Occupy Wall Street Movement Reports 80 Arrested Today in Protests
ABC News’ Olivia Katrandjian reports:
At least 80 people were arrested on Wall Street today in the eighth day of protests against corporations, according to the group Occupy Wall St, which reported police used tasers and mace to control the crowd today.
The New York Police Department could not confirm how many arrests had been made because they were still being processed, a spokesman said.
A video has circulated of a police officer throwing a protestor to the ground. The reason for the violence is unknown – the video shows the man standing in what seems to be a non-threatening manner before the attack.
Another video shows police officers shoving male and female protestors off the street, and using a large orange net to move the crowd.
The group claimed today on its website that several arrested protestors were locked inside a police van this morning, one with a “possibly life-threatening” concussion.
The website reported at least one protestor was arrested for taking photographs. An NYPD spokesman said police were not targeting those with cameras.
Photographs that did make it into the blogosphere showed signs that read, “A Few Prosper, Billions Suffer,” and “Debt = Slavery.”
The protests began on Sept. 17, when hundreds of protestors gathered at Bowling Green Park in Manhattan, home of the iconic charging bull in New York’s Financial District, as they prepared to “take the bull by the horns,” as a flyer advertising the event said.
“The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” said a statement on the website Occupy Wall Street.
According to statements on the website, the movement, an offshoot of online magazine AdBusters, is angered by what it calls the principle of “profit over and above all else,” which it says has dominated not only America’s economic policies, but also the way in which Americans view culture and humanity.
Posts on the website compare the group’s efforts to those used in pro-democracy movements across the Middle East, dubbed the Arab Spring.
“On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months,” one statement says. “Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.”
As has become the norm of such protests, this movement has been fueled by social media fire, with supporters taking to Twitter under the hash tag #occupywallstreet. The major hacking group Anonymous has also thrown in its support, live streaming the day’s events.
“History teaches us that when the rich get too rich and the poor get too poor there is always a revolution. Let’s hope this is the start of change!” wrote a reader with the username “Takebackourgovernment” on the movement’s website today.
ABC News’ Candace Smith contributed to this report.