Police violence against the Occupy Wall Street movement last Saturday night, resulting in the arrest of 73 people at Zuccotti Park, has provoked an indignant reaction from some City Council members who blame the NYPD for using excessive force.
“On Saturday, I stood right next to peaceful demonstrators who, in return for exercising their rights, were hit by NYPD police officers” Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez (D-Upper Manhattan) said at the park on Monday surrounded by injured movement protesters and a group of elected officials.
Rodríguez and his fellow protesters returned to the birthplace of the OWS movement to denounce the excessive tactics employed by NYPD officers on the protest’s six-month anniversary. They called on New Yorkers to rally Saturday to protest the use of what they called official violence aimed at the peaceful demonstrators.
“The park was full of people,” Nathan Kleinman, 29, an OWS organizer from Jenkintown, Penn., told the Daily News.
Protesters “were sitting and talking and laughing and singing and dancing, celebrating six months of the movement,” he said. “And without any warnings or prompting, a few hundred cops just started sweeping through the park and knocking people over and dragging people off the ground.”