Police Brutality Accompanies Peaceful Protest
Occupy Wall Street, a movement of individual citizens with no formal leadership, continues to protest in the heart of New York’s busy financial district. The movement seeks to highlight the many acts of fraud that led to the Great Recession, and to demand that President Obama take action to address growing economic inequality.
Among other actions, the group vocally disrupted a Sotheby’s art auction in protest of cuts to benefits of workers belonging to the Art Handlers Union. While Sotheby’s profits stood at $680 million last year, the company has demanded that new employees receive no health care coverage.
“The greed in this building is a direct example of the corporate greed that has ruined our economy,” one protester spoke into the stunned hush of the auction room.
Videotape shows police picking up a peaceful protester bodily and brutally throwing him to the sidewalk, and another sustaining cuts to the hands while being dragged away.
In spite of these events, media coverage of the movement is almost non-existent.
“If 2,000 tea party activists descended on Wall Street,” wrote journalist and activist Amy Goodman, “you would probably have an equal number of reporters there covering them.”
Internet company Yahoo! admits to blocking emails sent through their accounts containing links to occupywallstreet.org. Although the company apologized, saying it was an error with a spam filter, many activists saw the disruption of communication as similar to service stoppages during uprisings in the Middle East, a tactic used by rulers to stifle dissent.
In an open letter, the movement pleaded for public support: “Occupy Wall Street consists mainly of young citizens who are serious about their democracy and their future, and we are leading the way. Hope does not come from the White House. It will not come from Congress … Our only option is civil disobedience. If we the people don’t stand up for ourselves with non-violent, peaceful protest, nobody will. The corporate elite are counting on you to stay passive and let Occupy Wall Street fizzle out. This is our chance. It’s up to us.”