Occupy Wall Street Protesters Essay

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Occupy Wall Street Protesters: Friend or Foe
By Daniel Orio

November 17, 2011 marked the two month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street it also marked the Day of Action. On this day all the remaining protesters would walk a Victory March around New York City’s financial district but the police soon intervened arresting more the 250 people and subduing the rest by beating them and barricading them inside Zuccotti Park.1 In the beginning of September thousands of people traveled to Wall street to participate in a non violent protest called Occupy Wall street in which the protesters would stay in Zuccotti Park and not leave until something was done about the economic inequality in this country. This protest was plagued by arrests and police brutality since the beginning, which hardly seems like the course of action by the police for a peaceful protest. It is almost as though we did not learn from the past, when the civil rights protest got out of hand the police reacted in the same manner. The police’s excuses for their overreaction seemed paltry for the havoc they wrecked on people they should be protecting. It is true that the Occupy Wall Street protesters were a nuisance but that doesn’t warrant the amount of arrests that have accumulated over these past two months, which hovers around 900. Instead of persecuting them the police should protect them or help in the protest. The goal of the protest was simple enough and it was gain equality for people all around America. The name of the protest was the civil rights movement and it was led by a charismatic reverend named Dr. Martian Luther King Jr. He stirred things up quite a bit when he stared a non-violent protest against segregation. Like the civil rights movement, Occupy Wall Street set out with the same goal to gain equality but it was of a different kind this time, the protest was for economic quality. Unlike the Civil Rights movement this protest didn’t have a central leader and because of that it lacked structure and disapline. The two protests share common aspects, one was that they were both non violent and another was that they both expirenced harsh police resistance. One of the greatest injustices of this country is the way we treat non violent protests which is with violence. In the Civil Rights movement a popular form of protest was called a sit-in where African Americans sat with whites and refused to move when asked. Afterward the storeowner would call the police and they would drag out the offenders and beat them. Occupy Wall street is just one giant sit-in, they sit in the park and refuse to move so the cops treat it like one with raids, arrests, beatings and plenty of making. Many people are horrified at the way we treated the civil rights protesters why aren’t we horrified at the way we treat the Occupy Wall Street people. It is not illegal to protest peacefully nor is it illegal for large groups of people to congregate in one spot actually it is in the constitution that we are allowed to do so. Large amounts of people were arrested in the Occupy Wall street protest just like in the Civil Rights Movement for no other reason then involved with a protest, which is perfectly legal. They have done nothing wrong except try and change the country for the better. It is illegal for the police to use excessive force and imprison someone who have done nothing wrong so I wonder why the police insist on doing it time and time again. A major complaint and an excuse used by the police was that the protesters took up too much space, got in the way of people going about their daily lives and overall being disruptive. The truth was that even though they took up much of the park located on Wall Street they hardly inferred with anybody Paul Brown said in a quote “People were able to get to work and leave the area,” he said. “Most, when they were told to return to the sidewalk, did,”1 All those people who thought that the protesters got what they deserved where wrong for the