Meta-Protest: CUNY Professor Organizes Protest to Protest the Treatment of Occupy Wall Street Protesters
CUNY professor Alex Vitale issued a press release today detailing his organizing, along with Penny Lewis, a protest of police treatment of protesters at the Occupy Wall Street protests; the most notorious offense being the incident, caught on tape, of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying protesters in the face, more or less without provocation. Today a second video was released, showing Bologna pepper-spraying what appears to be a photographer, who was clearly not being detained at the time.
Vitale writes that Occupy Wall Street protesters were “met with extreme police violence, including violent arrests of non-violent protesters and pepper-spraying people in police custody.” The protesters themselves were, at the worst “guilty of a minor traffic disruption, which in no way warranted the excessive use of force witnessed on numerous videos. This use of force serves to criminalize dissent and intimidate potential participants.”
According to Vitale more than 1,000 protesters are expected to turn out for the event, to be held this Friday at 5:30, at One Police Plaza “to communicate their disagreement with how protests are handled in New York City…”
Meanwhile, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters that the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will “look at” Anthony Bologna’s pepper spraying incident, but also “questioned whether the snippet he saw offered enough context to evaluate what occurred.” It’s doubtful that Kelly’s assurance of an investigation of sorts will satisfy those outraged by the NYPD’s conduct and ready to protest on Friday.
No word yet as to whether the NYPD will organize a counter-protest to the protest protesting the treatment of Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Image: Washington Post
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