Dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested last night as OWS briefly tried to reclaim Zuccotti Park on the six-month anniversary of the movement. Hundreds of people gathered in lower Manhattan around 11:30 p.m. last night (around 600-700, according to Ryan Devreaux; around 300 according to the Post) and attempted to put up tarp and tents—and they were met with intense police resistance. Among the dozens who were detained was Cecily McMillan, an OWS activist once profiled in Rolling Stone, who suffered a seizure after she was allegedly violently arrested by police. Watch two videos showing her arrest below.
The NY Observer was able to identify her; according to the Rolling Stone profile, this wasn't McMillan's first run-in with cops at Zuccotti Park: "She was arrested after she charged Wall Street three times, a “direct action” that even some veteran anarchists—militant and masked—considered wildly courageous, if foolish. A cop thought so, too, blasted her with pepper spray, knocked her down, stepped on her head and snarled at her, “Shut up. You get what you deserve, cunt bitch.”
You can see the aftermath of the arrest in the video above—according to the uploader, McMillan was brought to a holding area where she had trouble breathing and suffered the seizure. "The cops not only handle the situation wrongly, carrying her by the head as she's seizing, it also takes 17 minutes until professional help arrives. Protester standing outside the barricades had to make the 911 call to get EMT to come." In the video below, another protester describes what happened to McMillan in more detail, coupled with some close-up footage of McMillan dry-heaving (at 1:13):
She was arrested with everyone else, kept in this holding center where they pin everyone off. While they were trying to escort her onto an MTA vehicle, she began to hyperventilate and fainted, and starting seizing on the ground. That was multiple minutes, 4-5 minutes seizing on the ground, just watched by police, not touched. Everyone yelled 'this woman's seizing!' They were just standing. They dragged her from the ground on the street over to the curb and let her lay on the curb. They did not support her neck or spine the way you're supposed to do when someone is seizing to prevent them from choking on their tongue or their own blood. They did none of those things, they let her lay there.
After another five minutes, this is like 10 minutes total, then an NYPD medic slowly began to treat her. She was not responding, she began hyperventilating again. At this point maybe 15 minutes have elapsed. She begins dry-heaving, police are watching her, there are more than 20-25 police watching this woman who has just had a seizure. Her back is stiff, that is something that happens after you have a seizure, and she is still on the ground. People began to call an ambulance, and then she got up, they tried to give her air, and she fainted. That was the end of the police helping.
A witness told AnimalNY that McMillan elbowed an officer in the face while he attempted to take her into custody—another protester in the video above says that she was "violently beaten in the park" which led to the seizure. Then around 3:45 in the video, you can see protesters confronting officers about McMillan, leading to an intense scuffle.
Earlier in the day of protesting, at least 15 people were arrested by police according to MSNBC. Police told us they don't have a clear count yet of exactly how many people were arrested or detained altogether last night, but according to OWS Twitter, "folks will be transferred to 100 centre, arraigned at 1pm."