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Conflict Between Occupy Wall Street Protestors and NYPD Escalating 961

phx_zs writes "Today marks the tenth consecutive day that thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Manhattan, specifically the financial district. ... Sunday marked a change of events as high-ranking NYPD officers exhibited brutal, unprovoked aggression on the peaceful group, reportedly arresting at least 80 people. Many photos and videos have surfaced of NYPD officers slamming protesters on the ground or into parked cars, and in one well-covered incident a NYPD officer (with pending police brutality charges from 2004) maced innocent female protesters point blank for no apparent reason. Many eyewitnesses and several news articles report that the NYPD specifically targeted photographers and media teams streaming the event live on the internet." Do any Slashdotters have eyewitness reports to share? There seems to be a lot of misinformation originating from all parties involved making it difficult to know how large the protest actually is at this point and whether or not the police are being quite as universally violent as the protestors imply.
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Conflict Between Occupy Wall Street Protestors and NYPD Escalating

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  • Apparently, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhcompy ( 1877290 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:14PM (#37530018)
    there is a conflict between occupy English and Slashdot, as well.
  • Lack of news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) * on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:16PM (#37530052) Journal

    In Canada at least, there has been a serious lack of news about this protest. It's mentioned in passing sometimes, but that's about it. I don't even really know what it's about. I heard "protesting corporate greed in America", but I mean that's a tough thing to protest.. you're basically protesting capitalism..

    Anyways, my question is why is there such a media gap about this protest? Is it on purpose (tin foil hat), or is it just because it's vague and nobody really cares about it, so the media doesn't bother?

    • Re:Lack of news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:19PM (#37530090)
      Well, considering that they are protesting the heart of America's economic system, and considering that mainstream media outlets have long refused to publicize movements that run counter the American economic policy, I would not be surprised if the black-out was deliberate.
    • This protest has failed to make headlines in the US as well. The only coverage I've seen is on blogs and Slashdot.

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        CNN had a brief blurb. Huffington post is covering it. NY times had something. Google it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

        This protest has failed to make headlines in the US as well.

        Probably because it is not a tea party protest.

        Those things seem to get a LOT of news reports these days...about how violent they are, etc....

        If it isn't a protest by a conservative group...well, the mainstream press doesn't seem to feel the need to take much interest in it...

        Then again..I don't see fox on it, maybe both sides have a reason to ignore it....

      • Re:Not just Canada (Score:4, Insightful)

        by maxume ( 22995 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:50PM (#37530678)

        Oh for fuck's sake. I saw coverage of this crap on CNN on the 18th. Two weeks ago.

        The reason it isn't getting much coverage in the major media is because it is a couple hundred dirty twenty-somethings (I'm barely not a dirty twenty-something, judgement not particularly intended) complaining that a bunch of rich people are rich.

        And they don't even understand what they are complaining about; sure, the government bail out of the banks was a bit of a raw deal for the taxpayer (I bet the protesters don't have much to complain about there) and a bit of a terrific deal for the bank, but the thing no taxpayer wants to talk about is that their entire existence is made better by some sort of stability/existence of the dollar. The richer taxpayers really don't want to talk about all the fixed income funds of theirs that the bank bailout saved.

        • And I am sure there is some police who are being little more harsher then they should be, but I expect the protesters are not as peaceful as this article has you believe. I remember a while ago a friend of a friend who we were having lunch with was stating that she was going to get a bullet proof vest before she went to go protest...
          Why because her goal was to egg on the authorities until an "Accident" happened so she can show everyone that she had the higher moral ground.

          Wall Street isn't really to blam

          • Re:Not just Canada (Score:4, Insightful)

            by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @05:45PM (#37532504) Homepage

            Why because her goal was to egg on the authorities until an "Accident" happened so she can show everyone that she had the higher moral ground.

            If the authorities do something illegal, then it doesn't matter how much they were "egged on." They're supposed to be trained professionals.

            I don't get it with people like you. You're generally anti-government but pro-authority. Don't you see the disconnect there?


