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Posts Tagged ‘Police’

My Fox NY Inaccurately Reported on the pro-Gaza Protest at Times Square

November 19, 2012 Comments off

This man, taken into custody by police, was thrown to the ground by police when witnesses said he appeared to resist arrest. Though Fox News NY claims this protest “remained peaceful,” he lay in a pool of his own blood, some of it covering his face. Taken at Times Square on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at the barricades in front of the pro-Palestinian rally on support of Gaza.

A group of Palestinians and their supporters, including Jewish members of the group NKUSA, held a rally in Times Square on Sunday afternoon to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza and to show solidarity with Palestinians. A group of pro-Israeli supporters set themselves up directly across the street from the Palestinians, but they moved further away when tensions grew, insults were traded and violence looked like it might ensue. At some points it did, though you would not know it if  you listened to Fox News or others stations that covered the event.

At about 4:30 pm two men in support of the Israeli went into the middle of the street next to the police barricades, approached the Palestinian group and began to taunt them. A small number of men from the pro-Palestinian side jumped over the barricade, and a fight quickly ensued, according to Andrew Wright, an independent journalist and eyewitness of the event. Police nearby formed a ring around the men, making it extremely difficult to tell which side threw the first punch.

At least three men were put in handcuffs and arrested by police, two of whom had visible flags or other markings identifying them with the Palestinian side, including the man in the pictures with a bloodied face. It was not clear if one of the three men arrested at the scene was from the pro-Israeli side, as police physically blocked journalists from taking pictures and forced them to leave the area.

In a video report posted on the My Fox NY News website, posted just after the protest, entitled “NYC reaction to conflict in Middle East,” reporter Stacey Delikat claimed that “those demonstrations in Time Square did remain peaceful.” (fast forward to 02:03 in the video) This is simply incorrect. Ms. Delikat should have been aware of the violence because in the same report she says that police told My Fox News NY, the company for which she filed her report, that they “are expecting more [protests by pro-Palestinian supporters] like them in the coming weeks.”

A man with markings that appeared to identify him with the pro-Palestinian side of the rally was tackled by police after eyewitnesses said he had resisted arrest when police tried to break up a fight between Jews and Palestinians in Times Square on Sunday, November 18, 2012. Police handled him pretty roughly, and can be seen pushing his head into the pavement.

Ms. Delikat also mentioned that “earlier today there was a heavy police presence in Times Square.” Might the “heave police presence” have something to do with the tensions the two groups have due to the escalating violence in Gaza? Her video focused instead efforts of peace between Israelis and Palestinians in New York, which is real but is not the whole story as the pictures make clear.

AM New York, a free daily that is given to people as they enter the subways on their way to work, also covered the same protest. Their article by Sheila Feeney, entitled “Pro and anti Israel demonstrators both rally in Times Square,” says “It was unclear if any arrests were made in connection with the demonstrations yesterday.” It looked pretty clear to those on the scene that at least three men were detained, put in handcuffs and taken away by police. Two independent journalists are on record saying they saw these men being arrested. Details about what happened to them afterwards have not been reported publicly, but eyewitnesses said the man with the bloodied face had tried to resist arrest, which was why he was tackled by police. Was there not at least one arrest then?

PressTV, which is an Iranian station, filed a video report by Hank Flynn entitled “New Yorkers urge Israel to end war on Gaza.” It too failed to mention violence at the NYC protest in its report either, though they had been seen in the area round the time of the violence filming by reporter Andrews, cited earlier.

When contacted and shown a copy of the photos, the Associated Press said “Unfortunately the photos have lost their news value – they arrived a day after the protest,” and was not interested in publishing them. Fox NY News could not be reached for comment, and the managing editor at AM New York was unable to be reached, even though he was called several times. PressTV’s offices are in Iran, with no local number listed on their website.

