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VIDEO 4: NYPD officer runs over observer for the National Lawyer’s Guild with a scooter, and leaves it on him, before another officer lunges in with a baton. They later “brutally dragged the injured man away, flipped him over, and kneed him full force in the small of the back as they handcuffed and arrested him.

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#OCCUPYWALLSTREET Protest Arrests; Local NY News Crew Hit by Mace, Baton

The protests on Wall Street continue to grow. The rallies and their participants are showing no signs of slowing down. Wednesday evening, crowds surged past barriers and NYPD officers moved in to contain the protesters. By many accounts, mayhem broke out.

Officers swatted protesters with batons and sprayed them with mace, according to video from the scene.

Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes by mace, and Fox 5 reporter Dick Brennan was hit by what he believes was an officer’s baton.

Both were all right and continued to cover the protests and arrests.

Cops arrested dozens of protesters, but the final tally was not known.

This afternoon’s #OCCUPYWALLSTREET march has drawn thousands of people, by most accounts being the most well-attended march yet. They have shut down the Brooklyn Bridge to traffic as they march across its lanes. This came after an earlier march by the United Way and anti-poverty activists, which also shut down the bridge.

More photos:

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VIDEO 2: Bank of America REFUSES to let #OWSers close their accounts - suits and security guards keep a group of BofA ‘customers’ outside. (Saint Louis, MO - 12 October 2011)

UPDATE 10:09 - At least twenty arrested.

UPDATE 10:33 - Liberty Square is kettled.

UPDATE 10:40 - Liberty Square is still barricaded on all four sides but police are now allowing protesters in and out.

Please call:

1st Precinct: +1 (212) 334-0611
NYPD Switchboard: +1 (646) 610-5000
NYPD Central Booking: +1 (212) 374-3921
NYPD Internal Affairs: +1 (212) 741-8401
Mayor Bloomberg: +1 (212) NEW-YORK or +1 (212) 374-3921

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VIDEO 3: In Belgium, a plainclothes police officer kicks an “indignant” protester associated with the Spanish movement full-on in the face during an occupation of a bank there. The police officer was later arrested. This is the difference between police brutality in the US and in the EU…

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A group of occupiers have made their way to the Citibank branch at 555 Laguardia, where they attempted to close their accounts with the bank. They were promptly locked in the branch and are currently being arrested by NYPD.

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Confronting the Malefactors

So, in case you’ve forgotten, it was a play in three acts.

In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.

Given this history, how can you not applaud the protesters for finally taking a stand?

Now, it’s true that some of the protesters are oddly dressed or have silly-sounding slogans, which is inevitable given the open character of the events. But so what? I, at least, am a lot more offended by the sight of exquisitely tailored plutocrats, who owe their continued wealth to government guarantees, whining that President Obama has said mean things about them than I am by the sight of ragtag young people denouncing consumerism.

Bear in mind, too, that experience has made it painfully clear that men in suits not only don’t have any monopoly on wisdom, they have very little wisdom to offer. When talking heads on, say, CNBC mock the protesters as unserious, remember how many serious people assured us that there was no housing bubble, that Alan Greenspan was an oracle and that budget deficits would send interest rates soaring.

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A look at the food operations at Liberty Plaza on day 13 of the Occupation of Wall Street.