When I read on OWS’s Facebook page that there was a rally at 6pm tonight in solidarity with Baltimore, I was totally there. I couldn’t be there for long because I had therapy on the UES at 7pm, but I hung around, chanted, chatted, lent my energy, and took this photo from the second floor of Barnes & Nobles before leaving.
The protest was mainly contained in the area near 17th Street but for some reason the NYPD had corralled the ENTIRETY of the park. Talk about fire hazard. (NYPD, I’m sure your guys could’ve been used much better, say, in Bed Stuy, where someone was probably getting stabbed.)
I so, so wish I could be with the protesters in Times Square right now, but hey, mental health maintenance is important too. I’m staying glued to the StopMotionSolo Live Stream and occasionally checking in on the MSNBC live stream (ya know, just incase they report actual news).
On Wednesday night I had wanted to go to Foley Square to march with the protest for the non-indictment of the officer who killed an unarmed man, Eric Garner, in an illegal chokehold. But I had therapy (gotta take care of yourself mentally first before you’re of any good to anyone else). So I went to that first and then came home to watch the livecam of the march. I watched them walk from 52nd to the West Side Highway, get off at 72nd and march north.
I thought they’d be at my door soon after, so I went downstairs to walk, or at least support from the sidelines. But they never made it as high as my street because they were corralled at 105th and Broadway. The NYPD corralled them on both sides of Broadway, made a few arrests, and then walked the rest of them up to 113th between Amsterdam and Columbus, outside of St. Luke’s Hospital.
I walked with an older gentleman, a lawyer who lives in the neighborhood but is from England, who was appalled at the force the police were using and off we went up Amsterdam. There were cops in riot gear everywhere along Amsterdam, and lots of cop buses, ready to make arrests. I asked one cop on the street where the other protesters were and he said quietly, “113th…"
The long-time neighborhood residents couldn’t believe what was going on, why the NYPD were doing this to peaceful protesters, and the students of Columbia were out in full support of the protest. There was an NYPD helicopter flying overhead, flying REALLY low, using it’s light to scan the streets for more protesters.
After about an hour (maybe half an hour?) of the protesters being corralled on 113th, they made an announcement (not that you could hear it – those police bullhorns are the WORST) that they were going to let them all go without arrest.