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Not only was there violence at the protest, but from the very beginning of the rally at 2:40 pm, there was a lot of tension and events looked like they might easily get out of control, at least until the two groups were separated by police to an even greater distance. One man in the pro-Palestinian group made threatening gestures towards the Israeli side early on in the protest, first giving the middle finger and then putting his hand in the shape of gun and doing a mock shooting.

Additionally, several people from the pro-Israeli side were observed walking over to Jewish members in support of the Palestinian side, saying inaudible words in Hebrew and, in at least one case, spitting on Jewish members of NKUSA, according to Mr. Wright. It is no wonder the police had to separate the groups, and there had to be a “heavy police presence.” The majority of people on both sides were non-violent, including 50 or so members of the pro-Israeli and several hundred members of the pro-Palestinian side, but there were violent incidents and clear signs of threats. Is it accurate to claim the rallies were “peaceful”?
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Why are they kicking us out of the park?

May 25, 2012 Comments off

On November 15, 2011 Mayor Bloomberg sent the NYPD and Sanitation to remove occupiers and their belongings from Zuccotti Park. As the public became aware of this, many congregated at the scene and protests ensued. Some journalists rushed to the scene to get the stories of occupiers shortly after the eviction. Among them were some affiliated with Civis Journal.

The mayor and others brought a series of allegations against protesters, which supported the idea the park was unsafe and there were problems that could lead to fires or injuries. This documentary tells the story of the occupiers as they responded to those allegations and the mayor’s actions. Part II. Continued in part III.

Civis Journal

An original Civis Journal documentary on Occupy Wall Street

May 22, 2012 Comments off

Journalists associated with Civis Journal have completed the first part of a documentary that looks at the eviction of Occupy Wall Street on November 15, 2011. Through interviews and first hand accounts, this documentary tells their story of occupiers during the day on which mayor Bloomberg ordered their evacuation, and documents their reaction to his allegations and his actions with the NYPD and Sanitation. It is the story of the eviction told through their words.

Civis Journal

Occupy protest prevented from reaching bank – in pictures

April 20, 2012 Comments off

On Friday, April 13, members of the Occupy movement gathered in Zuccotti Park for training before beginning a march to a local branch of Bank of America. that the NYPD would prevent from reaching its apparent goal of protesting at Bank of America. This photo show documents what happened.

Members of the Occupy movement listen as several people address them, discuss tactics and give instruction on how interact with police.

The theme of protest was too big to fail, a reference to large corporations and banks receiving bailouts.

The bank that protesters singled out for criticism was Bank of America, as is depicted in this piece of art the man is holding.

The participants were from a diverse background. In the picture, a member of the “Granny Peace Brigade” carries a banner.

Occupy members included a woman who was guiding a blind man in the training session of the event. The amount of work and dedication required on their part was not small. This protest involved hundreds of people marching in close order.

The police were aggressive in their attempt to keep protesters out of the street. When protesters began marching, the police pursued them on all sides, especially on the sides. The side of the crowd facing the street were harassed by officers who used their mopeds as moving barrier. This was a problem for anyone, protesters and journalists alike. At one point, an officer drove his moped onto the sidewalk; there were no injuries reported. One can imagine how the blind man in the previous picture would have walked knowing that accidentally stepping into the street could have meant being hit by a police scooter.

The police had their nightsticks at the ready in case the crowd turned unruly (which it did not).

Numerous police officers had plastic handcuffs at their sides, an indication that perhaps they expected a number of arrests.

A young man holds a sign that expresses anger over what some Occupiers feel are arbitrary of wrongful arrests.

Some tourists showed support to the Occupy protest and others just took pictures like these ones above.

A man passing by watches the protest as it goes along City Hall near Bank of America.

The crowd stopped across the street from Bank of America. The police did not allow them to cross the street.

Across from the protesters, police refused to allow anyone to enter the bank. Not even clientele unrelated to the Occupy movement were allowed to enter its doors. In this picture above, the police prevent a man from entering and direct him to another location, even though there were people in the bank and it was during banking hours.