTREET in Toronto, Canada
- #OCCUPYBANKOFENGLAND in London, UK
- #ANTIBANKS in Lisbon, Portugal
- #ANTIBANKS in Athens, Greece
- #OCCUPYMARTINPLACE in Sydney, Australia
- #OCCUPYBÖRSENSTRASSE in Stuttgart, Germany
- #OCCUPYMARUNOUCHI in Tokyo, Japan
- #OCCUPAZIONEPIAZZAAFFARI in Milan, Italy
U.S. Law Enforcement Prepares
On September 1st, a small group of demonstrators were met with New York Police Department’s confrontation after attempting to begin a sit-in protest on Wall Street’s public sidewalk for a whole night. As a result, nine participants were arrested for disorderly conduct but later released without any charge.
On September 2nd, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an unusual bulletin from its National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center warning financial institutions about possible risks of attack during the planned #OccupyWallStreet protest on September 17th.
At a press conference on September 15th, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the upcoming weekend protest in downtown:
“People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it. As long as they do it where other people’s rights are respected, this is the place where people can speak their minds, and that’s what makes New York, New York.”
On September 15th, the official campaign news site OccupyWallStreet.org published an Orientation Guide for those planning to attend the event. The guide provides information on pre-protest training sessions and tactical meetings, legal advices as well as suggestions of things to bring like sleeping bags, reusable water bottles, ice coolers, signs and folding chairs. It also offers information on how to avoid police confrontation and how to exercise your civil rights once encountered.
The official meet-up for #OccupyWallStreet is scheduled to take place at 12pm (EST) in the Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan and the main event at Manhattan Plaza is planned to begin at 3pm (EST). In addition, New York culture magazine Time’s Up announced that it will be hosting critical mass rides though the Wall Street area on the night of September 17th.
September 17th: Occupy Wall Street
On the night of September 16th, 2011, a leaked bulletin from the New York Police Department (NYPD) estimated at least 5,000 people were expected to show up on Wall Street. By noon on September 16th, 2011, hundreds of people and press members had gathered in lower Manhattan amidst heavy police presence and barricades around the plaza of New York Stock Exchange. Throughout the day, demonstrators marched around Wall Street and Broad Street chanting, “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street.”
The protests are currently being broadcast online via LiveStream in real time. According to an AFP article, about 700 protesters with backpacks and sleeping bags had shown up at Trinity Place by noon. Bloomberg Businessweek also reported on the public gathering with an estimate of up to 1,000 protesters.
CNN also reported on the September 17th protests, describing the event as a campaign inspired by the Tarhir movement in Egypt and boosted by the Anonymous endorsement. The article also included excerpts from an interview with Kalle Lasn, a co-founder of Adbusters that started the campaign:
“In Tunisia and in Egypt, the Internet was used to organize surprising numbers of people to get out into the streets and start a radical, democratic movement for regime change,” Lasn said. “Of course, the situation here in America and many European countries is quite different. We’re not living under a torturous dictatorship, for one. Nonetheless, there’s a feeling that the global financial system, the heart of which is in the U.S., in New York, that this system is somehow having its way with us,” he said. “There’s a feeling that we need a revolution in the way that our economy is run, the way that Washington is run.”
September 23rd: Sotheby’s Auction House Protest
On September 23rd, Occupy Wall Street disrupted a Sotheby’s art auction to display their solidarity with the 43 union art handlers who have been locked out of their jobs in the middle of contract negotiations since early August.
In the middle of the auction, Occupy Wall Street protesters stood up one by one and announced statements condemning Sotheby’s attempts to de-unionize their art handlers. According to the renowned art auction house, each member of the group was quickly escorted of the auction floor.
September 18th: Protesters Arrested
On September 18th, two masked protesters were arrested by NYPD officers after allegedly trying to enter a building used by Bank of America Corp (BAC) in the vicinity.
