How I Was Arrested at Occupy Wall Street

Naomi Wolfe

Naomi Wolfe

Last night I was arrested in my home town, outside an event to which I had been invited, for standing lawfully on the sidewalk in an evening gown. Let me explain; my partner and I were attending an event for the Huffington Post, for which I often write: Game Changers 2011, in a venue space on Hudson Street. As we entered the space, we saw that about 200 Occupy Wall Street protesters were peacefully assembled and were chanting. They wanted to address Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was going to be arriving at the event.

They were using a technique that has become known as “the human mic” – by which the crowd laboriously repeats every word the speaker says – since they had been told that using real megaphones was illegal. In my book Give Me Liberty, a blueprint for how to open up a closing civil society, I have a chapter on permits – which is a crucial subject to understand for anyone involved in protest in the US. In 70s America, protest used to be very effective, but in subsequent decades municipalities have sneakily created a web of “overpermiticisation” – requirements that were designed to stifle freedom of assembly and the right to petition government for redress of grievances, both of which are part of our first amendment. One of these made-up permit requirements, which are not transparent or accountable, is the megaphone restriction.

So I informed the group on Hudson Street that they had a first amendment right to use a megaphone and that the National Lawyers’ Guild should appeal the issue if they got arrested. And I repeated the words of the first amendment, which the crowd repeated. Then my partner suggested that I ask the group for their list of demands. Since we would be inside, we thought it would be helpful to take their list into the event and if I had a chance to talk with the governor I could pass the list on.

That is how a democracy works, right? The people have the right to address their representatives. We went inside, chatted with our friends, but needed to leave before the governor had arrived. I decided I would present their list to his office in the morning and write about the response. On our exit, I saw that the protesters had been cordoned off by a now-massive phalanx of NYPD cops and pinned against the far side of the street – far away from the event they sought to address.

I went up and asked them why. They replied that they had been informed that the Huffington Post event had a permit that forbade them to use the sidewalk. I knew from my investigative reporting on NYC permits that this was impossible: a private entity cannot lease the public sidewalks; even film crews must allow pedestrian traffic. I asked the police for clarification – no response. I went over to the sidewalk at issue and identified myself as a NYC citizen and a reporter, and asked to see the permit in question or to locate the source on the police or event side that claimed it forbade citizen access to a public sidewalk. Finally a tall man, who seemed to be with the event, confessed that while it did have a permit, the permit did allow for protest so long as we did not block pedestrian passage.

I thanked him, returned to the protesters, and said: “The permit allows us to walk on the other side of the street if we don’t block access. I am now going to walk on the public sidewalk and not block it. It is legal to do so. Please join me if you wish.” My partner and I then returned to the event-side sidewalk and began to walk peacefully arm in arm, while about 30 or 40 people walked with us in single file, not blocking access. Then a phalanx of perhaps 40 white-shirted senior offices descended out of seemingly nowhere and, with a megaphone (which was supposedly illegal for citizens to use), one said: “You are unlawfully creating a disruption.

You are ordered to disperse.” I approached him peacefully, slowly, gently and respectfully and said: “I am confused. I was told that the permit in question allows us to walk if we don’t block pedestrian access and as you see we are complying with the permit.” He gave me a look of pure hate. “Are you going to back down?” he shouted. I stood, immobilised, for a moment. “Are you getting out of my way?” I did not even make a conscious decision not to “fall back” – I simply couldn’t even will myself to do so, because I knew that he was not giving a lawful order and that if I stepped aside it would be not because of the law, which I was following, but as a capitulation to sheer force. In that moment’s hesitation, he said, “OK,” gestured, and my partner and I were surrounded by about 20 officers who pulled our hands behind our backs and cuffed us with plastic handcuffs.

We were taken in a van to the seventh precinct – the scary part about that is that the protesters and lawyers marched to the first precinct, which handles Hudson Street, but in the van the police got the message to avoid them by rerouting me. I understood later that the protesters were lied to about our whereabouts, which seemed to me to be a trickle-down of the Bush-era detention practice of unaccountable detentions. The officers who had us in custody were very courteous, and several expressed sympathy for the movements’ aims.

Nonetheless, my partner and I had our possessions taken from us, our ID copied, and we were placed in separate cells for about half an hour. It was clear that by then the police knew there was scrutiny of this arrest so they handled us with great courtesy, but my phone was taken and for half an hour I was in a faeces- or blood-smeared cell, thinking at that moment the only thing that separates civil societies from barbaric states is the rule of law – that finds the prisoner, and holds the arresting officers and courts accountable. Another scary outcome I discovered is that, when the protesters marched to the first precinct, the whole of Erickson Street was cordoned off – “frozen” they were told, “by Homeland Security”. Obviously if DHS now has powers to simply take over a New York City street because of an arrest for peaceable conduct by a middle-aged writer in an evening gown, we have entered a stage of the closing of America, which is a serious departure from our days as a free republic in which municipalities are governed by police forces.

The police are now telling my supporters that the permit in question gave the event managers “control of the sidewalks”. I have asked to see the permit but still haven’t been provided with it – if such a category now exists, I have never heard of it; that, too, is a serious blow to an open civil society. What did I take away? Just that, unfortunately, my partner and I became exhibit A in a process that I have been warning Americans about since 2007: first they come for the “other” – the “terrorist”, the brown person, the Muslim, the outsider; then they come for you – while you are standing on a sidewalk in evening dress, obeying the law.

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK

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334 comments on “How I Was Arrested at Occupy Wall Street

  1. I have been warning people about this since the idea of the Patriot Act was first floated then railroaded through Congress in September 2001. I was Air Force at the time and strangely had read the National Security Strategy on 9/10/01 as part of the Air Command and Staff Course I was taking. While it I knew it was painfully inadequate in the era ushered in the next morning by the attacks, I have always feared that in the name of “security” we would lose the very things the terrorist would want us to lose.

    The “Terrorists”, I’m afraid, succeeded. Americans today are frightened of each other. The government at all levels treats any dissent as an act of treason. The 99% movement must succeed!

    • JX could not agree with you MORE. I’d add that it’s regardless of party, too. Both sides have supported suppressing our freedoms a little bit at a time. It’s time to vote out ALL incumbents so no one will again acquire all the power that these leaders have in this country.

    • Naomi and Cornell are voices that need to be broadcast worldwide…it is insanity…true steps towards an oppressive and facicst government are underway. Bless them for speaking out…more leaders and stars need to step up and speak out!

      • I think Lisa you are seriously a Communist that hates this country because you are too free…..

      • No, she’s a communist WHO hates this country. Didn’t you go to school? And btw, what kind of fool swallows the whole “they hate our freedoms” bullshit? This discussion is about freedom, and you don’t seem all that thrilled with it, yes?

    • whats your address? so I can go stand outside your bedroom and sing show tunes all night as u try to sleep……. residents of nyc dont deserve to be inconvienced in all aspects of thier daily lives I.E. traffic…. And while I am on my rant can i also suggest taking this demonstration to washington d.c where policy is made. If any wall street protestors think that anyone in the financial industry gives a rats ass about the demonstrators they see on their way to work you r very mistaken. Do u really think some hedge fund manager has seen this angry mob and said, “oh maybe i should do this or that to benefit man kind regardless if it makes me less money”… ha. If thousands of people are pissing on John boehner streets you would have a better chance of haveing governemnt pass laws to POLICE (yes policeing is a nessicty so stop vilifing the NYPD) the financial industry. so please get out of my city and this is from someone that reconizes and is angry about the eroding of the middle class and realizes that the ying and yang needs to come back into balance. But your self righteous bullshit is not welocme in NYC go back to fucking san fransico

      • Who the fuck died and put you in charge? If you don’t like the rights that our Constitution gives to others, maybe YOU should leave New York and go somewhere where there is no pesky Constitution. And please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by pretending to be sympathetic. You’re probably a hedge fund manager.

      • Sorry, but democracy can be a little messy and inconvenient. And if we don’t keep speaking out the will be no middle class left. We don’t expect greedy capitalists to listen to us. We do expect to disempower them someday.

      • I dare say that many of those protesting are your neighbors and they have a right to peaceably assemble. The protest is exactly where it should be regardless of whether hedge fund managers and the like “give a rats ass”. What you are missing here is that this is a symbolic gesture; very little separates Wall Street from DC. For too long wealthy interests have had all the influence in politics and that time is coming to an end. If you really are concerned about the eroding middle class, you better get on board because if this movement fails, you are going to see more erosion. What you call “self righteous bullshit” others see as a call to action. New Yorkers have been dealing with bad traffic and the “inconvenience” of mass population for a long time. It would be best for you to come to terms with it or move to the suburbs. The protestors are patriots in the truest sense, that doesn’t mean they are all the nicest or most considerate people on the planet, but they are engaging in a most sacred right. I applaud them and I stand with them.

      • Oh dear, poor Native New Yorker. I wish you had been offered the benefit of an education that had allowed you to express yourself in a coherent manner, like the venerable Mme Klein.

        If you, dear NNY, truly wish not to be inconvenienced, maybe you should move somewhere quiet, where people like you pretend to be important and happy while life passes them by.

        I know how hard it is living in a city thronging with outsiders. But those protesters- I think maybe you missed the point. Which is tragic, as I am pretty sure you are one of the 99%. The 1% don’t have time to post on blogs, truly.

      • What’s YOUR address? You sleep downtown on Hudson Street and expect to remain undisturbed?

        While I agree that the Occupy stuff is b.s., and most of the participants are probably either paid or idiots or both, I have a flash for you: it is not YOUR city, and unless you know some obscure law stating otherwise, people are allowed to travel all over this country, including NYC … which, I believe, makes a GREAT deal of money by inviting people there.

        Oh, yes … and you might note that she said, at the very beginning, that she was in HER hometown. You know, like not all yours.

        Sheesh.

      • Your being “inconvenienced” does not trump the right of citizens assemble and petition government to redress grievances. But you also have the right to assemble and petition the government and ask to have the First Amendment to the Constitution repealed. You also have the right to learn how to spell so your posts would be more readable.

      • As a fellow “native New Yorker” I can comfortably say..I’m embarrassed that this is what you’ve taken away from the article..Clearly you’ve missed the point..Policing is indeed necessary..And history has taught us that even the Police need policing periodically..Many of the freedoms we enjoy were brought about by peaceful protesting..And your ambivilence is an embarressment..New Yorkers have always been forward thinkers..Leaders..As New York goes, so goes the nation..You may have been born and raised in NYC..But you lack the heart, the soul, and more importantly, the intelligence of a true New Yorker.

      • What is YOUR ADDRESS? How is that people standing on wall street and the park is OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW? Maybe when you have no more freedoms left and no job as most of us do not, you MIGHT get the significance of it and realize they are EXACTLY where they should be! I doubt VERY SERIOUSLY THEY ARE OUTSIDE YOUR DAMNED WINDOW SO GO BACK TO THE SAND BOX AND STICK YOUR HEAD BACK IN IT! It is funny on 9/11 you did not mind all the intervention THEN from all of us all over the country bombarding your city with food and money!

      • Native New Yorker: there is a difference between “behaviors” and “free speech”. Standing outside Ms. Wolfe’s bedroom singing show tunes all night is a disruptive behavior and not allowed. Exercising your right to go to a public square or sidewalk and hold up signs or singing a song expressing your disagreement with her point of view is free speech. You would do well to learn (and understand) the difference.

      • I too am a native New Yorker, and I recognize the necessity of this type of protest against public policy. But, poor baby, you were inconvenienced. Too bad you weren’t around during Viet Nam to be drafted and forced to serve in a pointless war. Protesters ended that war and got 18 yr olds the right to vote. And you’re a fucking liar because I welcome their “self righteous bullshit” right on my streets. So go fuck yourself asshole!

      • Authoritarians are not interested in free speech.
        Authoritarians only want the trains to run on time.

        The Police lied about their powers.
        There is no accountability against them….
        This is the start…
        They have been coming for the Other.
        Demonizing. Dehumanizing.

        Fight back. State this is not acceptable.
        Pull back the reigns on unbridled power.

        Be human. Have compassion.
        Don’t give in to The Dark Side and/or Dick Chaney…. look where it got you?

        I sign with my real name too.
        Many of the critics here of the OWS movement – don’t.
        Funny how that happens…..

      • how stupid can you possibly be ???? guess what they arent leaving so deal with it or find somewhere else to live ….good luck with that sleep thing

      • In all do respect, native new yorker, this article is about free speech and about the police needing to be policed. This is not a forum for you to rant and ask for people’s addresses. This is not even a forum for you to criticize the movement. There is a forum for that and also if you want to start your own peaceful protest, I hope that you too get to exercise your first amendment rights. However, posting here only got you a lot of negative comments that insulted your intelligence and capacity to spell correctly. Your anger will cost you, not any one that you are angry at. I learned that from a member of the NYPD who taught me to forgive and be open-minded.

