New York police accused of heavy-handed tactics as 80 anti-capitalist protesters on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ march are arrested
Posted by Matt Wells
Sunday 25 September 2011
The anti-capitalist protests that have become something of a fixture in Lower Manhattan over the past week or so have taken on a distinctly ugly turn.
Police have been accused of heavy-handed tactics after making 80 arrests on Saturday when protesters marched uptown from their makeshift camp in a private park in the financial district.
Footage has emerged on YouTube showing stocky police officers coralling a group of young female protesters and then spraying them with mace, despite being surrounded and apparently posing threats of only the verbal kind.
NYPD officers strung orange netting across the streets to trap groups of protesters, a tactic described by some of them as “kettling” – a term more commonly used by critics of a similar tactic deployed by police in London to contain potentially violent demonstrations there.
The media here in New York has been accused of being slow off the mark to cover the demonstrations, which have been going on for more than a week. The Guardian was one of the first mainstream news organisation to give detailed coverage to the protests – here are some links to our earlier coverage.
Now, however, the local media has paid more attention – almost certainly because Saturday’s protest became disruptive, bringing chaos to the busy Union Square area and forcing the closure of streets.