The title covers the day so far.
A democracy now Cameraman was kidney punched three times. Several clergy, including a retired Episcopal bishop, have been arrested.
Duarte square was the original target. OWS Tactical has plans for an ultimate reoccupation of another site they've referred to as Perseus. Even I don't know where they're going.
I'm restarting my previous liveblog, which was hosted here.
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2:24 PM PT: Commissioner Kelly laughs when asked about police brutality:
Shot by Luke, whose last name I can't spell or pronounce. He's been there since the early days.
2:24 PM PT: Marchers are sprinting! They're trying to evade the police!
2:25 PM PT: I can hear cheering in the distance.
2:26 PM PT: They stopped for a moment, then started chanting "GO GO!" and sprinting for a second time.
2:34 PM PT: They've succesfully made it difficult for the police on scooters to follow them.
They're evading them by turning around, and sprinting in the other direction. Unless the police want to go the wrong way down a one way street, they can't turn around.
2:40 PM PT: It's hard to say what's going on with the church in question.
Statement by Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector of Trinity Church
December 17, 2011
We are saddened that OWS protestors chose to ignore yesterday’s messages from Archbishop Tutu, from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and from Bishop of New York Mark S. Sisk. Bishop Tutu said: “In a country where all people can vote and Trinity’s door to dialogue is open, it is not necessary to forcibly break into property.” The Presiding Bishop said: “Other facilities of Trinity continue to be open to support the Occupy movement, for which I give great thanks. It is regrettable that Occupy members feel it is necessary to provoke potential legal and police action by attempting to trespass on other parish property…I would urge all concerned to stand down and seek justice in ways that do not further alienate potential allies.” Bishop Sisk said: “The movement should not be used to justify breaking the law nor is it necessary to break into property for the movement to continue.”
OWS protestors call out for social and economic justice; Trinity has been supporting these goals for more than 300 years. The protestors say they want to improve housing and economic development; Trinity is actively engaged in such efforts in the poorest neighborhoods in New York City and indeed around the world. We do not, however, believe that erecting a tent city at Duarte Square enhances their mission or ours. The vacant lot has no facilities to sustain a winter encampment. In good conscience and faith, we strongly believe to do so would be wrong, unsafe, unhealthy, and potentially injurious. We will continue to provide places of refuge and the responsible use of our facilities in the Wall Street area. We are gratified by the support we have received from so many in the community.
-The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector of Trinity Church
Lot of coded language there.
The vacant lot has no facilities to sustain a winter encampment. In good conscience and faith, we strongly believe to do so would be wrong, unsafe, unhealthy, and potentially injurious.
They're afraid of people freezing to death. "Potentially injurious" is legal speak. I don't often hear ordained ministers using legalese.
I've only heard it when a lawyer has told an ordained minister "no."
I do know that churches get sued, a lot, and can't do certain things without losing their insurance.
When I was a youth leader, I could not meet one on one with students. Doing so risked the church losing it's insurance.
If someone froze to death on church property, the church could be sued into nonexistence.
This is conjecture. I'm going to ask these questions myself. If this is about insurance and legal threats, then the church really doesn't have a choice.
I'll investigate this week, and let you know either way.
2:45 PM PT: Protesters are marching on the Rector's home.
2:58 PM PT: Protesters are marching THROUGH THE STREETS, blocking traffic.
I also want to remind you, in regards to my previous statement about Litigation and Churches, that a retired Episcopal bishop was arrested taking the vacant lot.
I don't know what to think about any of this, because I don't think I have all the information on what, exactly, the rector of Trinity Wall St. was thinking.
I promise you all that I'll be investigating this situation, and will bring you the FULL story: all of the facts.
2:58 PM PT: The traffic is too thick for police on scooters and in cars to follow! They've shut down the streets!
3:01 PM PT: One commuter jumped out of his car to high-five occupiers!
3:03 PM PT: Police on scooters are charging protesters with scooters! They can't keep the protesters out of the street! I've seen scooters hit protesters!
3:07 PM PT: We've seen multiple arrests.
We've also identified the man who kidney punched a journalist three times:
Sgt. Iaquinto, badge number 2253.
3:10 PM PT: Tim pool might be about to be arrested. They've blocked the entire area, the kettling net is out. They have the protesters boxed in!
3:11 PM PT: Mass arrests incoming.
3:16 PM PT: The police are making mass arrests now. Tim pool is safely outside the area, as is HankNYNY, Henry Ferry.
3:16 PM PT: "Bloombergs Army!" Clap clap clapclapclap
3:23 PM PT: I just called one of my friends:
"Are you okay!?"
"Are you stuck inside?"
"Yeah! We're definitely kettled in here! There's no way out!"
Phone goes dead.
3:24 PM PT: Protesters have broken through the kettling net! The police are pushing Tim and Hank!
They realized they don't have enough police! The protesters have broken through! The police are letting them go!
3:35 PM PT: HankNYNY and Tim Pool have both been shoved by the police.
The DemocracyNow! cameraman who was beaten earlier has been beaten again. This time with batons. He has an NYPD press pass.
3:44 PM PT: One protester, Austin, has been tazed.
I don't think it's Kossack Austin.
I can confirm mounted police on location.
3:47 PM PT: It looks like they're in times square.
4:00 PM PT: People are being directed to 60 wall.
4:12 PM PT: Times square is still in the hands of the Occupiers:
4:16 PM PT: Police: "Do not let anyone in or out, even if they get in."
The people on the red stairs were not protesters. They were tourists and shoppers.
The police are interrupting everything. It's interesting. The protesters were intending to hold a short GA there.
Tourists are walking by, yelling "POLICE STATE!"
Police: "Keep shopping, you'll be fine. Don't worry."
4:17 PM PT: Protesters in times square are dancing.
"Wall Street Times Square, occupy everywhere!"
4:28 PM PT: Protesters just sang happy birthday to Bradley Manning.
4:39 PM PT: We've seen many people talk about why they occupy, including an Indignado from spain, and a Grandmother of 5 who knitted me a scarf.
4:44 PM PT: "I occupy because the teargas being used against Egyptian protesters was manufactured in a factory in Pennsylvania!"
5:13 PM PT: CORRECTION: TAZER WAS NOT USED ON AUSTIN.
The NYPD may not even have Tazers.
Original reports were false.
5:16 PM PT: It's still a brutal arrest.
5:36 PM PT: OCCUPYSF HAS SUCCESFULLY REOCCUPIED.
About 60 people at 1 NY Plaza.
9:50 PM PT: Our liveblog is now closed.
There's a lot I plan to investigate further about today. Expect my coverage soon.