Last night's big Occupy Wall Street incident was the arrest of feminist and activist Naomi Wolf outside a Soho event space. But the evening actually got started when protesters from Occupy Wall Street and VOCAL NY marched to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to demand investigation into the "unprovoked assault" on Felix Rivera-Pitre.
Roughly 100 people started off from Zuccotti Park, a relatively small number given the size of recent demonstrations. Vocal NY director Sean Barry emphasized, "This is the first time the D.A is targeted by Occupy Wall Street… We need to hold the police accountable" for the assault on Rivera-Pitre, a HIV-positive man who was punched by NYPD officer Johnny Cardona while marching downtown last week. Barry added, "Cardona should lose his badge and go to jail… There’s no evidence of Felix attacking the cop. The video clearly showed who got sucker punched."
The crowd however, was clearly more interested in spreading their own stories of police oppression instead of highlighting police injustice toward Rivera-Pitre. Speakers that came up to the front was talking about their personal brush with police brutality. "At Times Square, I saw first-hand police abuse," said Michael Kiel,19, a student at Vassar College. "That really made me feel they weren’t doing their job properly." Naturally, news that Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna would be disciplined for pepper-spraying protesters was greeted with cheers.
After an hour outside the Manhattan DA's Office, the group quickly marched to Skylight Soho, located a few blocks away, where Governor Cuomo was due to attend an event hosted by Huffington Post. "Where is Cuomo?" shouted one protester. "Protecting the 1%!" replied the rest. Tensions ran high as the police kept pushing protesters to stay within half of a sidewalk while maintaining that the press remain at another end. One police officer almost reprimanded 23-year-old woman for shooting pictures and not having a press pass. She revealed that during last week’s Millionaires March, she was punched by a police officer when a scuffle broke out. The recent NYU grad said, "It looks bad for them to arrest people protesting police brutality."