Eyewitness Account To The Brooklyn Bridge Arrests

I reached the planned 3PM solidarity march at about 3:20 because I am an idiot and have lost all of my hard earned subway navigation skills. But since the gathering was significantly more than the few hundred we keep hearing about, it wasn’t exactly hard to find. The march was approximately 40 minutes long from front to back at a steady walking pace and took up the entire sidewalk with a little spilling into the street. I’ll let people much smarter than I figure out the numbers. My best, conservative (if you’ll excuse the expression) guess was somewhere between 3 and 4 thousand people participated with several hundred more lining up to watch.

Since I completely missed the pre-march gathering, I had no idea where we were heading but after 20 minutes running back and forth alongside the march, taking pictures and video, I saw that we were heading to the Brooklyn Bridge.

At this point the cops had professionally maintained order and kept people mostly on the sidewalk. Interesting note about that was the way different officers responded. Some were content to keep us out of the way of traffic while others yelled at anyone that stepped foot off the sidewalk. As I was trying to get ahead of the march to film it, I was very careful about watching the police as I scooted around the protesters.

The march paused for a few minutes at the foot of the bridge and it seemed that that was where we going to stop and possibly have a rally.

Right before they stormed the bridge!

Nope! Everybody went right up onto the bridge. We split between the actual road and the pedestrian walkway. I ended up on the walkway because it arcs up and over the road I wanted to get a better angle on the crowd. This was a happy coincidence for me because it kept me from getting arrested.

It seemed to me that the police did nothing to stop the protesters and it would have been very easy for them to guide all of us onto the walkway. As it was, they were guiding the march and traffic and I neither saw nor heard any resistance from the cops on the scene.

And there were a LOT of them. More than enough to have kept us off the road.

A plethora of police.

And then we all stopped. The people on the walkway stopped to watch the people on the road. Those on the road looked like they had been stopped by a whole lot of cops and those, now infamous, orange cordons. At no point did I hear anyone talk about not crossing the bridge. Also, the fact that no one was directing us to stay on the road (or off it, for that matter) suggests to me that the point was to cross, not stop, and the police interfered.

I guess we’ll hear the “official” story later tonight or tomorrow. Or, considering the piss-poor job the MSM has done in covering this, you might not hear anything at all.

After about 15 minutes of being stopped, the police started to arrest the protesters on the road a few at a time. There was no excessive force this time. I presume this is because it was an enclosed area with little chance of timely backup or escape if things became violent. Let it never be said the police are stupid or suicidal. An unwarranted macing would have resulted in a riot in that small a space.

For a short time, they allowed people to go back towards Manhattan but that small trickle quickly dried up as the police completely enclosed the stalled march. They continued to arrest them 4 or 5 at a time.

At this point, the police decided they didn’t want too many witnesses and started to order us off the public walkway because “we were blocking foot traffic.” Riiiiight, that must explain why the first area they cleared was the one that had a good view of the penned in protesters.

After that, they just cordoned off the walkway with that goddamn orange fencing and left a whole lot of people stranded on the Brooklyn side of the path. So much for “blocking foot traffic.” Mind you, people moved off the walkway or scooted over to one side to leave the other half open to people walking by. But, obviously, the point was to keep us away from the arrests.

I went back down to the foot of the bridge where a few hundred had gathered, waiting to see the fate of the others. There were dozens of cops (see above picture) just standing there blocking the entrance to the walkway. They were there in force. In all of the footage I’ve seen of the various Tea Party rallies I barely saw a single cop but it seems college students and old hippies are a terrifying threat to public order. I can only imagine how many actual bad guys went uncaught today as a result of this overwhelming concentration of police manpower to “guard” a peaceful protest.

The last thing I saw before departing was several police buses and a double long city bus. I guess they arrested every last one of the protesters on the bridge.

Just one of several buses to take all the mean bad people.

We shut down the Brooklyn bound side of the bridge for several hours. Almost 400 people were arrested. But it’s just not worth covering as much as a bunch of dicks in stupid hats, is it?

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