UPDATE: Here’s some video from the scene this morning at around 2am. The location is about one block north of Zuccotti Park. Fair warning, some of the language may not be completely safe for work.
Producer Mike Yarvitz recently moved downtown to the Financial District and sent this dispatch from Zuccotti Park and the Occupy Wall Street raid at 2:32 am this morning:
As a new resident of the neighborhood, I just ran down there to check it out. It’s a pretty wild scene. HUGE NYPD presence everywhere in the area. Every single block surrounding the stock exchange– and Wall Street Itself– is barricaded off right now with at least a dozen cops standing guard at each street corner, many of them mounted on police horses. When I tried to leave my now gated-community, I was told I probably wouldn’t be allowed to return. After saying, “but I live here”, the response was, “Doesn’t matter.” As I was getting up to liberty park– or, as close as I could get– the crowd was being forcefully driven back by the police. One protester appeared to be getting billy-clubbed on the ground while the crowd chanted, “Shame! Shame!” at the cops. From where I stood, it seemed like the cops were being pretty aggressive with their suppression tactics, at a few different points, the crowd tried yelling things at them like “you’re us!”, but to no avail. The protesters were trying to stay as organized as they could, at one point they seemed to attempt an iran protest-style act of non-violence by sitting down on the ground and being silent as the NYPD tried to move them north up broadway, but this tactic was abandoned pretty quickly. It’s hard to overstate the amount of police in the area, broadway– north and south of zucotti park– was lined with dozens and dozens of paddy wagons and squad cars, and they have the entire area on complete lockdown, probably 4 blocks in every direction around the park. I left as the police were announcing– via bullhorn– that everyone in the area would be arrested if they didn’t continue moving north. I shot some video of the scene that we can post on the blog, but given that nearly everyone there was armed with a cell phone camera, I’m sure all of that footage is about to pour in. Also, I can report that I did manage to regain entrance into my now-police state neighborhood by sneaking through a 24-hour duane reade. signing off.