Ok, so somewhere in these threads about OWS there was a question about the Citibank arrests.
I admit that I don't know if it was A. protesters going in to close their actual accounts as protest and thereby "causing a disturbance" and getting arrested for criminal trespass or B. protesters going in to protest as in chants, drums whistles and signs, and thereby causing a disturbance and getting arrested for criminal trespass.
But, what I do know now, because of this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H13VkHE3UTQ&feature=share) is that they were never given a warning by the police, and i'm not sure if that is what is required or what, and that they were trying to peacefully leave at the beginning of the video. They then peacefully were arrested and everything was pretty peaceful overall.
Anyway, watch for yourself, there is one part where someone is dragged back into the bank by several police officers -- though no one seems to know why -- also on the video.
Anyway, information is power. So here is some information. limited, but some nonetheless.
I'm not sure why this incident continues in a new thread here or anywhere.
The video begins just seconds before the police arrive, a person in the video and your narrative suggests they were never given "warning by the police" as if that meant anything. A business owner or a business representative has authority to ask people to leave a premises or risk being arrested for trespassing. The video conveniently starts well after that happened.
It does show that a person says "well, we'd like to leave now", in a manner to suggest that they had refused to leave earlier. It's obvious that a decision had already been reached and then announced to the crowd that they were going to be charged with trespass. At that point, no one would be allowed to leave, and that makes perfect sense.
With all the video of the event, I'm curious why there doesn't seem to be any to back up the original claim that they were all customers trying to close their accounts and the bank not allowing them to do so.
It's interesting to see the attempts to legitimize an event that was obviously meant to disrupt a business.
I'm not trying to legitimize or anything. As i said in the prior post stream about it (i would have posted it there but couldn't find which one it was, as there are several), my jury is still out on what happened and how, but this at least gives some insight into how things were going at the end.
I'm also asserting the same questions that you are asking. Were they asked to leave? Was it edited out? why? And being asked to leave, and not leaving, but then the police being called, then being detained by a plain clothes police officer . . . i'm just curious as to what really happened.
I suspect, but do not know, that it is likely that SOME of the protesters were closing accounts as protest with other protesters present, which caused the disturbance. I suspect that they were also asked to leave, but refused, and then police were called.
What is unclear to me is a timeline between when they were asked to leave and when police arrived.
For example, having been a part of some rather gutsy (quaker) crowds at protest (and by crowd, i mean 8-10 people), they tend to be disruptive until the police arrive, or until the police are called. Disruption is usually "peaceful" but that can be quite disruptive for sure. :)
Anyway, first warning is the business saying "get out or i'll call the police" and second is "ok, i'm calling the police now." generally, then, there are several minutes during which the protesters get up and leave before police arrive. I admit -- on my end -- this must be very annoying for police.
I think that in this scenario, a plain-clothes officer was either A. close by or B. in the business at the time (probably serendipity), and since he knew that the police were being called, and being on duty or what have you he was the first on the scene. He then detained while waiting for back up, and the protestors did not expect that the police would have a presence so quickly.
I think that the quakers with whom i've protested in the past would be quite upset in such a situation, because their intention is to disperse.
It may also be -- but I don't know -- that the laws around trespass in NY express that the police have to come and ask them to leave or they will be under arrest (thus the idea of being given a warning), and then they have the opportunity to leave. But, I'm not clear on this aspect of NY law, nor have i had the time to look it up (probably wouldn't be difficult).
So far, whenever they have been asked to disperse (in various cities) there has been ample warning before arrest. They gave boston's second encampment about a 30 minute warning, and it was a very, very organized process. Some people did disperse, to avoid arrest, and removed themselves to the Dewey encampment. Others refused to, and were arrested, and then the park was cleaned in about 30 minutes all said and done (i think. I watched it on livestream via the OWS web site, and it was not a close up, but someone obviously in a building neighboring the park, and it looked very organized and relatively nonviolent (there are some images from "on the ground" and claims by legal onlookers that there was "police brutality" -- but I haven't seen any video that I would qualify as "brutality." It looks like pretty par for normal arrests for people either resisting arrest. Most people just turned around to get cuffed, similar to this video.).
Overall, I tend to think that police have really done a good job since Oct 5, which is when the most photos of police brutality (and the brooklyn bridge incident, i think) cropped up. And, there are some pretty extreme photos there. BUt since then -- and I think before -- i would say that they've been doing a decent job of something that isn't easy.
Likewise, I would note that the protestors do not have permits for their protests/emcampments -- something that most cities prefer because it offsets costs and gives estimates around what the situation will be, and what level of police/etc presence is necessary (something, btw, TEa Party folks do -- they get their permits), but marching on sidewalks doesn't require permits (something very popular here in NZ -- marching on sidewalks), but in NYC, where side walks are pretty full, this could have a greater impact than in other cities that have fewer walkers. But, from the legal information that a friend of mine is doing (as he's part of the legal group volunteering for OWS), that it's legal to be overnight in that particular public park, which is why it's chosen as the encampment. So no permit needed. :)
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