      • When they come for you, as eventually they will, please scream silently. “If any wall street protestors think that anyone in the financial industry gives a rats ass about the demonstrators they see on their way to work you r very mistaken.” Maybe not, but they will continue to ride roughshod over the world if no one says anything. The financial industry is a fraud from start to finish, and the sooner that people like you realise that life is NOT about making money the better. You sicken me with your attitude.

      • LOL…I agree with you Native New Yorker, but you had to know when you reply to a story from a website that shows only one side of the argument, you’re going to get skewered. I guess I find it funny how alot of these people are screaming “MY RIGHTS, MY RIGHTS” but don’t really seem to have a problem when their actions violate the lives, livlihoods and even some of the rights of those of us who do not share their views. If you disagree with them, they say “F You”!

        Remember, you and your life only concern these people if you believe their view…

      • I’m going to agree with the sentiments of Native New Yorker on this one. Protesting the banks and financial institutions is en vogue, but the real protesting should go right to Washington. Even if the banks have made a profit, they should be allowed to – that’s Capitalism. We used to want banks to profit. In fact, haven’t the banks repaid the TARP money that they were FORCED to take?

        If you are concerned about a shrinking middle class, go protest at the Capitol building. The more that we hand out money, extend unemployment, force banks to refinance mortgages at lower rates, forgive college loans, etc., the more the middle class will shrink. Someone has to pay for all of that, and it is those of us who are actually working to contribute to society – which seems to be rampant with people who want government to bail them out and hold their hands.

        Unfortunately, Obama is making it real easy to do nothing for a living and still be cared for. Why would you want to live in a country where you can’t enjoy the fruits of YOUR labor? When did America become home of the lazy?

        I’m sorry, but if you overspend as a citizen, you need to dig yourself out. If you are a failing business, you need to help yourself out. The government has no business handing out money like this. It’s no secret that the Private Sector knows how to create jobs better than the government – and it’s so secret that private citizens are more charitable when they have a reason to be. The more that this Administration takes from me to give to someone else the less incentive there is for me to give to the needy.

        This protesting is out of control. There’s no end goal in sight from what I can see, and there’s no leader. There are plenty of celebs and politicians joining your cause – what about their greediness? Is anyone complaining about their excess profits?

        I think your intentions for OWS is misguided at best.

      • your opinion is whatever it is — but why be ignorant about where OWS started (NEW YORK CITY, duh), and why bring san francisco into it in any case? do you have any clue what you’re talking about?

        if i run into you, my san francisco steel-toed boot will probably end up in your ignorant native douchebag ass.

      • I am sorry you are so angry. Wall street is where the first charter of the bills were ratified, THUS, the movement is EXACTLY in the right place. Use earplugs and try joining those that advocate for all of us instead fo misdirecting your anger. Look up how we are all fighting back the banks and signing petitions to try and get our country back. Please help!

      • native new yorker! i hope people scream at the top of their lungs all night long outside your apartment you ignorant piece of shit. we’re in a revolutionary time and all you complaints are over how inconvenienced you have been! and you’re such a little pussy you hide behind a name other then your own, its people like you that have helped this country get to where it is, bending over backwards and taking up the ass whatever bullshit the govnt feeds you. You to will have all your freedoms slowly taken away from you and rightfully so! stupid ignorant asshole.

    • Oh please. This has nothing to do with the Patriot Act, at least as it was originally enacted. There are no foriegn parties that are part of the conversation here. This is an issue of an ongoing distruptive, messy and disrespectful group of people are causing the police (union members all) extra work and headache. While the cops may have overreacted, how would you be after what ? three weeks ? of daily, in-your-face dissing but the OWS croud. This movement really needs to go to D.C. to have any true relevance and park it in front of the White House and Congress. Seriously folks. Bush has been gone for three years, even Slow Joe realizes they own the situation now.

      • For the love of Mary… reality is a lonely world (“RIALW) let’s see if we have this straight… 1. The police are union (like that makes a big difference and has an impact on someone’s rights) and they have more important things to do than support the rights of the people who pay their salaries. 2.) You somehow tied this to President Bush….???? 3.) You also tied this to Slow Joe.???? The point of the original post was that under our law, a true Patriot, an American and a Citizen of the United States had constitutional rights stripped away and our (mine and yes…even yours) constitution was ignored. I don’t care what they were marching for or what they were talking about… the fact is they had their rights violated by the very people who are paid to make sure we have truth and justice. If you don’t see anything wrong with that then maybe you should get a copy of the Constitution and read it.

  2. After protesting and petitioning against the war six years ago, a few friends and I were all tax audited the next year (thanks Bush). Now I’m afraid to rally near the front of the barriers bc they can randomly pull you out of the crowd and arrest you, at least that’s what I’ve seen. Welcome to our police state.

    • That’s pretty funny. I think that you might just imagine your protest was far, far more important than anyone else did. However, as long as the protest is peaceful and doesn’t block traffic (foot or vehicle), those arrests are illegal and I hope every single person so treated sues the NYPD.

  3. Thanks for the details of your misguided incarceration. I’m noticing that a lot of these “arrests” and MISHANDLING of protesters are being conducted by the officers in “White Shirts” – the “Supervisors w/ higher Rank” – they all seem to be OLDER and have a lot of pent-up testosterone and NOT A LOT OF PATIENCE at all. A question, in the end, what were you charged with (if anything) and will you pursue a jury trial?

    Also, I’ve been following your messages and it seems several of your predictions ARE INDEED coming to fruition – it’s sad – a SAD DAY / PERIOD in history for contemporary America.

    Again, thanks for your report!

  4. I can’t believe this happened…I know it happened ..I am dumbfounded…speechless..THIS IS THE USA..THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD…This doesn’t happen here…

    • we are NOT the greatest country in the world. FACT. we need to realize our place in the GLOBAL community, we have turned a blind eye to our brothers and sisters in other parts of the continent and the world for too long. it is time to unite and incite REAL TANGIBLE AND LASTING CHANGE.

      • Yes, Angie, we ARE the greatest country in the world. That’s why so very many people come here and even more want to.

        Maybe you’ve turned a blind eye, but a whole bunch of us haven’t. Really, grow up.

      • amen, angie………..this is part of the reason that so many people can’t stand americans when they visit their country, because we think our country is better than theirs. however, we can’t be totally blamed for this, because, we’ve been indoctrinated from infancy to feel this way. we can no longer make this excuse, because we can now educate ourselves. time to take the blindfolds off, realize we are part of a global civilization and we are in danger of losing OUR freedoms that many in the world do not have as yet. we have been asleep at the wheel……….time to wake up!

    • Jean, unfortunately it does happen in the USA. The land of freedom is now a myth. As a traveler all over the world I see that many countries are far more tolerant and gives far more rights to its citizens than does the USA.
      Also have you been to all the other countries in order to draw the conclusion that USA is the greatest one?

    • “THIS IS THE USA..THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD”

      Whilst that statement is perhaps debatable if like me you do not live in the US, you can rest assured that it does happen there and will continue to happen there until the people of the US get someone in power who sees through the machinations of the elite and the perpetual drive for more and more control and more and more wealth. Obama is not going to do that for you.

    • Greatest country in the world? We can’t even stop illogical drug policy and we call ourselves the greatest country in the world? Of course we do stuff like this here. Take a look at various police organizations throughout the United States. Take a look at GITMO for heaven’s sake…

      We live in a fucking police state because of the Patriot Act. People need to wake up and see that these people protesting are on our side. It’s like people think they’re proving something by slandering these people who are so brave to put their lives on the line in the face of injustice.

    • Are you kidding? Those of us who were actively protesting for human rights, against the Draft (based on its unconstitutionality), against the continued Vietnam police action, etc., were shocked into awareness by Kent State, after which it was terrifying but we did it anyway.

      But we were of course not the first. Learn some history, for pete’s sake. For one, look up the “Bonus Army” ca. 1931.

      We offer a free public education K-12 in this country, but every day it becomes painfully clear how many people fail/ed to take advantage of it!

      • I don’t think you even know what a neo-nazi is. Why not stop spouting the tiring rhetoric and start thinking for yourself for a change? The language could be toned down as well. It is not clever to use foul language in a public place, just childish and a sign of an immature and unintelligent mind incapable of formulating a coherent thought.

    • I disagree, from what I have seen of Ron Paul and his positions, he will only strengthen the bankers and ceo’s by removal of what regulations we do have on them.

  5. Thank you for standing up and placing this clash between “law” and “order” in stark contrast, and for showing why it matters to all Americans.

    This is a travesty. But it’s predictable, and not just because of the closing of civil society as a reaction to “terrorism. It is also a predictable outcome of the closing of civil society that is part and parcel of the “war on crime.” Anyone who has lived for any extended period of time in NYC, and who is not blind to the workings of the police, must know that the power of the police to control “public space” expanded dramatically well before the attacks on 9/11/01.

    Mayor Giuliani “cleaned up New York” not just by pricing ordinary people out of NYC — it’s too expensive to live there — but also by turning working-class and poor neighborhoods into mini police states. This is well known. But it’s worth remembering that for years the police have been routinely stopping, searching, and arresting thousands of (mostly) black and Latino young men and women for petty quality-of-life crimes — including littering, vagrancy, loitering, etc. All of those arrests add up under mandatory sentencing guidelines. And, they also create the expectation that the police — not other forces in civil society — control public spaces.

    At the same time, the police created an environment of constant surveillance in the “safe spaces” where tourists and white-collar workers congregate. For those who understand this as the rise of the postindustrial, postmodern city, those who believe this process can be understood as “gentrification” or the “Disneyfication” of Manhattan, it is important to see how those “postmodern” ends are made possible be good old-fashioned modern police repression. This is the underside of the process: the destruction of certain people’s freedom based on race and class status.

    Those senior officers in white shirts have been implementing a tight hold on public spaces their entire careers. To speak of your “rights” in a moment of confrontation — whether you are a black man or a middle-class white woman — is to challenge their very reason for existence: i.e., total control over a city so big, and so tightly wound, that (they believe) chaos is around any corner.

    This is one reason, among many, why the struggles against corporate dominance of politics, and freedom struggles for African Americans, Latinos, women, LGBT people, et al., are movements for the freedom of us all.

  6. Are they too stupid to recognize the fascism they are perpetrating? Any one else hearing the sound of jack-boots. America, this is not good. Bravo to brave Naomi – icon of the courage democracy often demands!

    • Steven, do you even know what fascism really is? Liberals LOVES the word “fascist”, they throw it around, not having a single clue on what it really means. Jonah Goldberg described it best, when he wrote that fascism has come to mean “everything liberals don’t like”.

  7. Don’t just “cop” out and blog this. Stand up for your rights and take legal action against the city for trampling your rights! Otherwise you are worse than the police. People who allow things to go unchallanged are more dangerous to society than any entity which curtails your freedom. Your rights were trampled. Do something about it!

    • Oh, come now. She’s worse than the police who broke the law, if she doesn’t sue them? Give me a break. That is utterly ridiculous. Your rights are being curtailed daily. What are you doing about it?

  8. Sad that things have had to get to this point…but maybe it had to get this bad so that we really could finally all come together in solidarity and make changes. A lot of eyes are being opened, around the country and the world. Maybe we really do stand a chance for things to finally start getting better!

    • Notice how if it is one-sided partisan, such as Republican or Democrat, there is no real recourse. However, if you whisper protest or even think about reforming the financial system, the gloves come off. This reaction is how we know that the Establishment is seriously being tested.

  9. Sorry but you basically asked to be arrested. The video seems like you wanted it. That thrill, that excitement, something to write about and here you have it. The cop said “LEAVE” to your face over and over and you did not.

    What you should have done is said “okay we are leaving, where do you want us to go?” and smoothly re-routed your protest.

    The best part is that being in jail for 30 minutes with no iphone was a big shocker. “They took our belongings”

    GOD DAM RIGHT THEY TOOK YOUR BELONGINGS ITS FREAKING JAIL! oh my its so horrible in there! God dam right it is! Imagine being in there for 9 days or 9 years!

    Hope this was a wake up call to you. Your post makes me wish every normal person in societly could be arrested for a day or 2 like i have been and you just were.

    Here’s an idea: I recently read that nyc cops make really poor salaries. Like they can’t even spent more than $4 bucks on lunch. So… how bout we figure out a way to join forces and work this all out together?

    intellegent poor people like me fighting igorant poor people like NYPD = you’re better off staying at home and doing something creative.

    signed,

    Chip Shipwich

    • I’m sorry Chip, but you missed the whole point of this story and this experience. You say that she should have listened when the cop said leave repeatedly, and you suggest that every should be compliant to this request(since you think every normal person should see what jail is like). What you are failing to acknowledge is that the police did not have legal authority to tell her and the other protesters to leave. As a public space they had every right to walk down the sidewalk.