        • Re:Not just Canada (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Mab_Mass ( 903149 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @04:46PM (#37531614) Homepage Journal

          The reason it isn't getting much coverage in the major media is because it is a couple hundred dirty twenty-somethings (I'm barely not a dirty twenty-something, judgement not particularly intended) complaining that a bunch of rich people are rich.

          Please don't be so sure. If you recall earlier this past year, there were massive protests in Wisconsin. As someone who personally took place in a lot of them, I know that our media is terrible. For example, during these protests, the rallies were larger than the biggest Tea Party rally ever [], even though it was during a snowstorm in Wisconsin in February. [] That certainly strikes me as news, but when you turned on CNN, all you saw was a 10-second sound bite on Wisconsin, followed by a 3-minute long piece on the history of the Tea Party in US politics. (I don't have links handy.)

          Personally, I don't know enough of the ground truth of what is happening on Wall St. to comment, but I very highly suspect that anything that has been said on any major network news is woefully inaccurate at best.

    • Re:Lack of news (Score:5, Informative)

      by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:23PM (#37530176)
      A good answer to that is here... [] It is not news because no one died. But now it is becoming news because the media is ignoring it. And the pendulum starts to swing back.
    • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:30PM (#37530284) Homepage Journal

      Wall Street is a major supporter of this administration, if not every administration before this but this one seems to be heavily stacked in favor of Wall Street this time (and I propose that Wall Street isn't the same as what most people know as Big Business)

      So the political machine is not behind it, specifically the unions are not in this. Never under estimate the ability to move people when and how needed. Students don't stand a chance (if this is truly student based) and the really big organizations that would gin up a protest on demand when Bush was in office aren't being given marching orders. Since they aren't giving marching orders their contacts in the press don't have reason to report.

      See this is this dirty little secret about protests in America now, they have to be sanctioned by the political parties to receive attention. Sponataneous protesting or groupings of people politically are not favored and about anything that can be done to ignore them is done. If they don't go away then they most be portrayed as a whole as having the very worst traits that can be found in individual members .

      So until certain political elements need this protest it doesn't exist.

    • In Canada at least, there has been a serious lack of news about this protest. It's mentioned in passing sometimes, but that's about it. I don't even really know what it's about. I heard "protesting corporate greed in America", but I mean that's a tough thing to protest.. you're basically protesting capitalism..

      I live in the US, tend to watch a good bit of news on all the networks (let things balance out a little that way)...and read headlines on the internet.

      It has barely made a blip on the 'map' on any n

    • Re:Lack of news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:32PM (#37530322) Journal

      you're basically protesting capitalism..

      Basically protesting Crony capitalism. A Big difference there....

    • I don't even really know what it's about. I heard "protesting corporate greed in America", but I mean that's a tough thing to protest.. you're basically protesting capitalism..

      I'm not sure the protesters know either.

      • THIS!

        The people who haven't seen anything about this haven't been paying attention. I've heard "nobody is paying attention!" since day one. Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, CNN, the NY Times, the Guardian, Keith Olbermann on Current TV, and NPR are all sources I've encountered this on, to say nothing of social media. Hell, even Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert covered this. (I don't know if The Daily Show did or not).

        The reporting I've seen and heard has all played more or less the same... reporters looking for a sto

    • Part of the media gap may be because such an ill-informed, ill-aimed and intellectually diffuse protest is meaningless. Here's an article from the left-leaning NY Times: []

      I would say that coverage in one of the major newspapers of record is hardly a big gap. Certainly less of one than these wastrels seem to deserve.

    • Re:Lack of news (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kevin Stevens ( 227724 ) <kevstev&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @04:10PM (#37531036)

      A friend of mine works downtown and has a view of the protest, and the reason it isn't getting coverage, is that it has been quite small. I hear that it has been growing in size each day, but last Friday, the number of protesters was laughable, it looked to be about 100 people from the cellphone picture I saw- the plaza they are protesting in is more crowded during rush hour when people are going to/from work. Not much of a protest, especially by NYC standards. I mean every time the UN meets there are gatherings there many times that size.

      I also get within a block of that park on my commute home. They certainly aren't making much of a splash, as I don't even notice them. I think this is a very small protest that is getting national media coverage only because its such a provocative subject.

      • If it was such a pathetically small number of people, why did the Police feel the need to use such force?