On September 19th, four demonstrators were arrested for wearing masks in violation of a New York law barring two or more participants form doing so. Another protester was arrested for jumping a police barrier and resisting arrest, which was confirmed in an e-mail statement released by NYPD spokesman Paul Brown. Another woman, identified as Jessica Davis, was arrested on graffiti charges after drawing with sidewalk chalk on the scene. Numerous reports via Twitter later suggested that the mask in question was the Guy Fawkes mask commonly worn and used by hacker collective Anonymous.
By September 20th, the third day into the protests in downtown Manhattan, at least seven demonstrators have been reported as being taken into custody by the police and the size of the gathering had dwindled from 1,000 people on Sunday to about 200 on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, Anonymous’ communication line @AnonOps also tweeted reports and a video clip of alleged arrests involving two members of the #OccupyWallStreet media team and one unnamed individual who tried to use a tarp to protect the equipments from rain.
September 24th: Protesters Maced in Union Sq
On the eighth day of Occupy Wall Street protests on September 24th, the gathering in the financial district marched up north towards Union Square. The demonstraters were reportedly confronted by NYPD officers near University Place and 12th Street, leading to dozens of arrests.
Numerous protesters and @OccupyWallSt reported via Twitter that at least 50 demonstrators have been arrested and targeted by tear gas and mace during the afternoon march towards the United Nations building. The number of arrests have increased to at least 80 protesters, though it hasn’t been confirmed by NYPD. According to Twopcharts, tweets with hashtag #occupywallstreet were being counted 9,729.7 per hour as of 3:19pm ET).
@OccupyWallStNY reported that press members and media crew were specifically targeted and arrested by NYPD, including the livestream team Global Revolution. In addition, two female demonstrators were maced with pepper spray after protesting NYPD’s mass arrests near Union Square and the YouTube video has been mentioned in a number of news reports and blog posts.
September 26th: Anthony Bologna
On September 26th, 2011, the police officer who was recorded pepper spraying a corralled group of female protesters unprovoked was identified as Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. NY Mag reported that Anonymous was responsible for identifying the officer, and posted his personal information in a pastebin file.
The Internet vigilantes, using photographic evidence of Bologna on the scene and a close-up of his badge, wasted no time in putting together a file on the officer, including a possible phone number, addresses, and the names of his family members, warning ominously, “Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!”
The Atlantic Wire reported that the NYPD have defended the officer’s actions.
As for Bologna, police spokesman Paul J. Brown on Monday called his use of pepper spray “appropriate,” but Councilman Peter F. Vallone commented to the paper that the incident “didn’t look good.” He said, “If no prior verbal command was given and disobeyed, then the use of spray in that instance is completely inappropriate.”
According to an article in The Guardian, Bologna was accused of misconduct in 2004 at the Republican national convention protests for “false arrest and civil rights violations.”
On October 18th, New York Times reported that the Deputy Inspector Bologna was disciplined by losing 10 vacation days after the pepper spraying incident was reviewed by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau. According to an official statement by the chief spokesman Paul J. Browne, the investigation determined that Bologna used the pepper spray outside departmental guidelines, which doesn’t allow for its use in “disorder control.”
The news of the punishment came as a group of demonstrators marched on Manhattan District Attorney’s office to demand termination of Bologna’s job and an in-depth investigation into police brutality.
September 29th: Celebrities & Musicians Support
Rapper Lupe Fiasco was one of the first celebrity figures to vocally support the protests by donating camping equipment and visiting the site on September 19th. By the end of September, several celebrities have come out in support of #OccupyWallSt, including Roseanne Barr, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Penn Badgley who all visited the area to talk to and encourage the demonstrators. Musicians Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) and Talib Kweli have both done performances for the protestors.
Many celebrities have expressed their solidarity online, including author Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Yoko Ono, and Alec Baldwin. The Board of Directors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream also have issued an official statement of support.
September 30th: Labor Unions Join the Protests
The largely leaderless demonstration has gained support and pledges of alliance from a number of established local unions and other veteran activist organizations like The United Federation of Teachers, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local among others.
