Reporting Rich Lamb
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Hundreds of “Occupy Wall Street” protestors continue to rally at a park in lower Manhattan.
LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reports
Zuccotti Park is protest city. Demonstrators have been pouring in since the “Occupy Wall Street” began over a week ago.
While the main focus of the protest is centered on the financial world, those camping out in the park speak to causes covering the political and social spectrum, from supporters of Ron Paul to the anti-war activists of the Granny Peace Brigade.
The owners of Zuccotti Park have posted new rules against sleeping bags, tarps and lying down on benches, but the demonstration shows no sign of abating.
Members of “Occupy Wall Street” have posted signs against drug use, warnings for demonstrators to be careful of the flower plantings and Ang from Jersey City, who did not give her last name, runs the free cafeteria.
“All the food is coming from donations,” she said. “People are donating money, which we use to buy food, but a lot of it is being sent to us. Home cooked meals, a lot of non-perishable goods are being sent and then we’ll send them out to kitchens which will then prepare them and bring them back.”
She said one person in South Korea went online to send the protestors a pizza.
Ang says they even have a clean up team.
“We’re being good about sanitation and we have a really great sanitation crew that has formed here,” she said. “They’re just hauling away any kind of trash, we’re doing recycling and now we’re trying to get a compost heap started as well.”
Authorities said they cannot force protesters to leave. Although the plaza off Broadway and Liberty Street is privately owned, it is required to stay open 24 hours a day.
But the demonstrators haven’t been staying still. The protest has also included marches with mixed results. On Saturday, about 80 people were arrested in tense and sometimes physical interactions with police.
Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was identified by the hacker collective “Anonymous” as the officer who used pepper spray Saturday on women who were already cordoned off by a mesh barrier.
The group also posted a vague warning online which states:
“As we watched your officers kettle innocent women, we observed you barbarically pepper spray wildly into the group of kettled women. We were shocked and disgusted by your behavior. You know who the innocent women were, now they will have the chance to know who you are. Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!”
Following the warning, Bologna reportedly got 24-hour protection at his home.
The NYPD said the pepper spray was used properly against people trying to interfere with police attempting to disperse a crowd and that all the arrests have been justified.
Kelly says the video may not show the whole story, and said his officers had been tolerant of the protesters.
“We have not interfered with them even when they’re marching on the sidewalk in significant numbers. We’ve allowed them to do that. What, what we’ve told them is ‘Don’t go out in the street and block traffic,’ and that’s precisely what happened on Saturday,” Kelly said.
“What we don’t show is the tumultuous conduct that happened before [the incident],” Kelly said. “It was certainly a disorderly situation.”
The matter will be investigated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Kelly said.
About 100 protesters have been arrested since the group began its demonstrations. Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Dr. Cornel West are among the celebrities who have visited the protesters.
The commissioner said the protesters would make everybody’s life easier if they would apply for a permit. He said the NYPD has done everything to facilitate the demonstrators.
The group is expected to march to police headquarters on Friday.
What do you think about the protest? Sound off below in our comments section…
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