        I should imagine the media in the US are much the same as the UK when it comes to the police. They do not like criticizing them unless someone dies. Even if there is plenty of footage of police hitting unarmed peaceful protesters it will just be reported as "Police Scuffled with Protesters".
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Your post inadvertently reveals why protest is so important here. Capitalism is NOT supposed to be about unbridled greed. Certainly it is not supposed to be about greed that results in scrapping all morals and ethics.Wall Street has come to epitomize everything that capitalism is NOT supposed to be. It is intimately tied to those investment banks that knowingly and willfully risked the entire world's economy in order to extract even more profit from the system, often resorting to outright fraud to do it. Wi

    • you're basically protesting capitalism.

      You are? Since when was it capitalism that when an investor (or many) made failed investments, the government would jump in and cover their losses? The banks did badly. The "Capitalist" reaction to that, from the government should have been "OK. So what? Good luck". Instead the government took tax-payer money and started shoring up those failed investments. If it hadn't been for this government stupidity, which is 100% the opposite of capitalism, the crisis of 2008 would have been significantly worse, but e

    • why is there such a media gap about this protest?

      Manufacturing Consent []

      The film presents and illustrates Chomsky's and Herman's thesis that corporate media, as profit-driven institutions, tend to serve and further the agendas of the interests of dominant, elite groups in the society. A centerpiece of the film is a long examination of the history of The New York Times' coverage of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, which Chomsky says exemplifies the media's unwillingness to criticize an ally of the elite.

    • Re:Lack of news (Score:4, Informative)

      by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @07:42PM (#37533764) Homepage

      Anything critical of capitalism - or corporatism, really, 'cause they are not the same - is simply not covered anymore. The protestors are considered pinks by the people who own things, among which are the people who own all the media outlets, and by extension, hire the reporters who cover the events. A reporters who would try to present anti-corporate discussion, other than with derision, would soon be marginalized and then unemployed and unemployable. See what happened 2001-2003 to the very few reporters who tried to disagree with the march to war. They were dumped and disgraced, never to be heard from again. Any reporter knows what happens to any reporter writing to the left of Reagan - you gone.

  • by onepoint ( 301486 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:19PM (#37530088) Homepage Journal

    Everyone should be protesting, and have the right to protest.

    Police that don't understand the right to protest should be charged and removed from work ( fired if the attack is unprovoked )

    One sad thing that protesters bring upon themselves is when then charge forward and attempt to become menacing, that in the eye's of the police looks like an attack. They will respond with an overwhelming amount of force. Which is sad, since a peaceful protest goal is for the attention of the problem and to have those in power look and find a solution.

  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:20PM (#37530110) Journal

    Is there any reliable coverage outside of these first person blogs?

  • by itsybitsy ( 149808 ) * on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:26PM (#37530216)

    He excoriates the police. []

  • Videos I've seen (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:27PM (#37530234)
    You know, of all the videos I've seen, I've noticed one thing. They start either right after or only a second or two before the police undertake some form of action (arrest, detainment, macing, tasing, etc). Why don't these videos ever show us what is happening in the few minutes prior? If you are lucky, the longest you ever get to see is about 20-30 seconds. If the protestors really are acting peacefully, then why aren't the showing the parts of the video showing them being peaceful before the police's "brutal, unprovoked aggression"? I assume that, in events like this, the protestors always have cameras rolling in case of police action, so you can't say that there is no video of this. I'm sure most protestors there really are acting peacefully, but in the thousands that are there, you can't say there aren't any intentionally trying to provoke a police response.

    And I know I'll probably take a karma hit for this, but I'm still not posting AC, because I am trying to point out what I see as a major hypocrisy in the US protest culture these days: entrapment on the part of police is always decried as immoral, wrong, or illegal, but it is perfectly fine for protestors to entrap police.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      If you watch the clip of Lawrence O'Donnell's commentary, as posted by itsybitsy, [], he promises to post the complete, unedited video of the protest on his MSNBC blog. Have a look to see if there's any intentional misleading of the protestors actions.

      And I think you're completely off the mark about perceived hypocrisy - if it's anyone getting away with entrapment, it's the cops.

