After "about 100" Occupy Wall Street protesters marched to the Federal Reserve building last night, the Post reports that two of them began fighting each other near Liberty and Nassau Streets. According to the paper, "when police tried to intervene, one of the protesters suddenly punched the officer in the face," and was arrested at the scene.
A DCPI contact has informed us that there were no arrests on record last night related to Occupy Wall Street, but we'll update as more information becomes available. The paper also quotes a 57-year-old "Occupy Wall Street organizer," who claims "There will be a new camp established" this weekend. The protesters have previously discussed occupying other public spaces in the city but it's hard enough to maintain Zuccotti Park, so the efforts are scuttled or pushed back.
This "organizer" won't say where the new space is, but has a suggestion: "There was some discussion early on about doing it at Rockefeller Center, right in front of the Christmas tree." Nooo! How will we skate around the giant tree corpse!
[Update] The NYPD has confirmed to us that two male protesters, aged 26 and 56, were indeed arrested last night at around 7:20 p.m. at Church and Liberty Street. "The protesters got into a physical altercation with each other, and when an officer intervened, he was struck in the face," a DCPI officer said. The 26-year-old was charged with assaulting a police officer, obstruction, and disorderly conduct, while the 56-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct.
A resident of the neighborhood emailed us a description of what they saw last night:
In the first case I arrived as a protestor was being put in a car at the NW corner of the camp. There was a crowd but it did not seem very hostile towards the police, so it's possible OWS handed him willingly over as happens some times.
The second time I heard the crowd move towards the Fed which I overlook. I saw the police try and get a protestor out of a group of people while the crowd chanted "the whole world is watching." So it seemed they were less pleased with this arrest.
The NYPD could not confirm any more arrests besides the ones that occurred at Liberty and Church.
[Update II] Johanna Clearfield, an Occupy Wall Street working group member directs us to a video showing a portion of last night's protests, and says that the group was small, "unusually raucous" and not representative of the movement as a whole.
This may be true, and it certainly was true on October 14th when a very small group of protesters kicked NYPD scooters and incited violence during an impromptu morning march. But it's almost impossible to point to one instance or event and declare it an "official" or sanctioned Occupy Wall Street march and say that another isn't. Especially in a group that eschews anything "official." Whether it's keeping the drumming to acceptable volumes or ensuring that protesters don't get violent, Occupy Wall Street has to limit the number of "bad apple" moments that are a challenge to any large protest movement.