I was up most of the night following Mayor Bloomberg's NYPD eviction of the original Occupy Wall Street demonstration at Zuccotti Park, as it happened, via live streaming video (which may still be rolling at this hour right here) and via Twitter.
The surprise eviction by hundreds of cops in riot gear after midnight in NYC was done as protesters were told to suddenly clear the park for "health" reasons. In other words, Bloomberg threw hundreds or thousands of folks onto the streets of NYC in the middle of the night, for their health.
You can scroll through much of what happened tonight (in reverse order) via http://Twitter.com/TheBradBlog.
If I can offer any order out of the pointless, NYPD-caused chaos tomorrow, I will. Hopefully by then, others will have offered sufficient coverage.
Suffice to say for now, at least, what thousands of us witnessed tonight was appalling. At least those of us who sought it out, as none of the NYC local channels were covering it live and neither were any of the cable news channels MSNBC, CNN or Fox. As a matter of fact, other than citizen media streaming live on the Internets, only Al-Jazeera jumped in to offer live coverage.
Hours on end, thousands of peaceful demonstrators were roaming and marching the streets after being evicted from the park, all of the belongings, tents, gear, from two months of the Occupation in the park --- including thousands of books from The People's Library and their bicycle-powered generator --- were trashed and thrown into garbage trucks.
Network news helicopters were reportedly grounded during the raid, as air space above the park was shut down and --- perhaps most maddeningly --- media were not allowed into the park itself as the park was cleared, and as the last of the demonstrators who refused to leave were evicted, arrested, and, reportedly either tear gassed or pepper sprayed (though that is not confirmed --- because media were not allowed in the park!)
First Amendment, RIP.
I took a "quick poll" of my Twitter followers late at night to ask who would be hurt the most by the events of tonight, #OWS or Bloomberg? The vast consensus --- all but one --- replied to say that Bloomberg would be hurt, and that OWS would grow because of this. I don't know if that'll prove to be the case or not, but if I had to guess, I'd say they're probably right. The entire thing does seem to have been incredibly stupid and ill-considered on the part of Bloomberg and the NYPD.
Too tired to add links to any of the above, or offer more tonight. But, as I say, scroll through my Twitter page for detailed coverage of much of what happened tonight. If need be, I'll try to fill in any holes tomorrow. Signing off at 3am PT (6am in NYC as crowds continue to try and regroup as the sun will soon rise.)
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UPDATE: Read about the horrifying experience of Mother Jones journalist Josh Harkinson with an NYPD cop, as he snuck back into Zuccotti after the park had been cleared of media...
UPDATE 11/16/11: After the riff-raff was cleared from the park, they were replaced by upstanding folks hired by Brookfield Properties, the "owner" of the public park, as security. One of those fine folks called a citizen journalist a "faggot" on video, in the bargain. Details/video...