Police use massive force against Occupy Wall Street camp

By staff writers
November 15, 2011

Early this morning, police started clearing Zuccotti Park in New York City's financial district, where Occupy Wall Street has been camped since September 2011.

Some 70 demonstrators have been arrested. The protesters have accused the police of gratuitous violence, of using teargas and sound cannon, and of intimidation.

Activist and WikiLeaks legal analyst Trevor Timm has claimed on Twitter that two reporters have been arrested, and that they had assault rifles pointed at them during the raid.

The eviction has been broadcast live on Occupy Wall Street's video feed. Images suggest that the vast majority of Occupiers responded peacefully, if angrily, with a small minority reacting physically.

Samantha Tuttlebee, aged 35, had been volunteering at the camp's medical tent, when it was raided. "I'm shocked. They put my arms behind my back. They are really violent," she said. "We were trying to leave and they threw us out."

Protester Sam Wood added: "[The police] gave us about 20 minutes to get our things together. It's a painful process to watch, they are sweeping through the park."

He added that police "trashed" tha camp's library and then set about "tearing the whole camp apart."

Overnight New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had declared that protesters at the Occupy Wall Street camp should "temporarily leave" the Zuccotti Park area, taking their tents with them.

"You can't evict an idea whose time has come," OWS replied. "This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation and more than any tactic."

Occupy Wall Street has provided this timeline of the night's activities on its website:

3:36 am Kitchen tent reported teargassed. Police moving in with zip cuffs.
3:33 am Bulldozers moving in
3:16 am Occupiers linking arms around riot police
3:15 am NYPD destroying personal items. Occupiers prevented from leaving with their possessions.
3:13 am NYPD deploying sound cannon
3:08 am heard on livestream: "they're bringing in the hoses."
3:05 am NYPD cutting down trees in Liberty Square
2:55 am NYC council-member Ydanis Rodríguez arrested and bleeding from head.
2:44 am Defiant occupiers barricaded Liberty Square kitchen
2:44 am NYPD destroys OWS Library. 5,000 donated books in dumpster.
2:42 am Brooklyn Bridge confirmed closed
2:38 am 400-500 marching north to Foley Square
2:32 am All subways but R shut down
2:29 am Press helicopters evicted from airspace. NYTimes reporter arrested.
2:22 a.m. Frontpage coverage from New York Times
2:15 am Occupiers who have been dispersed are regrouping at Foley Square
2:10 am Press barred from entering Liberty Square
2:07 am Pepper spray deployed, reports of at least one reporter sprayed
2:03 am Massive Police Presence at Canal and Broadway
1:43 am Helicopters overhead.
1:38 am Unconfirmed reports of snipers on rooftops.
1:34 am CBS News Helicopter Livestream
1:27 am Unconfirmed reports that police are planning to sweep everyone.
1:20 am Subway stops are closed.
1:20 am Brooklyn bridge is closed.
1:20 am Occupiers chanting "This is what a police state looks like."
1:20 am Police are in riot gear.
1:20 am Police are bringing in bulldozers.

* Occupy Wall Street (including video stream): http://occupywallst.org/
* Live updates from Mother Jones reporter @JoshHarkinson on Twitter
* Hash tag on Twitter: #ows
* Live audio coverage from WBAI: http://stream.wbai.org/
* Al Jazeera coverage: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2011/11/2011111565910312603.html

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