National Sections of the L5I:

Occupy:“New York’s finest” storm Freedom Square

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

The New York Police attacked Occupy Wall Street, clearing the park and arresting many protesters in a clampdown aimed at destroying the Occupy movement, writes Dave Stockton

New York Police brutalise Occupy Wall Street
Throw 5000 books into dumpster as part of nationwide crackdown on #Occupy

At one o’clock in the morning, New York mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg, sent in robocops from the NYPD who used extreme violence to drive the Occupy Wall Street movement from Zuccotti Park, which had been renamed Freedom Square by the protesters.

They freely used batons and pepper spray on the protesters and on journalists who tried to photograph or film the brutes at work. Their victims chanted “no violence”, “the whole world is watching” and “shame on you”, but in vain. Those who would not leave were cuffed and removed physically with considerable violence.

Bloomberg, who is billed as a philanthropist, and is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News, spoke in newspeak worthy of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984:

“We're not going to allow people to stop commerce and to stop people's right to go around and express themselves.”

This came as the culmination of similar “cleansing” in cities across the US. Police attacked the Occupy camp in Oakland California in a predawn raid on Monday 14 November, arresting 32 protesters. They declared the Oakland plaza a "crime scene" after Monday morning's arrests and forcibly excluded media from the area. Nevertheless, it appears that thousands have demonstrated and reoccupied the plaza. In Portland, Oregon, 50 camp inhabitants were arrested . Raids and evictions are reported to be underway in Tucson, Chicago, and Boston.

City mayors from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City announced their “tolerance” of people exercising their constitutional right to assembly was at an end.

They claim that public health issues had emerged and lawlessness has developed in the camps. Most terrible of all homeless people have taken up residence in them.

In Oakland, Scott Olsen (24) an Iraqi war veteran, suffered a skull fracture on 25 October when police used extreme violence to clear the protesters from their camp. Their action reversed by mass demonstrations and a one day general strike called by protesters and union locals.

It is clear that the attack on the camp was designed to take the wind out of the movement before the 17 November day of action which was planned. We must hope that subway and other transport workers who have already supported the Occupy movement will rally to this call. According to opinion polls 53 per cent of the population supports the movement. Now is the time to turn out the workplaces and occupy not just the squares, but the streets, to halt this assault on the right to fee speech. For this struggle is not just about the right to speak, but the right to agitate, educate and organise against the bankers, the billionaire CEOs - like Bloomberg – as the class at the top of the system which is in crisis.

If the working class throws its mass force into the movement the whole situation in the USA can be revolutionised. The big issues, cuts in social services and the public sector, millions of lost jobs and repossessed hopes, the huge levels poverty and hunger, rampant racism, anti-union laws – all these must come to the centre stage of the resistance.

Worldwide we need immediate solidarity actions targeted at US Embassy’s and symbols of US corporate financial greed and exploitation. We must make all the billionaires – the 1% - pay for every blow they strike against the people of New York.