      I do agree with you that pitting poor against poor makes for a useless battle, but I disagree that the only option when a police offers tells you to do something is to capitulate, especially when you know you are acting well within your rights. Why would you want to give those rights up so easily.

      • Pastor Kevin,
        We all know she was not “just walking down the sidewalk”-You are using a bad argument tactic-Claiming “a truth” to avoid “the truth”. Chip is right in this instance. If you demand a police officer arrests you, don’t be surprised when they do.

    • If you want to bow before your government overlords, you do it. On the other hand, this brave woman utilized her LEGAL RIGHTS, and was arrested for it. If you want to follow every unconstitutional some bloated, overpaid pig with a badge gives you, then you’ve already lost.

      The world must seem so big to you from down there on your knees.

    • So if a cop tells you to stop doing something perfectly legal, you should always just knuckle under? That’s not how it’s supposed to work. There’s no use in having rights set out in law if we just agree not to do those things anyway.

    • “The best part is that being in jail for 30 minutes with no iphone was a big shocker. ‘They took our belongings'”

      Ms Wolf wasn’t “shock[ed]” by having her possession taken from when taken to jail; she is a journalist, and journalist report the facts, including the mundane ones.

    • Lol-Right on Chip. How much do you think our host spent on lunch? I wonder, in the long run who is struggling more in our “brutal” American system. Our author or the average nypd officer.
      Thanks for the voice of sanity

  10. When my brother-in-law was illegally arrested some years back in Texas he sued the arresting officer and took the officers house. Illegal arrest, transportation and detainment are serious offences for which the police have no legal impunity.

    • In NYC they can shoot a man 45 times for pulling out his ID. I wish I could say that the cops who did this would get in trouble, but it’s not likely.

    • WOW, JG!!! I’ve NEVER heard of anyone actually getting the kind of results that your brother-in-law got! I’d love to know more about that case. What part of Texas was he in? Did he have an amazing attorney, or how on earth did he go about fighting his case? How long did it take? Did he go after the department first, and then the arresting officer personally? It’s rare that anyone is reimbursed after wrongful arrest, much less awarded additional compensation. But I think many people are owed! The system is such a racket! Good for your Bro-in-law!

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience and how police officers often do not know, or bother to learn how to only follow the law, instead of how they decide or have been told to follow it. I haven’t experienced anything like this, but my few encounters with the police force, as a law-abiding citizen, have scared me too. TO FREEDOM!

  12. Pingback: How Naomi Wolfe Was Arrested at Occupy Wall Street | The Views Expressed

  13. Hmm, you knew the consequences, and you knew that they’d be enforced, and you provoked a response anyway. Seems you got what you wanted and now are going to invoke as much drama over getting what you wanted as you can.

      • you could put it that way, or you two (and others) could admit admit your support of a police state.

    • I hope you know the consequences of allowing an unstoppable police-state to form. She stood her ground because allowing the police to unlawfully remove her from a place she was legally allowed to be and keep her from exercising her constitutional right to peaceful protest would have just set us all back even further. If you’re going to give up your constitutional rights, just go live somewhere else.

    • Yeah, how dare she cause trouble when civil rights are being taken away wholesale. Everyone should just go home and sit in a corner if given orders to do so, regardless of whether those orders are legal or constitutional. They came out of the mouth of a policeman so you have to do it. Right.

    • Yes, she did. And isn’t it wonderful that this woman, even at this time in our history, still had the courage to do so? She did what NEEDS to be done! Our Country has been hijacked by a handful of wealthy, powerful individuals who are systematically stripping the rest of us of our rights and our rightful wealth and property, in order to set themselves up as the new ruling class and reduce everyone else to peonage. I don’t want to live in that sort of world, and I”m tired of seeing the freedom I fought to preserve compromised by Wall Street and its’ robber barons! I don’t want to live in the sort of world these SCUM (they must be, because they’ve risen to the top) are trying to impose, and I don’t think you really do, either. Get off your lazy butt and join her!

      • William,
        It just takes a little homework to discover that it is our government, sometimes utilizing “big banks” and/or wall street that is robbing us blind.
        Though you are well meaning you want to hand more power to those who would do us the most harm.
        The best thing Americans can do if they want to change “corporate culture” is to stop buying so much crap we don’t need.
        Asking the monstrously large, and as of late ominously intrusive into the public sector, American government, is like inviting the fox into the chicken coop

    • So let me just get this straight here… you are saying that she should not fight for the rights afforded her by your own constitution? If you all don’t stand up for what is rightfully yours, then what is the point? By that standard I could come into your house and anything you believed belonged to you I could tell you didn’t and take it.

      Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protest taxes imposed by her husband and it worked, many hail this event as the beginning of feminism. So if she had never ridden the taxes would have stayed and us ladies world over would still be in clothes similar to those of the Amish.

  14. I have been dealing with permit issues in regards to doing the “Million Marijuana March” on our local level for a few years. It ended up costing like a grand + for insurance to simply have a “rock” band play at intermission…..no rock band only like a few hundred. I had to stop doing the event because I could not find an insurance company to cover us after some rule changed in the early-mid 2000’s. The city regularly breaks this rule for other groups.

  15. Whether or not you agree with the aims of the protestors, they have the right to protest and seek redress from their government. The story as told is chilling and the police’s behavior is unacceptable. I hope that all people who are illegally arrested demand a jury trial.

    • Do they have a right to occupy a park and dirty it up?
      Do they have a right to be noisy to the residents who live there?
      Do they have a right to advocate the Downfall of Capitalism?
      Do they have a right to show the world how the USA is a unfair country because it believes in Capitalism?
      Do they have a right to be a nuisance, simply because they can?
      The longer this goes on, the more people will begin to see just how phony they are.
      They don’t care about anything but themselves..They don’t want to reform our way of life, they want to change it…..I’m sure the people in 1917 Russia woke up one day in October and they were enslaved for the next 72 years…

      • Do they have the right to form an opinion?
        Do they have the right to freedom of expression?
        Do they have the right of peaceful assembly?
        Do they have the right to engage in political advocacy?
        Do you understand anything at all about civil liberties, the Constitution, and democracy?

      • You asked . . .
        Do they have a right to occupy a park and dirty it up?
        – Yes actually they do, but if they clean up their mess, they will win more support for their cause.

        Do they have a right to be noisy to the residents who live there?
        – Generally there are restrictions about protesting in residential areas. Who lives in Wall St area?

        Do they have a right to advocate the Downfall of Capitalism?
        – Absolutely, they have the right to advocate downfall of capitalism, downfall of socialism, downfall of monarchy, or whatever. Just because what they advocate may be stupid doesn’t mean it is unlawful. Not actually sure they are advocating downfall of capitalism (some perhaps). They are mostly just pissed at what they view is an rigged system, and are lashing out. I sympathize with their anger, but the solution is to restore true market capitalism and eliminate the rigged crony system that claims to be capitalistic when in fact is quasi-statist. It is ironic that this system, as imperfect as it is, still generates enough wealth that they have the luxury of being able to protest for weeks. The exploited masses are too busy working in the capitalistic system to better themselves take time to protest.

        Do they have a right to show the world how the USA is a unfair country because it believes in Capitalism?
        – Weird question. Sounds like you are implying capitalism is unfair. The opposite of capitalism is statism – allocation of wealth thru state (political) fiat. But to answer your question – Yes, they have the right to complain about the USA, capitalism, ignorance of economics (I wish) . . . whatever. We also have the right to blog about them, ignore them, laugh at them, or support them. It’s called freedom. I like it.

        Do they have a right to be a nuisance, simply because they can?
        – No not really, but nuisance is in the eye of the beholder.

        The longer this goes on, the more people will begin to see just how phony they are.
        They don’t care about anything but themselves..They don’t want to reform our way of life, they want to change it…..I’m sure the people in 1917 Russia woke up one day in October and they were enslaved for the next 72 years…
        – I don’t see them as phony (no doubt some are) – rather justifiably angry but lacking real knowledge of economics, history, etc. to advocate truly beneficial policy changes. They need to read Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman. They need to do some math. (Ex: If a corporation pays $1 in tax, how much of that is reflected in the price customers pay? Ans: $1 + the cost of record keeping, computing tax liability, filing taxes, debating business strategy impact of possible future tax changes, ect. Corporations don’t pay taxes, never did, never will. They COLLECT taxes from their customers under Government direction, and remit to Gov. Gov gets to collect “hidden” taxes that are buried in the price you pay to buy stuff and thus taxing you at higher taxes than you would otherwise tolerate). Finally, the protestors need to realize the world is well, . . . GLOBAL! America’s economy competes in a GLOBAL MARKET. There is no going back to the good old days when we just bought the stuff we made. Everybody buys stuff everybody else makes. Best stuff for the price wins. We either compete to win this game or we lose. Sitting on sidelines not allowed.

        PS: The Russian masses were enslaved by a monarchy, and swapped this for a communist totalitarian enslavement. Whenever you hear someone say we need to change, ask “Change to what”. When they say “We need to do something about this?, ask “Exactly what something do you suggest?”. Change that doesn’t address the real problem always results in a worse situation than before. Change for the sake of change is no virtue. Accepting an unjust status quo for fear of change is not righteous.

      • “Do they have a right to occupy a park and dirty it up?” They cleaned it up.
        “Do they have a right to be noisy to the residents who live there?” Are you implying that the First Amendment comes after someones right to not have loud noises made in their vicinity?
        “Do they have a right to advocate the Downfall of Capitalism?” Yes, they do. And you have the right to disagree with them.
        “Do they have a right to show the world how the USA is a unfair country because it believes in Capitalism?” Well, you could hardly call what we have in the US capitalism, so your point isn’t very well made.
        “Do they have a right to be a nuisance, simply because they can?” That’s not what they’re doing.
        “They don’t care about anything but themselves..They don’t want to reform our way of life, they want to change it…..I’m sure the people in 1917 Russia woke up one day in October and they were enslaved for the next 72 years…” That slippery slope straw-man argument is a great one, isn’t it?

      • Taken in order:
        – Evidently, within limits (and we have seen cleaning carried out).
        – Yes, although if NYC is like most other cities there’s a time to tone things down.
        – Yes, it’s that “freedom of speech” thing folks from the US are so fond of shouting about.
        – Same answer. Capitalism is no more inherently good than it is inherently evil, but when it causes suffering, surely people are allowed to say “ouch.”
        – Once again, yes within limits; annoying other humans seems to be the basic function of humanity.
        – Probably not. Phonies tend to not have staying power.
        – People in 1917 Russia figuratively woke up, said, “Dang it, I’m sick of being a slave to a monarchist autocracy,” and did SOMETHING about it. The fact that they fumbled the follow-through and ended up with an enslaving modified Marxist autocracy doesn’t change the fact that people sufficiently oppressed by ANY system eventually get up an do something about it. People in North America are reaching a point of perceived enslavement to an unelected plutocratic autocracy, and it’s starting to itch….

      • Ronald, I don’t believe you’re very well connected to reality. Check your recent history and you’ll find that Wall Street fat cats have seen a 300% increase in their income since the tax reform act of 1986, while the rest of us, who merely work to produce that income for them, have seen our income decrease…I think THEY are ones who don’t care about anything but themselves. What they are practicing is not Capitalism, its rampant greed, and you are both a coward and an idiot. Who are you, REALLY?

  16. I think you know the german quote:

    „Als sie die ersten Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; denn ich war kein Kommunist. Als sie die ersten Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; denn ich war kein Jude. Als sie die ersten Katholiken holten, habe ich geschwiegen; denn ich war kein Katholik. Als sie mich holten, war niemand mehr da, der seine Stimme hätte erheben können.” Martin Niemöller, deutscher evangelischer Theologe (1892 – 1984)

    Bravo from Germany!

    Peter

  17. The underlying problem is that you Americans are constantly told that you live in a ‘free country’. But you don’t. As this incident shows. You have the word ‘unamerican’, indicating that someone is not conforming and so can be hassled, arrested or even imprisoned. I guess the police considered you were being ‘un-american. The ‘un-nationality’ concept doesn’t exist in Europe. No one talks about being un-british or un-french, etc. In the US kids have to place hands on hearts each morning and swear allegiance to the flag. Brainwashing. If they don’t they’re in trouble. No one in Europe does anything remotely similar. The vast bulk of your media buys into this brainwashing so a significant proportion of the population is only dimly aware of what the outside world is like. Many Americans who live in Europe for any length of time end up not wanting to go back to the US. I’ve heard it’s the same in Australia and New Zealand. I know several Americans here who want to give up their US citizenship. There’s an 18 month waiting list to do that! Incomprehensible. If I want to give up my British citizenship I just throw away my passport. Done. And how are Americans who want to give up their citizenship regarded in the US? Open your eyes. You’re being bamboozled into believing you live in some sort of paradise. You don’t.
    Naomi, I guess your an American living in the UK … not a perfect country I agree … but we don’t have the same sort of government-sanctioned jingoistic fervour that exists in the States.
    (I now await violent flames from patriotic Americans, incensed that I should dare to criticise their not-so-great country.)