On September 30th, #OccupyWallStreet reached a new milestone when New York City’s Transit Workers Union joined the coalition of protesters, receiving mentions from several local and national news publications. Other nationwide political groups that have expressed support and solidarity include the anti-war umbrella organization MoveOn.org, Center for American Progress and members of the House Progress Caucus, as well as community groups like Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education and Community Voices Heard among others. On October 1st, it was reported that troop members of the U.S. Marines and Army will join the upcoming protests on Wednesday.
October 2nd: Mass Arrests on Brooklyn Bridge
On October 2nd, 2011, at least 1,000 to 1,500 protesters attempted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge as part of their continuing weekend march around the city. As the protesters began making their way across the bridge, they were met by a large group of NYPD officers, who arrested more than 700 demonstrators violation of the law against occupying the roadway.
The police spokesperson explained that Saturday’s arrests came as a result of some demonstrators wandering off the sidewalk zone into the road, which was allegedly warned against by the NYPD officers on the scene:
“Protesters who used the Brooklyn Bridge walkway were not arrested,” Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department, said. “Those who took over the Brooklyn-bound roadway, and impeded vehicle traffic, were arrested.”
However, several news articles have reported that many protesters felt they were tricked into an arrest trap on the bridge as the police initially allowed them onto the bridge and even escorted them across partway before besieging the contingent in orange netting. Since the arrests, both #OccupyWallStreet protesters and NYPD have released video footage of Saturday’s arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge and claimed that their actions were lawful.
October 7th: #OccupyTogether
Occupy Wall Street has actively spread to over 200 cities in the United States. Organized via Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, and Meetup.com, similar protests are taking place in Boston, DC, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Austin, and Seattle. Across the globe, there are protests occurring in four cities in Australia as well. The offshoot protests across the United States and overseas in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street movement have been unofficially dubbed “Occupy Together” by the news media and a “hubsite” for protest-related information was launched at OccupyTogether.org.
October 7th: Occupied Wall Street Journal
On September 29th, 2011 a group calling themselves the 99% started a Kickstarter to fund a project they called the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
We want to be the people’s media. Our first project is The Occupy Wall Street Journal, a four-page broadsheet newspaper with an ambitious print run of 50,000. It’s aimed at the general public. The idea is to explain what the protest is about and profile different people who have joined and why they joined. We will explain the issues involved and how the general assembly process operates at Liberty Plaza. It will also offer resources and ways to join.
The original monetary goal for the project was $12,000. They had over 500 backers with nearly $24,000 pledged in under two days. On October 7th, 2011, the fundraiser came to an end with pledges from 1696 backers and $75,690 in total. The first edition of the newspaper became available at Zuccotti Park on October 1st, 2011 and the second edition in English and Spanish were released on October 7th, 2011. A PDF version of the paper was made available shortly after on Scribd.
October 13th: #wallstcleanup
On October 13th, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he would be forcing protesters to vacate the Occupy Wall Street camp at Zuccotti Park for cleaning. The same day, a Reddit thread titled “ALL OUT CALL FOR HELP FROM #OCCUPYWALLSTREET” reached the front page with over 19,000 up votes within the first 24 hours. The thread outlined a plan for protesters to clean up the park themselves, so that there would be no reason to vacate.
The hashtag #wallstreetcleanup was subsequently used on Twitter to coordinate cleaning efforts by demonstrators. American business mogul Russel Simmons tweeted that he would pay to clean the park so that the protesters would not have to leave. The Huffington Post reported that the cleanup had been postponed by the park owners Brookfield Office Properties on October 14th.
<a href="https://twitter.com/MikeBloomberg">MikeBloomberg</a> -- I will pay for clean-up of Zuccotti Park to avoid confrontation. I don't wanna go to jail but I will be there ready!</p>— Russell Simmons (UncleRUSH) October 14, 2011
October 15th: Occupy Time Squares
On October 15th, which was designated as the global day of protests, tens of thousands of demonstrators staged Occupy X rallies and marches in over 900 cities around the world. In New York, thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters assembled in Times Square and occupied the plaza for several hours. At least 70 protesters were arrested by NYPD officers during Saturday’s demonstration, mostly from the occupation of Times Square past the curfew.
