A sub-group of protesters were marching in New York's streets today, mixing in with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. This group, lost within the crowd, began filing out into the streets since September 22 and were protesting Troy Davis’ execution. Like the Occupy Wall Street group, they started posting videos of the police reactions.
Tonight on Live Stream, one protester said that police were arresting people not involved with their protest. It is uncertain if he was talking about those protesting other things or non-protesters.
Video from the night of Troy Davis' execution:
Nation of Change described the September 24th protest:
People young and old, of all classes and colors, joined hands in a moment of silence to honor a man whom many believed died for a crime he didn’t commit. Some cried, many chanted. With references to Jim Crow and legalized lynching, the collective indignation was palpable. There were impassioned monologues from anti-death penalty advocates, poets and people who simply found themselves moved by the moment.
They report that these protesters hit the street right after Georgia executed Troy Davis. The name of this protest is called Day of Outrage and the site lists various times for protesting in various cities for the 22 of September. However, they marched the streets of New York City today with the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The group march had no particular destination. From Live Stream video earlier today, it appeared they just filed in with other various protesters and just blended in with all of them. If not for the chant, "We are all Troy Davis", it would be almost impossible to tell which group was which.
The police did their best to keep up as the mass of mourners moved west down 14th Street, then south onto 5th Avenue.
As reported in the report on Occupy Wall Street and seen in video, this is the same street those protesters were arrested too.
Parents marched with children on their shoulders. Crust-punk activists joined demonstrators in pressed shirts, repeating the refrain, “The system is racist, they killed Troy Davis!” Wide-eyed Manhattanites poured out of restaurants and businesses, camera phones in hand, to capture what was unfolding.
As the number of marchers swelled it became evident that some of the spectators had transformed themselves into participants.
With steadily increasing numbers –some estimate over a thousand – and a phalanx of marching and scooter-mounted cops on its tail, the sea of demonstrators continued south. Word soon spread that the demonstration knew where it was headed: Wall Street.
Wall Street protesters greeted them with cheers and music, becoming one with those protesters as well as others.
Brandon King, age 27, soon found himself between police and crowd, with his back towards the police. Suddenly, policed yanked from the crowd and slammed him to the ground.
With his back turned to the officers, King was yanked from the crowd and slammed into the pavement; arrested on charges of obstruction of governmental administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. King denies that he resisted, saying he went limp while officers punched him in the back.
He was dragged away by the police as the crowd shouted, “The world is watching!”
One man shouted to the police, “These people are marching peacefully for a dead man!”
“I feel that their immediate response to us was that, ‘We don’t care about your anger. We don’t care about your frustration. We don’t care about Troy,’” King said, following his release from jail the next day.
Despite police brutality, the group remained non-violent and decided to continue their march to Wall Street. It then turned ugly with officers picking up one woman, Saman Waquad, tossing her to the concrete, according to the report.
The crowd erupted in anger, chanting “Who do you protect?” over and over.
“Honestly, I’m five feet tall and I weigh a hundred pounds. I don’t know at what point somebody thought that I would be a physical threat to a cop. All I was doing was taking pictures of them brutally grabbing somebody from the crowd,” the 28 year-old said.
“As somebody who lives in this country and pays taxes, I have the right to be able to peacefully protest an injustice,” she added.
This can be seen in some of the repeated footage on Live Stream and in at least one video in the Occupy Wall Street report. Again, protesters had five minutes, but this time it was to get off the streets or be arrested.
The reaction of the NYPD Thursday night was predictably overzealous and needlessly violent. What wasn’t expected, however, was the spontaneous merger of two growing struggles. One group has taken to the streets out of frustration with an economic status-quo they say leaves too many with not enough. The other has voiced outrage over a so-called justice system that disproportionately targets, imprisons and kills people of color.
According to the article, the two groups marched together, stood up to the police together, and the police may have just emboldened a movement.
This group experienced arrest at the White House protesting Troy Davis’ execution a few days ago.