    • As an American who has traveled abroad, I agree with Al. Americans who’ve never left this country have a jaded perspective, and have no basis of comparison to why they believe America is the best country in the world. As a whole, America is a stupid, lazy, and fearful country filled with opinions that lack truth or awareness of the present state of things. It’s not to say there are not intellectuals out there that know what’s going on, but they are assuredly out-numbered. There’s no way I’d let an unwarranted arrest like this go unattested.

      • Thank you Lester. And I am not tarring all Americans with the same brush. I know there are millions of American who have a wider world view and can see their country for what it is – great in many respects, but by no means perfect and certainly not a model for the world to emulate.
        I see we have now got the trolls appearing on this thread who write things like. “You’re a Communist. You hate this country because we have too much freedom.” The shee barminess of that statement says it all. Unfortunately in the US at the moment there appears to be a majority of such people. Sad.

    • (I now await violent flames from patriotic Americans, incensed that I should dare to criticise their not-so-great country.)
      Please, give us some credit. I actually agree with some of your points. I’ve never lived outside of the US but I’ve traveled extensively and some of the best experiences I’ve had were conversations with people from Europe or England or New Zealand… and whenever the topic of patriotism, or government, or what-have-you, comes up it’s very apparent there there is no equivalent to “unAmerican” in your vocabulary. I won’t say we’re brainwashed, but certain politicians within government or even powerful interest groups are very aware of the power of words and their associations and they use that to their distinct advantage. Thus the idea of being “unAmerican.”

      I do disagree with the idea that I live in an “unfree” country. I do live in a free country, as evidenced by the fact that Naomi was able to post this and will (I assume) be able to fight her unlawful arrest. A free country does not mean we don’t have laws or that we live in a ‘paradise'; it means we have a recourse when people enforcing those laws abuse them.

      Hey look, I didn’t respond with a violent flame!

      • Thanks for being non-violent Lindsay. I agree my points are a broad generalisation. You can’t do much else in a forum like this. And of course you have freedoms. But consider this – I live in mainland Europe, and am British. If I wish to to renounce my British citizenship I simply throw away my passport. End of story. I know many Americans here, some of whom wish to renounce their American citizenship (my business partner is one of them). To do that you have to be interviewed by an Embassy official. There is an 18 month waiting list! Revealing? And ask yourself, how are such people regarded in the States by the majority?

    • Al, I’d like to address one of your points. I work in secondary schools and while we do ask the students to stand when the pledge of allegiance is being said, we do not force them to recite it. We ask them to stand as a show of respect. If they choose to use that time to think about lunch or pray or stare at their shoes, that’s fine.
      I admit that I am not as focused on what is happening in the rest of the world, but that is my choice and something I realize I should change. Please be aware that there is a large population of this country that only has the time and energy to be focused on the survival of their family. I agree that Americans tend to be focused more on our own problems and less on the world’s problems, but that isn’t going to change unless our leaders, at all levels, stop attacking each other and start supporting the population of the U.S.

      • SKP writes, “We ask them to stand as a show of respect.” To whom are they expected to show respect? To the flag? The country? The “under God” part of the pledge? Their fellow students? And why cannot the students show their respect while remaining seated? Indeed, are they really being “asked” to stand, or is it instead a demand? The truth is that reciting the Pledge, which has become nothing less than a prayer, is in fact a form of brainwashing. The practice should be banned completely. Everywhere. Forever.

    • I’m in full agreement with you, Al…not only is “freedom” a big fat lie, it is far worse than that…until citizens find themselves being arrested for something insignificant, non-violent, or as a result of faulty records or some other mistake on the id/computer or whatever, people will always assume that people who get arrested HAD to be doing SOMETHING wrong. Well, our government is on a mission to get EVERYONE “in the system”…that way, there will always be probable cause for search and seizure of property, and reason to detain without excuse…It allows us to be robbed and jailed “legally”…I could list the ways I have been harassed and violated, and robbed, and so on, but it would take too long. America is far from perfect…at times it is disgusting, terrifying, and downright embarrassing. I wish I knew somewhere I could go, and live my life according to my values, and not be judged based on all of the things the world (myself included) finds offensive about America and our hypocrisy epidemic. Please know that some of us are aware…and equally offended by those who “represent us”…

      • cj Please leave our Country…We have enough morons as it is…..Live in Syria or Iran, I’m sure they would love a traitor such as you there….

      • cj, apparently, there is room for you in Australia or New Zealand or the UK…Having lived abroad more than once, it is still my humble opinion, however, that America is the best, albiet imperfect, country in the world…try living abroad a few times before you throw your country under the bus so easily, and be careful what you wish for…

    • Participating in reciting the pledge of allegiance in schools in the US is optional.

      Those of us living in the land of the free and the brave are not as free as we think we are. We need to understand that more clearly.

      I would imagine that there are a fair number of US citizens who would like to live in a different country — especially now. But it’s not easy become a citizen of another county anymore; you need to find a way to support yourself and have the will to leave your family and friends. That’s not easy but has been done by millions around the globe.

      Another option is to change the country from the inside. That option is at the core of US values.

      One of the challenges we all have, as people on this earth is to have the patience, methods and sources to really understand the facts about what is going on — about most any important issue so that we can change it. We also have to dig deep and find the time and energy to participate.

      We have information at our fingertips coming at us from all around the globe and most of it is biased, incomplete, inaccurate or worse.

      What’s the answer? Let’s start by responding to these message boards with as much factual information as possible. As difficult as it is, let’s try to be see all the different angles of each situation clearly so that we can find the solution that creates the greatest good for each of us.

    • Al Britain is not so different from the US when it comes to patriotism. Try bad mouthing the Queen at a crowded pub when everyone else is making a toast to her.

      • Hey Randy, as a Brit I’ve been in a lot of pubs in my life and I’ve never ever been in one where everyone else is making a toast to the Queen. In some pubs in the UK you’d get lynched if you tried to do that. Yeah, maybe if it’s her birthday or some royal wedding there would be a toast. And if you bad-mouthed that you’d get dirty looks. But that’s because it would be bad manners. Not patriotism.
        When I was a kid they always used to play the UK National Anthem at the end of every movie and theatre performance. Trouble was, almost everyone walked out while it was playing. So they’ve stopped doing it now.

    • The US has a lot of virtues, but most of them are in the shape of the concepts that we used to live in. The reality of the place is something different. The main advantage of living in the US is the radically cheaper cost of property and overall cost of living in the hinterlands. I’m also a US citizen abroad (in Canada) and I consider a permanent departure, but most Americans feel like they would be letting the world down by giving up on the experiment.

      • I’m right there in the same boat with you. Thirty years in Canada and never considered changing citizenship until this year. But still have mixed feelings about that, for exactly the reasons you stated. On the other hand, if we don’t vote here we can’t get rid of mini-Bushes like Harper.

    • hey al are you kiddin me? most of us americans can see through the bullshit. sounds like its a very small number who want to throw their citizenship away.we will come together and sort this bullshit out and return to bring the greatest democratic country in the free world.

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  19. Pingback: Is There a Secret NYPD Division Working for Wall Street? | Crasstalk

  20. Thanks for sharing your experience and your knowledge. If more people were as informed as you are this would be a better place to live.

  21. We have rights read them and know them. We do not have to stand for this as long as we remain peaceful. if we are arrested we should take it to court. If we have done nothing wrong then that proves once again our government wants us to have little to no control. it’s not a democracy if only the government has power.

  22. Exactly, this is why it is so crucial that the 2nd amendment is upheld. Not for the purpose of some lame excuse like hunting or target practice. We need to retain the right to bear arms to retain a means of protection from our own government. It’s only a matter of time before agencies like The Department of Homeland Security get another president who allow them and the police to go from 1/2 hour detentions for peaceably organizing on the streets to Gitmo-esque detention camps for unamericans.

    SAY YES TO THE RIGHT TO CARRY ARMS!!!!!!

  23. This is one of the most self-serving, self-promoting, self-aggrandizing accounts of the excess of the police I have probably ever read. Ms. Wolf is a down right disgrace who seems to make the arrest of a ‘middle age woman in a gown’ the litmus test for the malaise of a police state. In fact, if it were not for the fact that middle age feminists with an overblown sense of entitlement have spent the last forty years crying disenfranchisement, people like Wolf would have been able to actually asses the degree of incidence that this practices have had on people that were actually completely disenfranchised and vulnerable to this kind of abuse. Let me go further and say that if Ms. Wolf was arrested was because all these years of presumptuous political stupidity that put–as here–her plight above the plight of others has served to shelter the abuses of the state. Oh, thank you for recommending your book. I cant wait to read it…

    TheRadicalSecularist.com

  24. I thank you for what you stood up for. As far as I know, the laws haven’t been changed, but our government has. I have been warning everyone kI know and even those I don’t know that voting is important, but voting because you think are going to be given a free ride, is voting for enslavement. It is exactly what has been voted in again. I keep wondering if my mouth will be shut one day. We are turning into a socialist state and God help us.

  25. Un-f*****g-believable. I’m left sputtering in shock. With just a few more pen strokes Ms. Wolfe could have been spirited away to an undisclosed location for a long time while they “worked out the paperwork.” This is crazy! Crazy! It has to end. It has to be rolled back. These laws do not serve the people.

    • Are you kidding..Do you live in a fantasy world or just plain dumb….She provoked the arrest…..Key word….PROVOKED

      • I may have missed it but what exactly was she arrested for?

        It seems she asked about what was allowed in the permit, was told by some unknown fellow (perhaps here lies her folly) they could walk on the sidewalk, and then got arrested for walking on the sidewalk. It seems like a simple misunderstanding.

        What if I just happened to be walking down the sidewalk also at that moment? Would I be arrested too? Is side-walking illegal now? Do I need to get a permit to side-walk?

      • No she did not, she broke no laws, she did not place a hand on any of the officers so they certainly can not claim assault. Where was the provocation? A cop was on a power trip and thinks he’s the be all and end all of law in NYC THAT is what happened. Her rights were VIOLATED, if anything the cop PROVOKED her to take LEGAL action against HIM.
        Yes, that’s right I can use the caps lock also…aren’t I smart… you know holding SHIFT whilst typing makes capitals too :O

  26. Um, since 2007?? Wow, um this has been going on since the beginning of the millenium. Two things, welcome to reality, and secondly, ideally, all the protestors are right, but reality in America is different these days. Welcome to what minorities have been going thru their whole lives..geez I hope u didn’t get your evening gown torn. Here’s the thing, America is still better than any country out there, Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness is still the best bet on the block. At least we get to organize without tanks in our faces…what do you people think that the people in power are gonna do, just allow u too be without giving a fight back? That’s life, anything u want u have to sacrifice and work for. Period, where was the 99ers 10 years ago when this was unfolding??let me guess, it hadn’t affected them yet, so they did nothing, now it’s in their own backyard, and NOW they want to do something? There is a LONG road ahead of us, and it doesn’t start and end with picketing Wall Street. When I read things like this, it makes me glad I’m not part of the 99%, its usually the heaping masses, looking to fight for anything, but have faith in nothing, that drink the kool aid first and the last to find out its poison…welcome to the party sweetheart.

    • “When I read things like this, it makes me glad I’m not part of the 99%”

      unless you hold enough wealth to place you in the richest one percent of americans, you too are part of the 99%.

    • “It is usually the heaping masses, looking to fight for anything, but have faith in nothing, that drink the kool aid first…”

      Amen.

  27. Above all else, make ONE thing clear, one demand. The USA PATRIOT ACT, and everything derived from it, MUST GO.For anyone who wants your vote, this is NON-NEGOTIABLE. No “Study Committees”, no “Working Groups”, no “Task Forces” or “Blue-Ribbon Commissions.”
    End it. Now. This is NOT a request.

  28. People have to realize that the corporate municipalities are, and have been for 100+ years, treating the People as corporate chattel. This treatment has become a standard because the People have allowed themselves to become such in failing to realize that they have allowed their common law status to become a corporate status.- a corporate fiction, procedural phantom, subject class “citizen”. The People are waking up to this fact and some are re-inhabiting their de jure status by claiming their unalienable right to do so. It will take a mass awakening in America to get the message to law enforcement. Until then our only remedy is after the harassment, and in extreme cases, to arrest the public hazard bonds of rogue public officials, rendering them unemployable in the public sector.