October 18th: Hipster Cop’s Identity Revealed
In the beginning of October, a photograph of a well-dressed police officer in plain clothes began to circulate on Twitter with the nickname Hipster Cop. The man was first brought to attention by Gawker editor Adrien Chen in an article about the Radiohead show hoax posted via his personal blog on September 30th. Since then, a number of New York City blogs and mainstream news outlets like Gothamist, Gawker and The Atlantic reported on the curiously fashion-conscious police officer who has been regularly seen at Zucotti Park and even chatting with political activist / guitarist Tom Morello during his visit on October 14th.
On October 18th, New York Times published an article revealing his identity as the 45-year-old NYPD Detective Rick Lee, who serves as the Community Affairs officer in the 1st Precinct. In the interview with the New York Times, Detective Lee acknowledged that he was aware of his local fame amongst the prostesters and in the New York City blogosphere:
“I think it’s funny,” said Detective Lee, who lives on Staten Island. “I’m not a blog guy, so I haven’t really seen a lot of the hipster mentions.”
November 7th: New York City – Washington D.C. March
On November 7th, 2011, a small group of Occupy Wall Street protesters set off on an interstate march from New York to Washington D.C. in an attempt to stop the legislation of tax cuts which they say benefit the richest Americans. During the 20 miles-a-day journey en route to the nation’s capital, the marching group will pass through other occupations in the cities along the east coast, including Occupy Baltimore, Occupy Philadelphia and Occupy Wilmington among others.
Dubbed “Occupy the Highway,” the idea of marching from New York to Washington D.C. has been circulating within the protest circles since the first week of protests, according to the protesters. The plan was finally organized in early November to coincide with the Congressional deficit reduction meeting to be held on November 23rd. The Wordpress blog and the official Twitter feed @NYCmarch2DC were launched on November 5th and 7th respectively to provide the latest news and updates. The stories about the march has been also picked up by major news outlets and syndicated through affiliated Occupy movement websites as well, including OccupyWallStreet.org.
November 15th: Eviction
On Monday, November 14th, the Village Voice published leaked information from the NYPD ordering the creation of a plan to mobilize 432 police officers if needed, suggesting that this was in preparation for an encounter with the protestors. Around midnight, the police informed the park owner Brookfield Office Properties that they were intending to clear out the park, merely an hour before the operation began. In a preliminary official statement, Brookfield’s spokeswoman made it clear that the choice was the mayor’s, not theirs. However, several hours later, a letter sent from Brookfield to Bloomberg was posted on the NY Daily News website expressing its concern over the health and safety of the protestors, causing the eviction.
At approximately 1am the morning of November 15th, NYPD began a raid on the Zuccotti Park campsite. Police evicted demonstrators from the area while members of the press were barred from entering the campsite, some even physically pushed and shoved away.
It was later revealed on the 15th in a BBC interview with Oakland mayor Jean Quan that there had been group conference call of officials from 18 U.S. cities to discuss the Occupy movements in their areas. While not definitively connected, this admission coincides with raids happening in a matter of days in Oakland, New York, Albany, Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix.
Arrests & Damages
The protesters tents were removed as well as the People’s Library, whose 5554 books were seized and a medical tent where a woman with a heart condition was being treated at the time of the raid. Approximately 200 people were arrested, including New York City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez, and journalists from the Associated Press, NPR, the New York Daily News and DNAInfo.
Reaction On Twitter
Twitter response to the raid was immediate, with journalists in the area tweeting about the media blackout, keeping readers abreast not only of the NYPD-imposed media blockade but also of their colleagues getting beaten and arrested. Mashable featured a compilation of tweets from journalists, news sites, celebrities, and normal Twitter users using the #OWS hashtag. Wall Street Journal featured a similar celebrity response collection.
Restraining Order on NYPD
Around 6:30 AM, lawyers on the Occupy side contacted NY State Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings to sign an order to show cause and temporary restraining order against the city of New York for the NYPD to allow demonstrators to return to the park with their possessions including tents and sleeping bags. Around 4:30pm, NY State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman ruled not to extend this restraining order. The document states that, while the court respects their First Amendment rights, the law sees the rules of the Park, set forth by Brookfield, are reasonable time, place and manner restrictions that the First Amendment allows for.
