Even as they celebrated their two-month anniversary Occupy Wall Street protestors got the rough end of the stick in New York City this week, first being forcibly evicted from Zuccotti Park on Tuesday and then on Thursday running the gauntlet of police arrests and blockades.
After their tents were torn down and their property was trashed using bulldozers Occupy protestors were banned from returning to their campsite at Zuccotti Park by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who cited “health and safety” as justification for the evictions.
However when several hundred protestors regrouped and sought to march on the New York Stock Exchange they were confronted by a large contingent of New York Police Department officers.
The NYPD hemmed the protestors in at the chokepoint at the intersection of Pine and Nassau Streets, with barricades preventing them from advancing any closer to the NYSE. Traffic was also snarled near the junction.
While the protestors raised slogans and continued chanting, “We are the 99 per cent” and “We are not afraid of your nightsticks,” the New York Times reported that one officer wearing riot gear told a group of protesters that he had worked 36 hours straight, adding, “If I keep getting paid, I can tough it out.”
The tough clampdown on NYC Occupy protestors came even as protestors across the nation planned a day of solidarity to highlight highlighting growing income inequality and a dire need for jobs in the floundering U.S. economy.
The action also came in the wake of reports that police officers in Seattle, Washington state, used pepper spray on Occupy demonstrators, reportedly including an 84-year-old woman and a pregnant woman.