Police throw out OWS information fliers into the street. by Cory V. Clark
New York, New York October 11, 2012- NYPD is turning up the heat on protesters with increased violence, arrests and legalized theft of personal property.
"The intensity of harassment fluctuates from day to day depending on the white shirt in command that day," said Damien Shark, 42.
At 6PM NYPD moved in to clear protesters from in front of Trinity Church in order for the church to clean the city sidewalks they claim to be responsible for.
During the effort to remove protesters, Officer Price of the 7th precinct violently shoved past a Red Cross medic to remove a tarp in which information about Occupy Wall Street was laid out. Officer price then threw the paper materials, tarp and storage devices into the street temporarily obstructing traffic.
Earlier in the evening three protesters in Harlem were arrested at a community supported occupation they had started several days before. NYPD refuses to comment on the arrests claiming it was for disorderly conduct.
At 9 PM police enter the encampment in front of Trinity attempting to grab personal property from protesters, claim that it was abandoned even while the owner was sitting next to the item, abusing the term reasonable in order to justify the theft of property. Including the attempt to grab several thousand dollars worth of art from Philadelphia Mixed Media Artist Danielle Finger, who has several galleries and national art shows under her belt, including a recent show for the National Adoption Center where a piece she painted sold for as much as a Zoe Strauss.
This is the second artist to be targeted by NYPD at Trinity, just three weeks ago a young woman of color named Sparrow was knocked unconscious by an NYPD sergeant then arrested in the hospital while trying to protect a painting of hers that had been illegally taken and thrown in a trash truck for disposal.
Just two hours later Police reentered the encampment to make a second attempt at grabbing personal property. Police confiscated the walker of a disabled protester and threw it in the trash. Other protesters retrieved the walker condemning police for targeting a disabled person.
After a twenty minute show down over the information tarp and whether it was considered permanent or semipermanent, some discussion with the lieutenant on scene, police threw food donated to the protesters into the street again obstructing traffic temporarily.
Once the police returned to the other side of the street a protester known as revolution threw a slice of pizza that he had picked up from the street and threw it at a police cruiser. Protesters ushered him away before police could cross the street to make the arrest.
The protester who threw the pizza later returned to the encampment in the early morning hours, police apparently decided not to pursue the issue.
"NYPD threw out crates of food out in the street endangering the lives of drivers and Occupiers, so I thought if they can do it why can't I,there shouldn't be two standards of behavior, one for us and another for NYPD, " said Revolution who is from Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Police returned just a few hours before dawn for a forth engagement with protesters. Finding many of the protesters prepared for the harassment police chose to direct their attack whole heartedly against the disabled.
Confiscating without providing a confiscation receipt for a second time the walker of one disabled person and ordering another disabled transsexual person to sleep in her wheel.
"A white shirt told me that I have to sit in my chair or he would take it," said Aqua Star-Nyght, 26 from Brooklyn. "I wasn't allowed to sleep laying down like other protesters, I felt like I was singled out because I'm trans, and disabled no other reason."
She remained defiant and the lieutenant eventually backed off.
Police are not permitted to confiscate personal property without reasonable proof of abandonment, according to numerous federal court cases, including Lavan Vs. The City of Las Angeles. Where it was the opinion of the court that the confiscation of property by police without such proof was a violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
"In this case the purpose of such confiscations is that of harassing persons exercising their First Amendment Rights as well and there fore is a violation of the First Amendment as well," Said Danielle Finger, 23.
A little after dawn police came in to awaken protesters still asleep in order for the private maintenance company that cleans the sidewalks for Trinity Church to wet down the sidewalk with a garden hose.
Moments after they moved in to kick protesters awake they arrested Aaron Williams, 20 years old from Syracuse, New York apparently for blowing a hand held air horn. He was not informed what he was being charged with and NYPD refuse to give information on what precinct he was being taken to.
" It seems that the goal of NYPD is to break protesters, we need to pace ourselves to endure, they know we wont be moved, so we just have to surf the waves they throw at us," said Fathema Shadidi, 57 a Red Cross Crisis Intervention Medic.
Many of the protesters show signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, often snapping at each other, clearly in a state of constant terror. Often Protesters will jump at the sight of an NYPD officer, or become very aggressive in their presence.
"People tend to take their stress out on themselves, they internalize the abuse," said Shididi. " In the short term you will see a lot of bouts sleep deprivation and exhaustion, in the long term numbness and ultimately PTSD and severe depression."
"This is crazy people shouldn't have to endure this sort of harassment for exercising their First Amendment rights, this is the kind of sh*t we condemn countries like Syria and China for, are we the pot calling the kettle black here or what," said Chino Futuristic, 25 from El Paso, Texas.