  29. Why do you write as if “wearing an evening gown” gives you more credibility in your rights, Ms Wolf? American rights are American rights…even if you’re on the sidewalk in a flour sack. I appreciate this piece and your boldness very much. But to say that wearing an evening gown, as if a point in “ridiculousness” is just that. Ridiculous.

    • I think she just meant that her physical appearance/impression wasn’t outwardly threatening, that she wasn’t dressed for a pre-meditated brawl.

  30. She wasn’t lawfully standing or walking down the sidewalk. She taunted the police, openly disobeyed them, was wanting to get arrested. and she did. she wasn’t arrested when she walked into the event earlier.
    When the Westboro Baptist Church members protest a military funeral they are cordoned off to some remote area, away from the event they protest as not to disrupt it. if they walk down the sidewalk towards the event i would suspect they would be arrested for disruption.

      • You would hate the word “Obey” Jeremy because You like the demonstraters care not about how phony you are, but do as they please no matter who they insult.
        You’re not Anti anything but you are ant-American….So, please go away!!!

      • Really. I am “fake” because I don’t want to bow down and grovel at the feet of someone?

        You like to “obey”, you like to be pushed around and told what to do? go right ahead, and enjoy your life of not standing up to bullies. Fucking whimp.

      • Don’t rise to the bait. Just let Ronald McD bend over for them as he loves them so much. If he wants to fritter away his rights and jump over a cliff when told, just pity him for the sad soul he is.

    • Bahahahahaha Mike you are hilarious! I am not an American, I am an Australian. The only reason I could think of that you would bring up the “Westboro Baptist Church” is that you must be a member! That has to be the absolute worst comparison that you could have drawn upon!
      Your first amendment guarantees “Freedom of peaceful assembly”, the definition of ‘peaceful’ would include: not in a state of war or disagreement, not involving violence i.e. peaceful picketing, inclined towards peace, non-aggressive, amicable, etc. would it not? Have you even researched the kind of “protesting” that these people do? They have been involved in several lawsuits for actually breaking the law, in some states it is illegal to protest at funerals and desecrate the American Flag. This so-called “Church” promotes hate! They hate all other religions, they hate some other races, they hate homosexuals, they actually have online sermons and other propaganda that promotes the ideal that God hates the world. Don’t believe me? Hear are some QUOTES from placards from their “pickets”, “Thank God for breast cancer”, “God hates America”, “pray for more dead soldiers”, “thank god for AIDS”, “soldiers die – God laughs”, “Obama = Antichrist”.
      Go and read some of their online propaganda, basically this group seems to be some kind of KKK spin off, they wear less white after labour day and are stupid enough to show their faces, but the overall hate is still there. Although add to the hate the inability to accept that our actions might hurt the Earth, they cop out and blame everything on God and God’s hate for us.
      Please feel free to try again with something that resembles a less laughable point.

    • Mike says: “When the Westboro Baptist Church members protest a military funeral they are cordoned off to some remote area, away from the event they protest as not to disrupt it. if they walk down the sidewalk towards the event i would suspect they would be arrested for disruption.” Unfortunately, Mike is wrong. Westboro Baptist Church – as stomach-turning as they may be – have repeatedly had their constitution rights to protest without being cordoned off out of sight upheld by the courts. Check USSC Snyder v. Phelps for proof.

  31. Fears that the so-called Patriot Act would be used to deny dissidents their constitutionally guaranteed civil rights appear to be well-founded.

  32. Everyone needs to simply restarin from Voting of any kind until they can decide whether or not they want this to be a democracy or an autocracy. Then we will all see the truest colors. Simply DONT VOTE.

  33. Welcome to realising that you are in a corporate dictatorship, deal with it, as for the Wall Street thing, i support it, its one way of speaking out, but the people have to see beyond their shallowness and the “circus” that is portrayed upon us, there have been a lot of people speaking abouts this since the ground zero attacks but it took almost 10 years to actually be aware of what is happening there??? America is definitely retarded, try to correct that for future reference, for the time bieng, keep pissing the police off, occupy, resist, fight, its teh only thing we can do.

  34. New York City cops used to be better than regular people elsewhere! In the last couple of decades, basically since Giuliani took over, they’ve become nothing more than enforcement arms of the corporations and ultra-rich, and real pigs! I never thought I’d see the day! I wouldn’t call a NYC cop now if my life depended on it! They’d probably wind up arresting me for spitting on the sidewalk or jaywalking. This is sickening!

  35. Nobody cares about your oh-so-terrible “arrest”.
    And sure, your recounting of it happened EXACTLY the way you wrote it – so calm and to the letter-of-the-law. Uh huh, nobody being belligerent here.

    You got what you wanted – except for the list of demands your “partner” suggested you get. Oh right, the “protesters” are too embarrassed to say that their demand is an End to Capitalism. I’d be embarrassed too. Go to work and do a good job. Get paid for a job well done. Pay your taxes. Sounds pretty fair to me.

    You just love living on the fringe of society, don’t you. The only place where you have an audience.

  36. yep things haven’t changed much since my mom and dad were incarcerated in 42 for being innocent american citizens. they just looked japanese.

  37. I wonder if you realize how many people would consider living in the US a punishment. Sure you influence the world globally but its not because we think you are awesome. Its because you had money. But only some of you. Well sure there are a LOT of places in which it is WAY WAY worse to live! But there are also many that are WAY WAY BETTER and one of the things that makes them better is BECAUSE they balance a democratic process with a semi socialist government. And we have to FIGHT for it every time we vote! It can be taken away very easily as soon as you stop questioning and start obeying blindly. Socialism does not equal Communism. Many of your wealthy and sane neighbor nations have some aspect of socialism included in their Constitutions. Socialism means that we make the government actually USE our taxes to BENEFIT US! The horror!! And yet somehow you make healthcare sound like killing old people. Because its Socialist?!! Damn right it is!! And you should demand it. You pay them enough. Its your money!! Why on earth would you want them to keep using it to fund corrupt commerce that seems to make you poor? Socialism is not a dirty word. Learn where the real enemies are and realize that the last time your country was “great” and “free” was a heck of a long time ago if it ever was. And all some of you see is that she didnt mind being arrested. I am sure she didnt. Because they had no legal grounds and they were HELPING HER PROVE HER POINT! So yeah, that shit eating grin on her face as the cuffs went on… would be on my face too if I had cared enough to get involved the way she did. And every time someone on here snarks about how she must have wanted to get arrested and why didnt she obey the cop? You are also proving her point. That you are so brainwashed to think that anyone who is arrested somehow deserves it. That doing what you are told is what your country is about??? Freedom to obey! If she got even a few of you to think outside the great big box you are living in, then power to her. Every time I watch news from your country it makes me keep a leery eye on my own politicians. If it can happen to you it can happen to us and no way do I want that to happen.
    Cheers Americans. Hope you eventually sort it all out.

    • Thank you for this! If everyone in this Country had always done what they were told, this Country wouldn’t exist. If we don’t change the direction this Country has been going for the past 35 years, it will cease to exist. If we continue to pander to a handful of greedy, self-styled “capitalists”, most of whom have become immensely wealthy not through their own effort, but by using inherited wealth to buy government rule changes that benefit themselves at the expense of the rest of us.
      If we continue in this direction, we will be creating exactly the sort of society it took Europe 1000 years and numerous revolutions to wipe out. A feudal society, in which kings and nobles allied with the churches to control the population and keep all of the land, all of the wealth, and all political power for themselves. That isn’t capitalism, it’s organized crime!
      If our right wing insists on calling this class warfare, it might be the only accurate thing any of them have said in years. This IS CLASS WARFARE! The first shot in this war was fired at the middle class years ago, and now, finally, WE’RE FIGHTING BACK!
      My message to Wall Street, the Republican party, Rupert, Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity, The Kochs, and corporate fat cats in general, is this: “You started this by trying to take it all for yourselves. Now, WE”RE going to finish it, and there are a whole lot more of US than there are of you! And we don’t like you, much.
      Any journalist who has the courage to go to jail for standing with the LARGE majority of Americans- 99% of us, in fact- against the tyranny of a handful of Wall Street fat cats, is an American HERO.
      And anyone from another Country who is clear-sighted enough to see this is someone I’d like to see become a permanent American, although I don’t blame you a bit if you don’t want to.

  38. Pingback: You Say Gaddafi, I Say Qaddafi « The Accidental Cootchie Mama

  39. To those Americans who understood Naomi’s well proven point, I’m proud to call you my fellow Americans! I can only hope this incident is a wake up call for those who still don’t get it!

    To those who are essentially giving excuses for the NYPD and Wall Street… go fuck yourselves! You’re supporting fascism and are too stupid to realize it. Benito Mussolini would be proud of you!

  40. We are blessed to live in a country where we are not under fear of death for taking such actions! Thank you for sharing your experiences with the world!
    This will not stand.
    We are here as is our 1st Amendment Right
    We are not going anywhere.

  41. NOTLOCAL, THANK YOU for your perspective!! A voice of SANITY! People here in the States ARE brainwashed……….everytime I hear someone fire up about the dreaded word “socialism” I want to laugh in their faces, then puke, because they have NO idea that they’ve been programmed to react that way. Oh, and by the way, I am an American Citizen, who freely admits that she was asleep with alot of other “sheeple” and is now awakening and finding her inner rebel alive and well!

  42. Do some reading on individual sovereignty and the removal of our sovereignty by the politicians and corporations starting with the generation of your birth certificate. Here is an excerpt from one related article:

    WHY THE UCC FILING?
    Short Explanation as is Understood at this Time
    (Subject to further clarification)
    Around the time of the war between the United States and the southern states of the
    American union, the United States was busy putting together a plan that would increase
    the jurisdiction of the United States. This plan was necessary because the United States
    had no subjects and only the land ceded to it from the states, ie. the District which was
    only ten miles square and such land as was necessary for forts, magazines, arsenals, etc.

  43. Civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel recently told the media that in his experience as an activist in NYC, the NYPD does not have any formal “permit” paperwork at all. I think you should call Norman Siegel and other activists (especially if they are lawyers) to confirm.

  44. ‘my partner and I were surrounded by about 20 officers who pulled our hands behind our backs ‘
    that’s not what the video shows.
    nice stunt.
    oh, an, mention your ‘evening gown’ again.
    it’s every american’s right to wear one.

    • and if she had have been Spears, Hilton or Lohan in an evening gown wearing no underwear flashing her parts about whilst walking along that sidewalk do you think she would have still been arrested?

  45. “This revolution began peacefully to demand the minimum of legitimate rights, but it was met by excessive violence.”

    “Mustafa Abdul-Jalil” Leader of the Libyan Liberated People.

    • Let’s remind you of that the next time you see one of your kids pepper-sprayed by cops. Have your writing pen handy, good citizen!

  46. Oh my gosh. I read and absorbed every, single word–so well written. I understand that many may not agree with the protests in general, but it’s the act of abuse of power that is the direct example of corruption. It saddens me that because these issues aren’t broadcast as readily available as just images of mass gatherings, a lot of people look at the groups with disdain, not realizing the first-handed experience they are all going through.

    Thank you so much for writing this article!

  47. Grow up. What right do you have to demand to see permits and such. You got arrested because you were annoying. Besides, half-in-hour in a cell is nothing. The police broke no law. You did. You don’t have even the slightest evidence for your opinions.

    • @John “What right do you have to demand to see permits and such”

      Are you serious? You mean you would just accept everything you are told? Of course you have a right to see a permit, everyone does. To say otherwise is to say that you have no right to see the detail of any laws either.

      Perhaps the person who should grow up is you.

    • You have a right to know how you are breaking the law. I believe she broke no law and the police violated her rights and lied about the permit. The word of a police officer isn’t the law. Without the “right to demand to see permits and such”, they could just make up laws all day long and lock people up for whatever they wanted, including being annoying (which has never been against the law as far as I know). Go read the constitution. Half AN hour in a cell is definitely something if it’s unjustified.

      • Unfortunately technically the police don’t have to tell you why you are being arrested at the time of arrest. However, within 72 hours you have to be brought before a judge or released. When brought before a judge, that’s when the charges against you will be read. – Something else to dislike about the system, cops could arrest you whilst packing groceries into your car… hold you for 72 hours and then let you go without any explanation. I doubt that would be done… but legally they could do it!

  48. Well, since no one here seems willing to actually do some research, and instead just assume America is falling into a Black Pit of Doom, allow me to help –

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/cecm/downloads/pdf/sapo_rules.pdf

    The above link is to the relevant rules to obtain a permit for an event, such as the one the Huffington Post was holding. It contains the following –

    §1-03 Processing of Applications by Community Boards.
    (a) A street activity permit shall be required to conduct any street activity, including, but not limited to, a street fair, block party, festival, green market or farmers market,
    religious ceremony, block cleanup, recreation program or other such activity on a public street or sidewalk when such activity may interfere with or obstruct the normal use by pedestrian or vehicular traffic of such street or sidewalk.

