Feminist and activist Naomi Wolf appeared on MSNBC and discussed getting arrested last night in Soho as she tried to stand up for the rights of Occupy Wall Street protesters. Wolf says that while the cops were telling protesters they weren't allowed to be on the sidewalk outside the event space—where Governor Cuomo was receiving an award from the Huffington Post—protesters actually were allowed to be there, because she checked what kind of permit the event organizers had.
Wolf had been attending the event, since she contributes to HuffPo, and was concerned that the NYPD had moved protesters away from the event space, "Citizens have the right to peacefully obey the terms of the permit." She also noted a video of her arrest, pointing out she was standing still and speaking calmly with police officers (see below), and posted these notes on her Facebook page:
i have been released from custody. I was completely complying with the law and the permit as it was described to me by police and I was arrested for standing lawfully on the sidewalk. I will post more tomorrow. Thank you for your messages of support...
Also: some press reports say that I was arrested because I ignored police warnings to get off the sidewalk or that I was arrested for using a megaphone without a permit. Both of these are untrue. I told the protesters that the NYC permit requirement that states that using a megaphone is illegal (though the officer who arrested me used a megaphone) is an unverifiable untransparent requirement because it is basically made up by the administration, permits can be denied with no recourse for any reason, and that we have the right to freedom of speech and assembly. I also did not 'ignore' police warnings to get off the street. I DISAGREED with them because I knew the law and I knew that they were misinterpreting or misrepresenting the permit in question. There is no requirement in the permit to 'get off the street' if you are not obstructing traffic.
Wolf said on MSNBC that while she was not injured by police officers, cops moved her and her partner physically to the van, in spite of her requests to get a lawyer.
Protesters have been upset with Cuomo for refusing to extend the "milloinaires' tax."