    • Re:Videos I've seen (Score:5, Informative)

      by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:55PM (#37530768) Journal

      You mustn't be looking hard enough. Techdirt has a post with links to at least four videos of the same incident, all from different angles. With plenty of time before the cop comes up and shoots the women directly in the face with pepper spray. Even the blue shirts around him appear surprised. []

  • by milbournosphere ( 1273186 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:27PM (#37530240)
    Forgive my (lack of) understanding of this, as it's been a while since I took my civics courses. Doesn't requiring permits in order to protest violate our first amendment right to peacefully assemble? Just like 'free speech zones', it seems that these measures tale away from our right to assemble peacefully to protest one thing or another, not just under the American constitution, but under the UN's Declaration of Human Rights as well.
    • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:39PM (#37530460)

      Under current case law the permit system is largely allowed, though it may violate the Constitution depending on how it's applied. The government may place "reasonable" "time, place and manner" restrictions on protests in order to maintain public order and safety, but is not supposed to prohibit protests entirely, or treat them differently based on the content of the protest (this is easiest to show if they treat protestors for and against some position differently).

      I don't, for the record, think that interpretation of the Constitution is correct. Were it up to me, I would treat public protest similarly to publication: the government may prosecute actually illegal activity (libel for publication, or violence in the case of protests) if it ever takes place, but there should be an extremely high bar for prior restraint through anything like a permitting or imprimatur system before the speech even takes place.

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:57PM (#37530816)
        But what about when protestors decide to walk down a major road in a city, putting themselves in danger from getting hit by cars or creating financial damage by prevented people from accessing business on that street(businesses that they may not even be protesting against). This is the point of permits for protests; it is not a censorship issue, it is a public safety issue.

        Say I own a small electronic repair store along a major street that also runs past the state capitol. People want to demonstrate against the state government, so thousands of people march down the street, clogging traffic and keeping people from entering my store. Now, while the government may(or may not) have done something wrong, obviously I have not. There is no way you could justify (morally, ethically, or legally) denying me my right to make a living and feed my family to protest something with which I have had no part in. This is why many cities have permits or designated areas for protests to be legally carried out.

  • by LordNacho ( 1909280 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:30PM (#37530274)

    because to do that they'd have to be in Secaucus, NJ.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:32PM (#37530308) Homepage Journal

    No real agenda, no real leadership, no real solutions, no real propose.
    Frankly just causing more harm than good and now Moore to make things even worse.
    He will make a movie about it, his Dittoheads will go and feel all righteously indignant and he will collect another nice paycheck.

    If you say it is the Republicans fault you are just a drone.
    If you say it is the Democrats fault you are just a drone.
    If you say that President Obama is all to blame you are a troll.
    If you say that none of it is President Obama's fault you are a mindless fanboi.
    If you think that being a Democrate makes you better than a Republican you are a fool.
    If you think that being a Republican makes you better than Democrate you are fool.
    If you are a Libertarian well your just in fantasy land.

    The solution.
    Talk less, listen more, stop treating elections like sporting events, stop vilifying those that disagree with you, and vote in the primaries.
    Oh and treat the election like this, this is a job interview and you are the boss. Grill them and then pick.
    And don't waste your time sitting on the street eating donated pizza and babbling.

    • Well, the important thing is that inarticulate people parroting a form of lowbrow cynicism have found a way to feel superior to those who care about things and take sides on issues.

    • You speak as if elections matter in the USA. I think you've not been paying close attention, else you are deluded. The two branches of the Money Party each field a candidate, and you get to choose between them. That's effectively one party government. The (mostly) young people protesting in New York have figured this out. I'm surprised you have not.

      Also, I'd like to point out that these kids are using the same non-violent resistance techniques that have toppled multiple governments worldwide in the p

  • by prgrmr ( 568806 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:39PM (#37530450) Journal
    You can find links on google's new page, like this one: []

    The protesters are actually fairly well organized with planned events, a voting process for making immediate decisions, and a goal of getting Obama to acknowledge the wealth gap and appointing a commission to recommend actions for dealing with it.

