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NYPD vs OWS: Crackdown but no backdown

Published time: October 27, 2011 03:27
Edited time: October 27, 2011 20:12

Police arrest an Occupy Wall Street protester during a demonstration to show support for their counterparts in Oakland, California on October 26, 2011 in New York City (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP)

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New York police officers have been arresting Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who took to the streets Wednesday to decry a crackdown against fellow protesters in Oakland, California, RT correspondents reported.

This as up to a thousand people marched through the streets of the city to Union Square in Manhattan to show solidarity with fellow activists in Oakland, California, who had been subject to a severe crackdown by riot squads.

Demonstrators walked the streets chanting “Oakland is New York City, New York City is Oakland.”

There are reports that police attempted to use orange netting either to stop demonstrators or prevent them from accessing certain streets. Some protestors reportedly took the netting and threw it in the garbage.

As the demonstration progressed through the city, more people joined it.

s NY police began making arrests, reports emerged of heavy-handedness, with officers throwing people to the ground to a chorus of “shame on you” from protesters.

Despite growing police brutality, the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in NYC is showing no signs of weakening, with demonstrations now entering their sixth week. Protests have spread to 1,400 cities in the US and have also found support in Europe and Canada.

Since the demonstrations began, no less than 1,000 people have been arrested in cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The bulk of the arrests were made in New York, and the NYPD has already been accused of using aggressive tactics and brute force against activists. The arrests have only served to reinforce the conviction that corporate influence over politics in America is disproportionate, and the police reaction is seen as a move by the authorities to silence the voices being raised against corporate greed and economic injustice.

Riot police are now present in huge numbers in downtown New York. Police helicopters roar above the streets of Manhattan, spotlighting demonstrators in keeping with the best Hollywood traditions. The atmosphere is fraught and there is no sign of a let-up in tensions anytime soon.

The police crackdown on protesters over the last 24 hours in Oakland and Atlanta has been overwhelming, with dozens of activists being arrested as Californian police repeatedly used tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators, sometimes throwing flash grenades at groups of activists.

Oakland officials maintain the police had no other choice, claiming the protestors were first to throw bottles and rocks at police squads, injuring two officers and making the clashes in Oakland as the most violent the Occupy movement has seen so far. 

Despite the police crackdown, protesters in California’s Oakland have returned to the streets and their numbers are greater than ever.