In explosive new allegations, the NYPD have been urging drunks and criminals to infiltrate the protestors’ camp at Occupy Wall Street in an effort to sully the cause.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement moves into its sixth week of demonstrations, a new Op-Ed piece by the New York Daily News’ Harry Siegel is shedding light on what role the NYPD plays in dividing the movement.
In the last couple of weeks, the occupiers in Zuccotti Park have divided into two sects. On the east side of the park are the true dedicated protestors, while the west side of the park is filled with the everyday stragglers, free loaders and drug dealers who stumble into the area every night under the encouragement of the NYPD.
Siegel reports that when he talked to drunks at other parks they told him they were instructed by NYPD officers to “Take it to Zuccotti.”
While officers may be in a no-win situation, at the mercy of orders carried on shifting political winds and locked into conflict with a so-far almost entirely non-violent protest movement eager to frame the force as a symbol of the oppressive system they’re fighting, the NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork.
Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.
The NYPD’s press office declined to comment on the record about any such policy, but it seems like a logical tactic from a Bloomberg administration that has done its best to make things difficult for the occupation — a way of using its openness against it.
“He’s got a right to express himself, you’ve got a right to express yourself,” I heard three cops repeat in recent days, using nearly identical language, when asked to intervene with troublemakers inside the park, including a clearly disturbed man screaming and singing wildly at 3 a.m. for the second straight night.
So where did the NYPD recieve their orders to tell vagrants to “take it to Zuccotti”? We hope Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police Commissioner Ray Kelly have no knowledge of this latest news, however,we are calling for an investigation into this matter.