Recovery of People’s Library
As part of the eviction, the Occupy Wall Street Library, also known as the People’s Library, was removed from Zuccotti Park. The library was started the same week as the protest, consisting of donations from occupiers in the park. By the second week of OWS, several volunteer librarians had begun cataloging the books on LibraryThing to keep track of incoming donations.
After the eviction, the official Twitter account for the NYC Mayor’s Office tweeted out a photo of confiscated books from the People’s Library, stating that they were being stored at the 57th Street Sanitation Garage and could be picked up the next morning. When librarians arrived at the garage, they found between 2000 and 4000 books were missing, including five boxes of Reference books. Also missing were their uncataloged magazines and newspapers, tables, lamps, bins, posters, library stamps and personal belongings of the librarians.
Angry NYPD Cop
During the clash between the evicted protesters and the police, a picture of one NYPD officer scuffling with protesters received much spotlight on the web for his raw expression of anger and the raised fist suggesting an attempt at physical assault.
The image quickly became symbolic of police brutality that has been consistently reported throughout the two months of protest in New York City. The photoshopped images began to emerge on the same day via Memegenerator and Tumblr, which has been since dubbed “Angry NYPD Cop” and “Rage Face Cop” by various internet humor blogs like Uproxx, BuzzFeed and Wall Street Journal among others. The identity of the officer has yet to be identified.
November 17th: Mass Non-Violent Direct Action
After the eviction, Occupy Wall Street’s official site published a call for action for protestors to occupy several places throughout Manhattan, using the Twitter hashtag #n17 to coordinate events and aggregate news.
Live streaming of the events was covered by The Other 99, who caught NYPD blocking sidewalks and asking people trying to access the subways for identification. A link to the stream with this information was posted to the Politics subreddit, where it made it to the front page in three hours, with 4124 upvotes and 2103 downvotes. Live feeds of tweets and news from the day’s events were collected by Mother Jones and Gawker. Over 275 people were arrested that day, including Ray Lewis, retired captain of the Philadelphia police force, and NY City Councilman Jumaane D. Williams.
December 8th: #Mockupy
On December 8th, 2011, @OccupyWallSt received information that a tent city was set up in Foley Square as a set for a Law and Order episode. The protestors were called to occupy the set at midnight with news spreading via Twitter hashtags #Mockupy and Fauxcotti.
When protestors showed up to the set, they found a faux People’s Kitchen and People’s Library. Protestors were seen talking to cops saying that they were just extras for the episode and commenting on how real the officer’s costumes were. The NYPD pulled the permit for the set around 1 AM and raided it, shutting it down. Mainstream news including the Huffington Post, Mother Jones and MSNBC covered the event, hosting pictures and video from the occupation.
January 3rd, 2012: Anti-NDAA Flashmob Protest
On the morning of January 3rd, 2012, around 200 Occupy protesters coordinated a flash mob at the main concourse of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, in protest against President Obama’s signing into law of a defense act that the protesters perceived as detrimental to civil liberties. It was reported that three people were arrested for disorderly conduct during the event and videos from the scene were uploaded via one of Occupy-affiliated YouTube channels OccupyNYTV on the same day.
January 17th: Occupy Congress
Over 2000 people attended a protest on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building for an event called “Occupy Congress,” which had been coordinated through online hubsites like OccupyTogether and Reddit. Throughout the day, the protesters occupied the steps of three congressional office buildings in attempts to meet with representatives and the day concluded with an impromptu march to the steps of the Supreme Court.
January 25th: Adbusters Call for Protest in May 2012
In late January 2012, Adbusters, the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine credited with launching the Occupy movement, published another advertisement calling for fifty thousand protestors to show up at the G8 summit in Chicago, Illinois scheduled for May 2012, using visual references recalling the 1968 Chicago protests.
