Protesters from Occupy Wall Street took to the streets of New York City last night in celebration of their sixth-month anniversary and St. Patrick's Day. Naturally, many decided to ignore the police when told to evacuate Zuccotti Parl around 11:30PM. The police had to go into the park to get the protesters to move. It appears that Occupy is intending to continue its method of protesting by ignoring the police, trashing public property, temporarily closing down businesses and using other illegal tactics. Someone threw a bottle at a bus brought in to move those arrested and at that point, police brought out their batons for their own safety.
The AP reports that throughout the day, protesters held meetings in the park, danced and chanted. Occupy hero, 1 percenter Michael Moore, made a short appearance to the delight of the crowd. When the St. Patrick's Day parade barriers were moved, the protesters marched to the New York Stock Exchange and stood at the feet of a statue of George Washington near Wall Street and danced while chanting, "We are unstoppable."
Later, when protesters started pitching tents back at Zuccotti Park, the owners of the park had private security go in and ask the protesters to stop and to leave. The protesters started to get angry and refused to leave, that's when the police were called in. The police had kept back and allowed the protesters to go about their business up until that point. Obviously, that holds little water with Occupy Wall Street. Some people refused to leave the park and Detective Brian Sessa with the NYPD said that was the tipping point. "They set up tents. They had sleeping bags," said Sessa. Electrical boxes also were tampered with and there was evidence of graffiti. So far, there is no official arrest count.
Is this a case of a few spoiling it for many? Probably, but if it continues this way this movement may escalate into a full-out civil war. People who disagree with Occupy Wall Street were very frustrated last year with the disruptions the protests had on their own lives. Trouble getting to work, protesters invading their businesses and sometimes even destruction of their property and more. With the promises of more protests this Spring, it could get volatile. Protests are meant to gain attention, but when you combine it with illegal activities, no good can come of it. Hopefully, the leaders of this movement will stress the importance of non-violence and following the law at upcoming rallies.
Â© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012