    The "traditional" media is indeed ignoring it. There's an on-going debate on twitter about whether or not the twitter admins are actively suppressing the #occupywallstreet hash-tag from trending.
  • by mckinnsb ( 984522 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:42PM (#37530528)

    I just took my lunch break off from work to check out the protest in Liberty Square. There seems to be about as many people there - staying with sleeping bags - as the small park can hold. It's no bigger than a block, and a small one at that. The estimates of about 200 people staying in the park are likely accurate.

    From my understanding after talking with some of the protesters there, the incidents in New York happened when they attempted to march through the streets. In addition, I found out that the numbers of people over the weekend were not just limited to the people staying in the park; there are a lot of people who are not roughing it in the concerete jungle of NYC and are staying with friends or relatives during 'off period times' of the protest.

    I can't speak to any police brutality during my brief visit. The protest was extremely peaceful while I was there (unless you consider a drum circle violent), but I did see several of the officers in the YouTube videos present at the square - although noticeably they were not the ones who perpetuated or committed any act of brutality (although you could argue they did nothing to prevent it). In fact, the officers I did recognize were the ones who had doubtful expressions on their faces in most of the videos. The officers were mostly staying out of it. There were also no "white shirts" there - the higher ranking officers whom, over the weekend, seemed to be largely responsible for the more egregious assaults. I also heard that some 100 officers refused to patrol the protest after the incidents over the weekend. I wouldn't be surprised if the commissioner or someone else "gave the department a talking to".

    IMHO, it's really hard to discount the video evidence that there was unjustified force, given the multiple angles of the YouTube videos available.

    I've heard some people say that some of the protesters' were "over-reacting" to the actions of the police. I think that is ridiculous. I would love to see how anyone would react to being pulled across a concrete street by four armed men. Additionally, one of the women maced in the YouTube video was deaf , and thats why she was screaming at a great volume.

    It's not unheard of for police officers to attempt to arrest people videotaping them - and given a recent ruling in a Federal Appeals Court that declared video taping a police officer a constitutional right, [] the actions of some of those officers was foolish and irresponsible, a fact probably made more evident to not just the public, but their superior officers, by their absence today.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      The estimates of about 200 people staying in the park are likely accurate.

      Wait, I thought the /. summary said "the tenth consecutive day that thousands of protesters..."?

      • by mckinnsb ( 984522 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @04:21PM (#37531240)
        Yeah - I tried to address this in my post. There are only 200 people staying within the park, as in camping with sleeping bags and plastic bags for shelter. There are thousands who are participating that are staying elsewhere in the city.
        • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

          There are only 200 people staying within the park, as in camping with sleeping bags and plastic bags for shelter. There are thousands who are participating that are staying elsewhere in the city.

          I was being a little snarky, but I'd love to get some kind of real confirmation of that. You said you saw 200 people. You seemed to be saying those people told you there were thousands more. Where are they? None of the videos I've seen seem to indicate thousands of people. We have protests here in the Bay Area, too, so I have a pretty decent idea of what a crowd of thousands of people would look like. What I'm seeing in these videos looks like a few hundred loosely-organized people, most of whom are just si

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:44PM (#37530550)
    Kids trying to get media attention, but not able to. Thats the worst thing you can do is not give them attention.
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @03:57PM (#37530802) Journal

    Hopefully it will turn out like this: []

    WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they had planned the operation in great detail.
    What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

    âoeWe bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,â one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. âoeIâ(TM)ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.â

    Another said: âoeI took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.â Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: âoeSod off, Swampy.â

    I had plenty of experience with anti-CIA recruitment protesters in college, and the charming anti-Republican protesters last year in St Paul. I really couldn't imagine possibly feeling sorry for them. They're repellent self-righteous zealots who are utterly obnoxious regardless of their cause, or even whether they're right or not. Even if I'd agreed with their point of view, I'd want them off my side.

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @04:09PM (#37531024) Journal
    I know this is slashdot and facts are irrelevant here, but the NYPD hasn't used mace since 1994: []. There is a difference between mace and pepper spray (most significantly that mace is illegal in most of the civilized world).
  • What it's about. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JazzHarper ( 745403 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @04:12PM (#37531076) Journal

    The OccupyWallStreet activists have, so far (this is Day 11 of the protest), been unable to articulate much their philosophy or objectives. There is no single leader; some of them are undirected anarchists, some are communists, and some seem to have no coherent viewpoint.