    Considering the permit holder has the right to control the flow of traffic on the sidewalk during the event, I believe that puts it well within legal bounds to request police to enforce the city issued permissions when an unauthorized group of people are attempting to disrupt the event.

    Unsurprisingly, “a tall man, who seemed to be with the event” was an unreliable source of valid information.

    I’ll just ignore the rest of my thoughts regarding the author and this post and just leave the facts.

    Summary: Took me 10 minutes to look up rules regarding NYC permits, proving that what the author and protestors were attempting to do was against the law, and that this “reporter” is seemingly incompetent.

    • Brian,
      Thanks for some common sense. When I was a young radical homeless west coaster, I too use to make this argument regarding the use of “public spaces”, people who don’t contribute to society often do.
      Once I became a responsible part of American society ( I started working) I came to understand that these city maintained public spaces are for individuals who pay taxes in that city
      The rough part of living in a free country, the part that many Americans seemed to have forgotten since us baby boomers changed everything, is that responsibilities come before rights.

    • Brian, I don’t think you have this right though I don’t claim to be an expert. The section you are reading has to do with the necessity of the Huffington Post to get a permit to hold their event given that it may interfere with the “normal use” by pedestrians of the sidewalk. Without that permit, you can’t do things like have a velvet rope up or set up an area on the sidewalk for photographers. The permit, as I understand it, doesn’t actually prevent or suspend the normal use of the sidewalk by pedestrians, it simply allows the event organizer to do something unusual that might affect that regular pedestrian traffic. At least back in the 90s when film crews had to get permits for their shoots, the secret was that technically a film shoot permit doesn’t give you the right to prevent someone from using a public sidewalk even if your cameras are rolling. People working on shoots would bluster and act as though they had the right to turn people away but the law actually is in favor of the person who wants to use the sidewalk; the crew is supposed to suspend production and let the person through. Some people were aware of this aspect of the law and would essentially try to blackmail the production crew for a “go away” payoff. I took a film making seminar which discussed this and was candidly told that the best way to handle this problem of people wanting to exercise their legal right to use the sidewalk during an event was to befriend the member of law enforcement assigned to watch over your event, give them access to your food tables, make them feel important, and then ask them to help you out. The cop can’t actually arrest people legally but he can intimidate people and make them stay out of the area because people respond to a man in a uniform. Again, this is from pre-9/11 days but I don’t think the basic principle has changed. The citizens own the sidewalks and can use them to get where they need to go. If the protesters simply walked down the sidewalk en masse, they had a right to do that. If they stayed in place or blocked access to the Huff Po event, there are probably other laws to address that, like loitering or unlawful assembly, etc.

      • As defined above, a “street activity” also extends to a public sidewalk – it was a red carpet event for the 2011 Huffington Post Game Changer Awards, the few pictures I found of outside the event seemed to show they needed some degree of permit to make up for them blocking the sidewalk.

        I have no way to obtain proof from the Huffington Post, and they are even denying that they called police to take action against the protestors (Although that seems to suggest that 30+ Police just randomly decided to congregate and move the protestors, then lie about them having been requested by someone with the appropriate permissions to ask for their removal because they had a permit giving them legal right to control the sidewalk traffic.)

        Additionally, I have no need – that link clearly indicates that her argument that “no such permit existed” in regards to being able to block the sidewalk was false. So its either you think the police were lying just to move the protestors out of the way of an event which they hardly had a RIGHT to disrupt, or they were telling the truth, and they were being moved away to stop disrupting an event they didn’t have a right to.

        Right to assemble does not give people the right to assemble anywhere you please, nor is it a free pass to infringe on other peoples’ rights to not have to be bothered by you – its the right to gather peaceable, not the rights to a stage or an audience.

  49. And Ms. Wolfe and her fellow travelers want to give government…those with the guns, mace and plastic handcuffs…more power, more authority, more discretion to “manage” our freedoms? She mentioned this tactic was “trickle-down” from the “Bush-era”. Well it ISN’T the Bush era and this was a Democratic event in a Democratic State. Obama has done nothing to retract any of the security provisions implemented by the Democratic controlled House and Senate during the “Bush era”.
    As I keep hearing from some this is not a right vs left or a GOP vs Dem issue. This is a rights and freedom issue but those on the left still want to feed the beast and hand it more authority, more responsibility, more control. And then they squeal when the beast bites them.
    When will they learn it is in the nature of power? http://allaboutfrogs.org/stories/scorpion.html

    • Lol Tom so true…don’t know ’bout the rest of your politics (I myself will not give up my guns) But your statement here is right on the money.
      I watch the the OWS groups and laugh. If they got what they are demanding the vast majority of them will be the first rounded up and shipped off.
      But a few know what they are doing. Smokescreen for the media. Keep the focus away from Solyndra etc.

  50. Great stuff. I am following the Occupy movement closely. As I’m in Korea I can’t participate but I love what you are all doing! I agree with you whole heatedly and believe that, unless “we the people” do something about it our country is heading towards a police state…or at least it could be.

  51. After receiving a donation in a letter from the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase of $4.5 million to NYPD Commissioner, Ray Kelly, (the largest in the history of NYC), under the direction of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NYPD have been walking all over the US Constitution, from “editing” the headline news in the New York Times, to arresting these protestors without any due cause and inflicting the worse brutality that I have ever seen, making up infractions as they go, it is very clear that in the case of NYC, the US Constitution has been bought without the American people even knowing that this Constitution we rely on was for sale. The arrest of this reporter, Naomi Wolf, is a good example of the results of not having a Constitution to protect our rights.

  52. I was in NYC for the Iraq war protest and the police forced into fenced in pens, away from the media and tried to hide us from view. I thought it was shameful then and it has clearly gotten worse. Thank you Naomi (and Naomi’s friend) for being willing to stand up to the absolute insanity that is going on within NYC. I wish you godspeed in your fight against your unlawful arrest.

  53. How does she know that it was actually “Homeland Security” that shut down the street and that it wasn’t just some low level functionary using that as a bluff?

    Seems like that would be worth a phone call before typing something up.

  54. “Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again.
    Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their f***ing skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom.
    Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you!
    You are free to do what we tell you!”
    — Bill Hicks (1961-1994)

    • Oh for pity’s sake really?! Really?! Firstly in order to “stage” something you pretty much have to have control of all the players – you know like a STAGE SHOW?! Do you think they let randoms off the street wander around onstage whilst Cats is being performed? NO!
      The closest possibility to your comment is that Naomi was walking along with others embracing her USA given rights and testing whether the police would violate them. She didn’t orchestrate the situation, she didn’t even organise the protest… you people make my brain hurt, please just go back to bed and pull the wool back down over your eyes!

  55. holy wow! thank you yet again, Naomi, for documenting the erosion of our civil liberties. something must be done about this. the founding fathers fought – and many died – so that we could have a First Amendment and now, little by little, it’s being dismantled by men (and women) who want to control others more than they want a free country. keep up the great work and hopefully some day enough people will hear you to vote in politicians who actually care about civil liberty and vote out those who don’t.

  56. If your ass was home minding your own business you would not have gotten arrested! It’s your own fault that happened! Stop blaming others, and while you’re at it, stop thinking you are entitled to other people’s money!

  57. Sad sad state of affairs… not even the “Law” knew what it was doing… Over hte last 20 years or so i have watched this… God 20 years… garbage in garbage out…
    I defended this country with my Life… For what? To allow people to freely subjugate others, becuase they are afraid of WORDS and OPINIONS? As i sit here typing this… I Realize much to my dismay, I dont even know my next door neighbors name… How effing Lame am I? I guess now is the time to be the best of humanity and become a Human DOING… Naomi Wolf, Thank you for Standing!!!

  58. Pingback: This Week On Internet – 26.10.11 « The Fifth Internet

  59. “Parks was charged with a violation of Chapter 6, Section 11 segregation law of the Montgomery City code,[19] even though she technically had not taken up a white-only seat—she had been in a colored section.[20] E.D. Nixon and Clifford Durr bailed Parks out of jail the evening of December 2.[21]” -wiki

    “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
    Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)”

  60. Yes, Naomi, follow-up, please. What happened in the end? Were you charged with anything? If not, how did they explain your arrest? Can you, or have any of the Occupy protestors who have been wrongfully detained and/or arrested, charge the NYP with wrongful arrest? Is this being pursued? ACLU involvement?

  61. Thank you for giving us an inside glimpse on what’s happening in NY. I’m an expat, who’s lived in Turkey and now in Australia so I’m as distant yet connected to the state of the nation. I’m happy that WordPress is turning the word over to the players in the Occupy Wall Street events. Courage, power and determination to set the nation back on the right track and once again those who work will be the winners and not the slaves in the failing economy that will recover with production and not mindless consumption. Geez I hope I don’t sound too crazy Commie-ish :)

  62. First, you totally rock! That NYPD sounds like a real tool. Arrested for standing on a sidewalk. Wow. Welcome to the future.

    Of course, the only charge they can get you on is failure to obey a police officer. Normally I love the hell out of the police, but come on! That’s lame.

    A protest that completely obeys the letter and spirit of the law isn’t much of a protest.

  63. A similar act took place in India on 16th Aug,2011, when a Gandhian decided to start Fast for sake of democracy and Justice. He was arrested. But the arrest made people restless and within few hours, the government was on its knees.

    Maybe Democracy and Republic are just words in dictionary now.

    Nice article. People should know about their rights and should stand by them….keep posting….:)

  64. “Life” is an illusion, created by others, and sold to us as reality.

    “War is a sporting event, in which the winners are those who do not participate.

    “Interest” is the means by which one persons “free” time is transferred to another.

  65. always a huffington post spin on things. THey those in power often go for the white Americans the one with blue eyes from a Christian Background,You have no idea how it is in the US, and the brown people and muslims are special , while white Americans are trashed.,
    You had it easy. I was arrested , at 56 for the first time, for standing up to a slum lord in Oregon, and I thought I had rights and the laws protected me. By the way , two illegal aliens from Mexico lied to the police to get me arrested along with the slumlord.,so They then locked me out of my apartment for good, I had to hire people to inside and remove items, many were stolen or lost, I was put on a severe probation for 14 months while I awaited my day in court, my public defender was shit and lost the case and kept trying to get me to plead giulty. The police report was a lie and the cop was a friend of the landlords, At my trial the old judge told the jury to not spend any time on my case because it was a nice day outside., I lost and spent another year on probation. That is what happens to real Americans. I despise WOrdpress for refusing to put any political blogs on their home page unless it is superliberal .for you it was a pubicity stunt for me it ruinined my health. The night I was arrested i began vomiting in the jail from extreme panic, I endned up with a disorder of violent vominting that I still have a probme wiht and I went on a major drug called serquol which only made me gain wieight and kept me in a stupor. this occupy wallstreet isnt going to change the pwoiwer structures because no one gives a crap
    I was thrown in jail for two days, I wasnt even given a place to sleep,. they told me I was a dangerous criminal although my only crime was to go out into my backyard to get my 16 old cat , who was blind and who died while I was in jail.
    They all lied because I said I was going to report the slumlord for substandard housing to the County ,

  66. I am sorry that they did this, because they are wrong, My job revolves around the The First Amendment and seeing it trampled makes me more worried each and everyday because when is this going to stop.

    And for the people who are saying that we don’t live in a police state, think about this, there is states that have a law that they can legally enter your home, no matter what, no warrant, no cause, and they can search it, and arrest you if they find anything illegal, now tell me if something isn’t wrong about that.

  67. Pingback: Un-American and whatever else you want to say. « Just a little place~

  68. Here in Toronto on Bay street (our Wall street equivalent) security has tightened up like crazy. For every 1 security guard there are now 3, and the banks entrances have been reduced to only a couple. They are afraid something is a comin’.

    Crazy times.

  69. I would say that 100 protesters on a sidewalk would be blocking that sidewalk to pedestrian access. This woman seems more concerned with making herself look good to a bunch of thugs (who defecate on police cars, sell cocaine, and sexually assault teenagers) than obeying a permit. Not to mention having the support of the American Nazi Party, which supported the extermination of millions of Jews in the Holocaust.

    And for all of you making out the police force to be oppressive, that’s a lie. Move to China and try to protest over there: you won’t ever be heard from again.