January 31st – March 12th: Occupy Protesters’ Twitter Accounts Subpoenaed
On January 31st, Occupy protester and freelance writer Malcolm Harris posted a link to a copy of a subpoena letter he received from Twitter’s legal team via his Twitter account. According to the Reuters report, the subpoena sought Harris’ account information for his Twitter handle @destructuremal and three months’ volume of tweets he posted between September and December 2011. Back in October, Harris was one of many dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters who were arrested by NYPD on the Brooklyn Bridge.
On March 12th, Jeff Rae, another activist who was taken into police custody during the October 2nd mass arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge, posted a similar subpoena notice letter he received from Twitter. According to the letter, the subpoena issued by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office sought access to all of Rae’s account and contact information, as well as his tweets posted since mid-September through October 2011. The faxed document published via Rae’s Twitter account further revealed that the law enforcement subpoenaed four additional Twitter user accounts, which may be linked to other Occupy defendants who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge.
March 17th: Six-Month Anniversary Protest
On March 17th, over 600 protesters gathered around Zuccotti Park in Manhattan to commemorate the inception of the Occupy encampment six months ago in September 2011. The clash with the police began around 11 p.m. on Saturday night when the NYPD ordered protesters to dissemble and exit the park; 73 people were arrested during the forceful evacuation, according to the Wall Street Journal. Soon, videos of the physical confrontation between the police and the protesters were uploaded onto YouTube, including footage of a female protester who was allegedly tackled by the police:
March 18th: NYPD Investigates “Cop Killing” Tweets
On the following day, NYPD began investigating an Occupy protester who made alarming comments about “killing police officers” via Twitter and Ustream during the clash in Zuccotti Park the night before. Originally posted by @Smackema1 at 11:39 p.m. on March 17th, the tweet in question contained a link to the real-time stream of the Occupy Wall Street protest site with a message that read:
It was also revealed that the District Attorney of New York filed a subpoena to help the police discover the identity of @Smackema1, who was identified as a 23-year-old Florida resident Rusty Braxton later that same day. The screen capture of @Smackema1’s tweet was subsequently posted on numerous Occupy-related blogs and New York local news sites. According to the news reports, Smackema1 apparently informed the NYPD upon finding out about the investigation that he is a Florida resident and has no intention of harming police officers.
During an impromptu interview with The Daily Caller via Twitter, Braxton explained the situation as harmless:
“It’s not like I meant anything of it. Who takes anything like that seriously? I’m in Florida, what am I going to do?”
September 17th, 2012: One Year Anniversary Protest
In September 2012, the core organizers of Occupy Wall Street staged a weekend march protest in remembering the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The weekend began with an assembly of about 200 protesters in the Washington Square Park on September 15th, which proceeded in peace for the most part until the protesters attempted to march down Broadway all the way to Zucotti Park, the birth ground of the Occupy movement. According to various news reports, about 25 protesters were arrested by the end of the night.
The protest continued on Monday morning with several hundreds of demonstrators parading in downtown Manhattan, dressed in festive costumes and holding picket signs with familiar Occupy movement slogans. As of 2:30pm (ET) on September 17th, 2012, as many as 100 protesters from the protest site have been reportedly arrested by the police.
Bloomberg Business – Protesters Converge on Lower Manhattan, Plan ‘Occupation’
Village Voice – Occupy Wall Street Tweets Reports of Tear Gas, Arrests
Atlantic Wire – Pepper Spray Cop Has a History of Tangling with Protesters
OccupyWallSt.org – Noam Chomsky Announces Solidarity With #occupywallstreet
Huffington Post – Penn Badgley, Tim Robbins Latest Celebs To Join Occupy Wall Street
The Huffington Post – Bloomberg Annoyed With City Officials For Threatening Zuccotti Cleanup
The Village Voice – Ydanis Rodriguez, NY City Councilman, Arrested by NYPD in Zuccotti Park Raid
The New York Times – Reporters Say Police Denied Access to Protest Site
Wall Street Journal – Twitter Reacts to Bloomberg Clearing Occupy Wall Street From Zuccotti Park
Occupy Wall Street – Occupy Wall Street 1st Anniversary Convergence Guide