(UPDATE: I am sitting with Chelsea Elliott, who is the blonde woman who was attacked in the video below. Here is a short message from Chelsea, written on my laptop for you all.
I was one of the girls that was maced yesterday. I'm in the black tank [with an albino beer belly hanging]. Pretty surreal stuff. I have talked to multiple press outlets, including the New York Times, since yesterday. Ironically a few moments before what you see in the video I was telling the police officer before me that we are there for them as well. They risk their life everyday to protect us, yet their pensions and salaries are being cut and their friends are being laid off.
However, at that moment nothing really sunk in as they were under a lot of pressure. In retrospect, I am still here for the police. Most are with us, and they may have seriously helped our effort yesterday by overreacting.
In the video, I turn around as I hear screams and the girl who was behind me was slammed down onto to the pavement. I saw blood and I screamed. This violence was totally unwarranted. I look back to the officer before me and all I could say was "Stop! Why are they doing this?" Dumbfounded, I turn around again only to be maced in the face by an officer walking by in a white shirt.
The cop before me says something like "Thanks for the warning!". He felt it, too, as did ordinary New Yorkers strolling by getting Vietnamese food behind us. I just fell and sobbed like a baby; not as tough as I want to look. It really sucks that it had to get to this level for us to get media coverage in our own country. Don't let this scare you from our movement. And don't be angry with the police; there's always a bad apple. What we are doing is important and necessary and this will give us momentum...
Watch this graphic video of unprovoked NYPD violence. It has gone viral. Help it go farther by tweeting, sharing it on facebook, and getting out the evidence of what is going on at #OccupyWallStreet.
There were really large crowds today, more than I have seen in my 5 straight days here. I was interviewed by WPIX channel 11, and during the interview I was asked what I would say to those who feel it is a waste of taxpayer money to have the police surrounding the protestors. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I told her something to the effect of that each and every protestor is a taxpayer, and that I thank each and every police officer for the job they do, and that part of the reason we are protesting Wall Street is for the police officers who are with us, the other 99%.
Moments later a police officer nearby who had overheard me thanked me. We really are on the same side against these rich bastards, if we could just stop fighting each other this would all be easier.
So it is ironic that hours later I found this video and got to meet one of the young ladies who was pepper sprayed. Here is another version of the incident caught on Youtube. She is the blonde woman to the left in the beginning of the video below.
Hearing the shrieks of these women sends a chill through my spine. Shame. Shame on the NYPD. We are supposed to be better than this.
(Update: I was wrong. Youtube suppression debunked. Note to self, think things through before publishing diaries at 4am in the morning.)
More below the fold.
Earlier today on day 8 there was a march from One Liberty Plaza on 14th Street. Over 50 protestors were arrested. Reports from the arrested come back with stories of wounds inflicted by the NYPD going untreated, intimidation by the police and other things you would not expect from a first world country.
Here is some video from that march.
The drumbeats rolled throughout the day, for a protest we have much better music than the teabaggers, that's for sure. War drums for the class war that the rich have been winning in a lopsided manner since that bastard Reagan became President. As the crowds swelled so did the police presence, and after the mass arrests earlier in the day tensions rose and many among the protestors worried if the police would instigate a violent act, tear gas or something of the sort, to remove the protestors from the park in a "Battle in Seattle" or G20 Pittsburgh or G20 Toronto style of violence, but as the night wore on tensions seemed to have eased as we get ready for day 9 and whatever it might bring.
I ran into Kossack Danger Durden at random, making that at least 5 Kossacks on site, between Myself, D.Durden, Ollie Garkey, HankNYNY and AoT, who we have yet to have had the privilege of making acquaintances with yet. I will be the handsome man in the Union Army hat, if anyone wants to meet me up there, PM or email me.
Reporters from several outlets came today, including DemocracyNow, NY1, Channel 7, WPIX11 and others. How does it go, first they ignore you, then?
It has been an exhausting day, but I feel as though we are changing the narrative here. Our little encampment on Wall Street has all the feel of a party and a protest, a family and a democracy. Our General Assembly's are a thing of beauty, a Greek Style of Democracy and open dialogue that is a wonder to behold. Pizza and other food seem to appear constantly from supporters all over America, and one look at the hash tag #OccupyWallStreet on twitter shows that others across America are now holding similar actions in their cities and home towns. Hell, even Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello has given us his support.
This feels like it is growing, and I rejoice. Can you imagine the teabaggers pulling something like this off for 9 days straight? This change, as Tom Morello says, always comes from below. I agree, the lower 99% of income earners, the vast majority of Americans, they want change for the better no matter what their political affiliation is, they want a chance at the American dream, and that is why we continue to fight. When the NYPD abuses us we keep coming back. Protestors who have been arrested keep coming back, new people keep coming in, the drums beat louder, and soon they will be too loud to ignore.
1. Make this video viral. Can we do it? YES WE CAN!
2. Use the twitter hashtags #OccupyWallStreet an follow on facebook and twitter accounts related to the ongoing protests. Help put this video on your facebook pageand any other social media that you use. Make it viral.
3. Make a donation to WeAreTheOther99%'s media fund. They need funding to stay active, and without huge corporate interests backing us up like the Teabaggers have, the only way this works is with your small donations.
4. Get the word out about these protests of Wall Street's greed to everyone you know. Raise awareness, even if it is via word of mouth, every little bit helps.
This is Jesse LaGreca, reporting from the frontlines of the class warzone, wishing you peace and love to you and yours, and reminding you that they only call it class war when the working class fights back.
You can follow me on the Twitter Machines @JesseLaGreca