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/10/24/pair-living-with-occupy-boston-protesters-arrested-for-selling-heroin/

    http://phoebe53.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/14-year-old-possibly-sexually-assaulted-at-occupy-dallas/

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/17/red-white-and-angry%E2%80%A8-communist-nazi-parties-endorse-occupy-protests/

  70. You hadn’t seen the permit and didn’t tell us what you were charged with. You’re just another leftist trying to spin a situation in their favor.

  71. Too bad the OWS movement is such a ridiculous thing populated mostly with useful idiots. Growing like amoebas it might be trying to do, but without a brain, without “evolution”, it will never amount to much of anything, even if some diehards manage to stay in various parks through the winter.

    A hodge-podge of hard-core leftists, communists, socialists, pot-heads, anarchists and hippie wannabees, you cannot even see that while you flounder around trying to create an organization, you’re really replicating in minature the very society you decry. Zombie over at Pajamas Media walked through Occupy Oakland before they were booted out and what he alone recorded shows the utter depravity of lefist thought.

    There’s always two or more sides to a story, and while the police no doubt use shady tactics, when a story comes out of the mouth of a leftist, I immediately take it with a very huge grain of salt. The funny thing is, many of the people who’re protesting would like to have a form of government which would be far less agreable towards you than the police you encountered were at the event or at the precinct.

  72. You OccuTards are the laughing stock of America. It only takes reading your demands to understand what absolute dumb asses you people really are. Here’s an idea…How about occupying a life! Like Lenin said…You people are just a bunch of “useful idiots.” You are being manipulated by communist scum and are too damned stupid to understand that.

  73. don t stop at all my love don t i am with you ll the time

    my nime is faissal and they call me colaip
    I live in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh and now we feel sad because we lost the Crown Prince Sultan, Minister of Defense and was buried yesterday night and died in York, but our hearts with you
    i hop we can talk don t stop at all

  74. Thank you for writing an articulate synopsis of your experience in NYC. I have appreciated your voice and courage for years. Thank you too for your courageous support of democracy and peaceful assembly as well as your tactful confrontation of the misuse of public funds to support force rather than voice and the greed of some over the need of many.

    Peace to you, peace to us all.

  75. “several expressed sympathy for the movements’ aims.”
    Can someone please inform me what these aims are? The media here doesn’t cover these demonstrations.

    We have also entered a stage of the closing of Norway & the closing of Europe: they are now implementing laws that will give the governments right to register which websites you visit, when & where you use your cellphone, who you call/sms & where you are when you call/sms.
    This law will not apply to criminals, but to every citizen of the European Union. Some countries refuse to implement this law (Germany is one of them – they still remember both nazism & communism), but unfortunately the Norwegians doesn’t have the balls needed to protect their own country & their own citizens.

    “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strenght”.
    – George orwell 1984

  76. Pingback: How I Was Arrested at Occupy Wall Street | Occupy Cyberspace – American Autumn « Soul Needs: personal development on your life-journey

  77. How can the human law even be applauded? We need to question the human law and how perfect it is. If only the law of Allaah was obeyed, such situations would not have to be recorded.

  78. It seems that in the States you know the meaing of ‘peaceful protest’. It’s unfortunate that here in the the UK there’s a rogue element that always seems to crash these protests with the intent to cause violence. You can tell who they are because they’re the ones covering their faces and getting ready to start antagonising the police. People should have the right to protest but I believe in a free society if you are willing to protest then you should show your face and be counted, not cower behind a mask. It’s easy to dismiss protesters as terrorists or thugs if they keep their identity covered and makes the protest a much more difficult proposition for the government to ignore if people are openly showing they are not afraid of them.

  79. I won’t say that I support the ‘Occupy’ movement entirely. I’m glad that people are beginning at last to cast off the apathy and ennui which have so long blanketed this nation, but I’m among those who would suggest occupying DC rather than Wall St, and I propose that capitalism and free markets are once again taking the heat for problems caused by corporatism in our government. My support is guaranteed gone when people start talking about rejecting capitalism, or imposing (greater) centralized economic planning. Ask the Chinese how that worked out for them. And no, they haven’t been communist since Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Southern Tour’. People say ‘Communist China’ when they mean ‘Authoritarian China’. Are certain elements of socialism a good thing? Of course. I love my local public library. I’m glad we have a safety net for the poor, although I would agree with the sentiment that our welfare state is in dire need of reform, and I appreciate the trustworthy public postal service. But our economy is capitalist, and that’s a great thing. You will never defeat greed. Even the 99% go to their jobs out of self interest. I certainly never waited tables because I found it fulfilling or cared that much for my customers. I wanted the paycheck, and I made my service the best I could because I wanted tips. Capitalism takes greed and makes it a force for good. It works with the human condition rather than trying to deny it.

    Having said that, the way police have been handling this movement has been in many instances abominable, and it is only one example in a long history of the erosion of our rights as citizens. As people here have pointed out, there is some controversy as to whether or not your actions were grounds for arrest. I don’t know anything about NYC law, but even if the protesters were legally removed from that sidewalk it strikes me as a strange precedent. What is the point of protesting if you’re not in the face of those you wish to address? What’s the point of protesting if you’re not at least somewhat disruptive? Not that protests have accomplished much since the civil rights movement anyway… Protests are too easy to ignore. Civil disobedience, now there’s the rub. Go Ghandi on those suckers. Anyway, as I’m sure you realize now and did at the time, you’ve done well to be arrested and later spread the word. Your non-violence has served to bring attention to your cause, and cast the police in a poor light. If you find that they indeed had no grounds to arrest you, I hope you will file suit with the appropriate court.

  80. I have been following the wall street demonstrations from India,I must truly say that it is remarkable what people are doing there. In India too the anti-corruption movement is made news and attracting thousands of people.

    Keep on posted about the good work….. :)

  81. The real reason they don’t want to abandon Afghanistan is, because of the Exxon Mobile’s pipeline pumping oil from Afghanistan. George Bush Jr. brags he went to Iraq for the oil, to show off to his affluent friends. So instead of half the national deficit, we have it double, they want to build permanent bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, so big oil, and the Republican’s can get rich. So why do they want to make Afghanistan a permanent duty station so they can protect the interest’s of big oil and the pipeline, before they started drilling and pumping oil out of Afghanistan, the country was considered the largest untapped oil resource in the world. They don’t talk much about the pipeline now because the Billionaire’s and corporations have silence everyone. I don’t vote and support neither party. George Bush Jr and the Republican party wanted to control the oil infrastructure of Iraq, and Afghanistan to enrich themselves, Billions traded for the corporations, while America accumulated Trillions in national debt, not such a good trade off, but it was for 1% of the population. The people of Afghanistan live simple lives as farmers and ranchers, living off of mountain goats, and sheep’s, and simple crops, too stupid to realize what they have an abundant source of natural resources that they do not benefit from, while Hamid Karzai hordes over 100 Billion in secret accounts for himself. The people of Afghanistan use horses and donkeys, and pick up trucks, as their main weapons, while military contractor’s keep building new weapon system’s for themselves and get richer, America goes down hill in debt. China owns 11% of the national debt, and Japan owns 10% and they are over 200% over GDP in national debt. So who owns most of the national debt Private Security Firms profiting off the national debt of the U.S.

  82. What a amazing story, more so because it is true. You are brave, articulate, know your rights, and willing to stand up to those in ‘authority’ who are blocking what is essentially a peaceful demonstration. You are also famous and have ready access to media outlets. If they are treating Naomi Wolf like that, God help the average person. It’s truly a crazy situation when the protesters on the street, who have lost their jobs, houses, retirement funds etc, are treated like criminals while the real criminals, the big vested interests who buy political decisions in their favour, continue to rake in the millions and billions. The Occupy Wall Street movement symbolises an ever-increasing disenchantment with capitalism, corruption and greed worldwide. A great change has occurred, and more is needed. It’s time to steer this world in a better, healthier direction.

  83. Hmmm, they took you to central booking?
    As a black Swiss person who got arrested in NYC on total BS I wonder if now you can perhaps empathize better w black folks… we get put in cuffs, prison [smtms on deathrow] for literally nothing.

  84. Well written and effectively demonstrates the problem we are faced with. The police officers are not aware of the actual laws and are becoming the unwitting body guards and bullies for the very people destroying our country. A campaign on the basic principles of our constitution in an easily understood format would eliminate the questions, lies and subsequent misapplication of justice which makes all men vulnerable and creates a dangerous environment. The truth known by enough citizens will prevent the citizens from allowing this behavior and will empower those honest, decent and courageous police officers to refuse to be manipulated into attacking the victims instead of the perpetrators.

  85. If a police officer orders a crowd to disperse, it doesn’t matter how many permits you have, you must comply. You can always take up the issue with their superior later. But frankly, I’m just fine with a HuffPo writer being arrested. ;-) I don’t think you appreciate how lucky you are to be in America. In South America, in Russia, in China, and of course in any Muslim country, you would have been beaten, tear-gassed, and otherwise brutalized, if not killed outright. So be glad you have the privilege to whine publicly about awful America is, and not get a cracked skull for your trouble.

  86. This is why I rejected the opportunity to study in the United States. I knew that eventually, it would turn into a police state.

    Lying about laws and permits – just how far will the U.S. government and large corporations go? The country is already a fake democracy, with entangled “disclaimers” that prevent U.S. citizens from truly getting what they want and deserve.

    Sooner or later, it might turn into another Nazi Germany or North Korea, with one exception – it’ll have “democracy and freedom” pasted onto it’s face, deceiving others from it’s “true form”. How many people can say today that it is a true and blue democratic country compared to, say, Sweden or Finland?

    Few, I believe. Oh America, how you have fallen.

    PS: For those who criticize the “permit” thing, notice that the author said that she told the protesters that as long as they didn’t obstruct anything (ex: streets, people), then they were free to protest on the sidewalk. Notice the “fine print”: As long as their activity doesn’t obstruct anybody or anything, they don’t NEED a permit to protest.

    Will share this, and I’m sorry that you had to go through that (slightly) traumatic experience.

  87. I haven’t been able to understand this whole process. Probably because I work for a living and don’t have time to camp on a sidewalk……..Some suggestions for those with time on the hands. Get a job that matters….join a church that serves….help build a house, cloth the naked, feed the poor, visit the sick. IF…you want to make a difference, serve your community!

  88. I’m starting to understand the Guy Fawkes masks I keep seeing, this is very V for Vendetta, good job standing up for your rights and the rights of others, I’m honestly impressed. I like you will do whatever necessary to make sure these protesters get their support.

    THIS BLOG IS BEING OCCUPIED::
    http://www.cityarbiter.wordpress.com

  89. “..first they come for the “other” – the “terrorist”, the brown person, the Muslim, the outsider; then they come for you – while you are standing on a sidewalk in evening dress, obeying the law.”

    Yep. Thank you VERY much for sharing your experience! And this is only the beginning. Freedom of speech is dying away, the freedom of choice in regard to religion will very soon be withdrawn, and we’re all just counting down the days until martial law is put into effect to control the people and supervise the food riots.

    Atleast, that’s what all the conspiracy theorists predict.. sometimes, they’re right.

    Aun Aqui

  90. It’s good to see people like you standing up for what you believe in and for what you know is right. Perhaps if more people was aware of there rights and stood by them our society would be more balanced. Together we stand.

    Keep up the good work, education is key.

    ~YNE

  91. “I approached him peacefully, slowly, gently and respectfully and…”

    You must have taken a writing class from Stephenie Meyer.

    The smug look on your face in just about every second of that video makes it really difficult to trust you, lady.

  92. Thanks for sharing your experience; it’s something that really should never have occurred. This post was both thought-provoking and worrying. I hope people wake up soon and realize what’s going on. Congratulations on being freshly pressed, I believe it was very well-deserved.

  93. “That is how a democracy works, right? The people have the right to address their representatives.”

    That’s certainly how it’s always sold to us. Probably just a glitch in the system. ;)

    But seriously I think anything which helps to start a discussion and tear people’s attention away from X-factor and onto important issues is a good thing. However the danger is that protesting in this way (in the manner of the Occupy movement generally) also serves to validate and reinforce the master/ slave relationship in everybody’s minds (the police, the protesters, those in government, those watching on TV……)

    The political and financial elite WANT people to protest and demand a fairer tax system or banking reforms or whatever. By giving in to these (supposed) public demands they can in turn validate and reinforce the same fundamentally corrupt and enslaving banking system and power structure (just with a few minor tweaks).

    In this way we are being steered into demanding a fairer distribution of crumbs from the master’s table…… rather than than demanding and end to slavery full stop ….. or better yet, simply outgrowing the slave mentality and abandoning our slave masters to create our own society for ourselves.

