Four days in, the activists camping out in downtown Manhattan for the Occupy Wall Street protests are starting to get weary, and the arrests are stacking up. With support from Anonymous and Adbusters, the protest aims to draw awareness to Wall St.'s abuses of power and affect policy to increase regulation. At the time of this posting, at least thirteen protesters have been taken into custody, and as The Wall Street Journal reports, police are pulling out some pretty weird charges:
Among those arrested was Max Hodes, a 28-year-old from Concord, N.H. He said he and a few others wearing bandanas were pulled from a line of unmasked protesters on Saturday morning in front of 40 Wall St. He said he was taken to the 1st Precinct, checked for outstanding arrest warrants and released about three hours later, having been issued a summons for "loitering and wearing [a] mask." …
New York's law dates back to 1845, when lawmakers tried to quell uprisings by tenant farmers who "used disguises to attack law enforcement officers," according to a later U.S. Court of Appeals ruling.
Other summons pointed to violations of anti-graffiti laws for causing "damage to the sidewalk" with chalk and using a bullhorn without a permit. Meanwhile, protesters are reporting excessive use of force by police, pointing to videos like this one:
The police tactics appear to be scaring some protesters away. Though a reported 1,000 people showed up to the event on Saturday, the latest reports put the headcount at about 200. And morale is running low. "The Live Video feed media team is taking a beating: 3 days of full coverage, two arrested this AM, equipment breaking, no help," reads a message from the protesters. "Stop sending pizza. There's a mountain of it."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.