Sabotaging OWS: NYPD Sending Drunks and Unsavory Characters to Zuccotti Park
The “model” civilization that’s sprung up at Zuccotti is itself increasingly divided between the stakeholders in the nascent movement who feel invested in the emerging economic, social and cultural causes of “the 99%,” and hangers-on, including a fast-growing contingent of lawbreakers and lowlifes, many of whom seem to have come to Zuccotti in the last week with the cynical encouragement of the NYPD.
The watch, though, has only powers of persuasion and pressure to try and enforce the rules, and no way to remove people from a public park. The police, whom many occupiers see as the enemy and who work under a mayor who’s made no secret of his distaste for the occupiers, have little reason to help them maintain order, and rarely seem to have entered the park over the last week for anything short of an assault. When officers have gone in, a wave of people carrying drugs (or with other reasons to fear arrest) moves away from them while others circle tightly around, cameras out. Even when organizers have requested their intervention, police enter to a mixed chorus of “brutality” and “pig” calls side by side with chanted reminders that “you are the 99%.”
But while officers may be in a no-win situation, at the mercy of orders carried on shifting political winds and locked into conflict with a so-far almost entirely non-violent protest movement eager to frame the force as a symbol of the oppressive system they’re fighting, the NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork. Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/occupy-wall-street-central-a-rift-growing-east-west-sides-plaza-article-1.969320#ixzz1cYuKhuWj