    The clash with police referenced in the article, during a march from lower Manhattan to Union Square and back, actually occurred on Saturday. On Sunday, the protesters were visited by journalist Chris Hedges, who gave an excellent interview (even if you don't agree with his politics or anything else). The full interview is posted at [] []

    Chris Hedges is the first person who has been able to clearly summarize the position of the protesters. Although, it's really just his own viewpoint--some of the activists view Hedges as a "reformer, not a revolutionary" and therefore not a spokesman for their movement--it's the best statement that has emerged from Zuccotti Park since this thing started. Hedges makes it clear that he views the two dominant political parties in the US as equally corrupt and controlled by corporate interests. The corporate media will try to ignore this protest as much as possible, as it does not fit the political agenda of any major news organization.

    Personally, I disagree with most, if not all, of what these protesters say, but I emphatically support their right to say it. The behavior of the NYPD was disgusting.

  • I live a block away (Score:4, Informative)

    by apilosov ( 1810 ) <> on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @04:16PM (#37531168) Homepage

    Here's the gist:

    *) There are no "Wall St" firms on Wall St anymore (nor anywhere close). NYSE trading floor is not that important in grand scheme of things. The neighbourhood became residential about 15 years ago, and now there's 20,000 residents like me.

    *) When the protest started (two weeks ago), there were minimal number of protesters (1000) despite the protesters claims to have 20k people.

    *) There's "OVER 9000" cops downtown, and it makes getting around quite annoying since I have to navigate police barriers (not a big deal, but just annoying). There's definitely more cops than protesters at any given area. At the beginning of protest, they had a 2-cop shoulder-to-shoulder line blocking Wall St. The only protesters were 6 people dressed in white robes (could pass for either Star Wars freaks or priests), cops were quite bored.

    *) Cops are polite and keep to their business (that is, stand there and look serious). I can't say same about the protesters.

    *) Protesters themselves...oy. Whatever it is they are protesting, they are an embarassment to their cause. I've chatted to a few, and had a few come over for drinks, and uh...Well, it's exactly what you'd expect, well-meaning but clueless younger people who are looking for attention and "feeling of doing something".

    *) They protest evil corporations. Nevertheless, most of them have latest iphone4 (just look at the videos - they are ones taping). It doesn't bother them that Apple is largest corporation in the world who isn't very nice to its users.

    *) There's a huge number of DSLRs at the protest - combined with iphone4, means nobody there is really starving.

    *) I started speaking to one of protesters about bitcoin. He was very interested in it and buying some if they are likely to appreciate. He was *shocked* when I pointed out that's exactly what "evil bankers" do.

    *) Cops don't really give a damn about protesters. They are charged with enforcing certain rules - such as, no "permanent structures". So, every so often, a cop walks through the protest site checking things out. Each time a cop does so, there's 10 people with cameras surrounding said cop to make sure any "brutality" gets videotaped. It gets quite silly since these kids don't really understand they need to move away for a cop to walk through (and since they are looking into their viewfinder, they don't realize that the cop is a foot away, resulting in a cop having to push the photographer out of the way - "omg brutality").

    *) Protesters are completely disorganized - there's nobody who is "in charge", which leads to interactions with cops that could go much smoother, if a single person was designated to be liaison to cops. Protesters also can't/won't police their own - so if someone does something illegal, its becomes up to cops to enforce (vs, protesters saying "this is not cool, please do not do it" and avoiding police involvement).

    *) When cops walk by, most protesters just ignore them, continuing with conversations etc. However, there are a few who get "in your face" to cops and start shouting/etc - and yes, I'd say that the protesters are trying to provoke conflict, whether they intend to or not.

    *) As far as professionalism goes, I'd say cops are generally acting professional, if bored and annoyed at having to deal with hippies who hate their guts.

    *) There is serious "victim mentality" among protesters - such as "media is suppressing coverage" (no, its just not important enough - the protest is much smaller than an average union rally).

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