    By allowing themselves to be manipulated in the ‘Hegelian Dialectic’ manner (also know as ‘Problem – Reaction – Solution’) the protests are in danger of actually HELPING the political/ banking elite further their agendas of increased centralisation and power and decision making, which will only make matters worse for us all. Already we see everyone from Soros to the Pope cheering the Occupy movement and calling for a Global Bank and Global Governance (AKA a New World Order) as a solution to this problem. Mikhail Gorbachev has been saying the Occupy Wall Street signals an emerging New World Order. We surely DO need a New WOrld Order but NOT one created by the political banking elite who only know how to steal, cheat, deceive, destroy, pillage, rape, start wars, destroy the planet and generally abuse, exploit and enslave humanity. These people are human livestock farmers!!!!! And their ‘solutions’ will only created (for them) a more efficient and more intensive human farm. A world bank, world government, world army, cashless (RFID microchipped) population etc would literally spell the end of free humanity. If we allow their agenda to proceed we WILL be sealing our fate and that of all future generations to live as animals. (just sayin…..)

    We are ruled not through police, or laws or guns or even tanks on the street … but through our minds. ‘Government’ = govern (control) + ment (mind). Most of the protestors in Occupy movement know there is something desperately wrong, they know there needs to be change and yet don’t even know what money is or how it is created. This lack of awareness is staggering!

    I wonder how many reading this know what money actually is or how it is created?!!

    Rather than protest in big cities and clashing with the police, people would do far better by informing themselves about what money in and how banking works and helping to inform others. If the public was informed then political people would not be able to get away with talking economic gibberish as an excuse to pass more insanely unfair laws which only serve the elite. Why do people think we are never taught what money is or how it is created in schools?! They don’t want us to know how we are being scammed and enslaved, that’s why! The same reason why we are not taught about psychology, propaganda, spin and ‘debating’ tricks. If we were we’d be less easy to manipulate though our minds, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.

    Three videos to help raise awareness about the Occupy movement.

    Occupy Wall Street Protesters: Break The Matrix!

    Essential Knowledge For A Wall Street Protestor

    Michel Chossudovsky On OWS Movement

  94. As the wise Mr. Carlin once said, there’s not such thing as “rights”. All we really have are a set of privileges.

  95. The greatest martyr who ever lived with the greatest cause to ever consider is basically ignored by the least of the world, and those who seriously speak the words he had spoken are laughed at and ridiculed constantly. He specifically came to give his life for others knowing that he would suffer and die for those who hated Him; these would unjustly see that he suffer a tremendously violent death.
    History documents his life as one who loved everyone, went out of his way to work miracles in their lives and never did a wrong to a single soul. Yet He was not only falsely accused by the systems of government and those who were in charge, but was abused, mocked, spit upon, and then slowly tortured in its cruelest form to the point of pain and death. Afterwards they still continued to assault him and insult his character by denying, and even lying about the great things he had done and what he had predicted before his death that he would still accomplish. Without a cause was the malice continued, even after he had laid down his life to show his greatest concern for others, and to bring the opportunity for justice to those who suffered…. and what was his greatest crime? He died for one great cause, and that was love. For he showed true love by putting others unselfishly before himself with a pure motive of helping, caring, love in not only words but actions. Not as a means to satisfy a calculated gain as the world is always seeking to do, for it lie’s embedded in the heart of all humans. The world is full of lies, liars, selfishness, hatred, greed and many other types of pure evil, for the hearts of all people born of earthly parents suffer from this incurable condition. It is impossible to recover without calling upon someone who understands the roots and can help bring them out of the dark pit of hopelessness and bondage that they suffer in and from.
    Christ came to occupy the earth with the truth, the living truth of a loving God who offers light in the darkness and freedom to those enslaved by their past and present condition they inwardly hate about themselves but know of no place to truly find a lasting help and hope. There are many who may easily dismiss those who “claim” to be Christians because they knew, or know someone who basically displayed a hypocritical life but yet tried to deceive others in showing their un-Christ likeness. It is worse for one to know the truth of God (as you now know) than for one to have never known it at all. For whom much is given, much is also required. In other words the more one knows of a circumstance the greater the accountability for the one who is given the knowledge. Choose whom you will serve today. As Dylan sang “You gotta serve somebody” or a favorite from Rush “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice” Bottom line. ..”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son (Jesus the Christ) that whosoever believes (continually) in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (with him in Heaven). John 3:16

  96. Throughout history, any time 1% of the population of a society owns the vast majority of the wealth there will be political, social and economic instability. We have learned nothing from history. I just had my 65th birthday. I am a Vietnam War veteran. I grew up with the social unrest of the 60s; but I find that the older I get the more radical I get. And I just want to be a peaceful old man. Thank God for Occupy Wall Street and all the other occupy movements in the US.

  97. Naomi – I’m really sorry you’ve had to put up with some of the HATE and VITRIOL here… keep on with your authentic self – a lot of people don’t know what it means to be “authentic” – instead, they want to mud sling and throw ef bombs and vitriol. And for those of you who need an education of why OWS exists, here is a “Dummies Explanation…” http://occupycyberspace.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/occupy-wall-street-explained-for-dummies-like-me-lol/

  98. The police do have a legitimate role to play at protests. While protests are intended to draw attention and often aim to do so by creating a disruption of the normal course of events, a state of protest does not grant protestors a carte blanche right to interfere with the legitimate rights of others. As such, the police have a legitimate right to prevent protestors from violating the rights of others and this can correctly involve the use of force. Obviously, if it is argued that protestors have a right to protests, this would entail accepting that people have rights and intuitively the right to protest does not automatically trump other rights-especially the core rights of life, liberty and property. Those who claim otherwise would seem to have the burden of proof upon them.

    While protestors do not gain a carte blanche right to violate the rights of others, peaceful protest is a legitimate form of expression and is certainly a form of free speech (far more so than spending money on political campaigns). As such, the right of protest should be respected by the police. Especially since key aspects of protest (like freedom of speech and assembly) are explicit legal rights.

    The police do have the right to use the force needed to enforce the law. Force beyond that would cross over into assault and beyond (after all, once they cross the boundary of legitimate force, they have ceased to enforce the law and are engaged in needless violence and may rightfully be regarded as criminals-albeit with badges). Also when the police act in ways that violate the law, they are engaged in illegal activity (by definition). The fact that the perpetrator is wearing a uniform does not change this-except to make it an even worse action-a crime committed by someone who is supposed to prevent crime.

  99. If you hadn’t been attending the Huffington Post “Game Changer” event that actually awarded Kim Kardashian a Game Changer award in business, I could take you seriously.

  100. As a political scientist who has spent my career studying the functioning of both democracy and dictatorship and as a citizen who has actually read Solzhenitsyn’s brilliant Gulag Archipelago, his expose of how communist dictatorship grew out of the 1917 Russian Revolution, I find Ms Wolfe’s story both shocking and incredibly important. Every American needs to read her account very carefully. This little story about how police manipulate and abuse American citizens to obstruct democratic action illustrates what it means when political scientists talk about “abuse of power” and rule “of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite.” At a high level, zero-sum domestic policy (e.g., rule for elite benefit at the expense of the people) encourages zero-sum foreign policy (e.g., empire-building) and vice versa [see http://shadowedforest.blogspot.com/2011/10/as-tempting-as-it-may-be-to-conceive-of.html for theoretical discussion]. When it is said that al Qua’ida is defeating the U.S., this is what that statement means – al Qua’ida is causing the U.S. to give up its values.

    The demonstrators risking their health to exercise their civil rights by defending democracy on Wall St. are fighting for all of us.
    William deB. Mills

  101. A very well-written article. Incidentally, are you still being charged with something or were you simply let go after “disturbing the peace?” I know that the NYPD must be allowed to do their jobs, and it is good that they are there to at least prevent the protests from being a riot (which ANY protest has the possibility of seguing into) but if you truly weren’t breaking any law, than that is simply ridiculous that they arrested you.

  102. Naomi, I am sorry you were arrested. I have been watching the events on the news. I stand amazed that our rights are being taken away and most people just stand by and watch it happen. The fact of the matter is that we are Americans and this is our Country. We have a right to vote, we have a right to stand on public streets and voice our opinions. I watched a reporter for a New Mexico Newspaper being asked to leave city property (He was standing in front of the city municipal building doing a story on some event that had happened) because the city employees did not want him standing there. He promptly told them it was public property and that he could do any story he wanted while standing on the public property. The city employees informed him that it wasn’t city property and that it belonged to the city… Looks like the cities, counties and federal government are owned by someone other than the public.

  103. with absolute power localized in the Free World, it’s timely to ask: did the worst tenets of Communism beat Capitalism at its own game? this week I grabbed the “Totalitarianism” Wikipedia entry and substituted “corporate” and other words to illustrate how far down the dark path the Evil Empire has strayed. check it out and see if you agree (or disagree) http://christopherdelatorre.com/2011/10/25/totalitarianism-come-home/

    Naomi Wolf first opened my eyes with her book The End of America. I had the good fortune of meeting her in NYC several years ago; a brilliant woman with intellectualism, altruism and compassion at her very core; a model citizen and a first-rate author, and one of my heroes. keep the momentum, all!!

  104. What is really sad- although she says the cops who arrested her were sympathetic that sympathy means nothing if they dont start to stand up for the liberty and Justice they claim to represent- to protect and SERVE, not Obey and Follow

  105. The only effective way to protest wall street and the banking industry is to live debt free. Instead of protesting it should actually be a boycott. Stop using the products these companies are selling. My family is doing so by simply working hard, living within our means, and paying off all our debt.

    Yelling and screaming in front of a big building the executives own doesn’t do any good if you keep using the products they sell.

    Stop opening in-store credit cards and maxing them out. Stop buying luxury items like TV’s, iPads, and the like on credit. If you don’t use their products, they have to change.

    If you want real change, change how you live, then consider protesting. If you have any Credit Card Debt or Loans, you are in their pocket. The borrower is the slave to the lender. Until Americans understand that, this will never change.

    • Lol TC how true, how true. Mass consumers who claim to hate mass consumption. You make far to much sense however to be listened to by the individuals supporting our host. The whole thing is an exercise in bad logic. There can be no true debate, because the basis of their argument is built on a false foundation, that socialism is a more successful form of government than capitalism.
      Lol asking Americans to stop living beyond their means lol

    • One must distinguish between frivolous debt (Ooh, a NEW X-CubeStation in pink!) and nonfrivolous. I know several people with a pile of credit card debt because the two or three jobs they work pay so little that they find themselves saying, “Well, that’s the rent and utilities paid, leaving…. $40 for two weeks of food.” Credit card debt or starvation? It’s a tricky choice.

    • I had 2 credit cards, one had a $5K limit which due to an emergency (hot water heater exploded and flooded the house) was maxed out and an $8K card that only had around $1,500 on it… I recently paid the last payment on both (yes I was living mostly on toasties and 2min noodles). Less than a week later I received a letter from each of the banks thanking me for being such a valued customer and offering to (in each case) double the limit on my card. I promptly cut up the $8K card! I only the other because it is a VISA and we are going overseas in 4wks and really don’t want to get stuck (AKA it stays in the hotel safe with the passports incase someone steals all our cash :D).

  106. Pingback: Polícia de Nova Iorque proíbe manifestantes de usar megafone. Escritora protesta contra medida e é presa | Blog do Artur Henrique

  107. This post gave me goosebumps. This country is on a very slippery slope. We all support the cause and I hope there are no legal ramifications for you in all this. Keep the faith.

  108. Sometimes these days I do not know whether to laugh or cry at the world around me, generally I try for a grim chuckle and a head shake at the stupidity of some of the things my government do.
    I live in Australia and honestly it’s not that much better that what you all are describing! Recently a friend of mine who lives in South Australia and her partner went to a peaceful picnic rally where same-sex couples enjoyed picnics and each others company and then a fake minister performed symbolic marriage ceremonies. This was done to promote their desire to legalise same-sex marriages in SA, they then walked to the town hall, on the way they met a radical faction of Christian extremists who physically attacked them and the police were called, several of the Christian protesters were arrested. Guess what every paper and news channel (excepting one) reported that night? “Riots break out at gay marriage protest” there were no mentions of an extremist group gatecrashing and doing the rioting at all!
    A guy I know works for customs, I asked him why I always appear to get “random” bomb tested whenever I go to the airport, he told me it is because I look nonthreatening – like I wouldn’t make a scene. He also said they are discouraged from “randomly” selecting people who look like they might be Muslim! I can’t figure out which is more offensive… not choosing people because they look Muslim? or choosing me because I am white and look meek?
    Meanwhile you can no longer take cardboard emery boards on flights because they are considered dangerous… WHAT?! In what universe? What can I do with a cardboard emery board? File someone’s nails to death? Death by one thousand paper cuts?
    Also some wont let you take your own bottled water on flights because it might not be water… you would think they could figure out if it was an accelerant by smelling it? This means we have to BUY water and because it’s not like you can buy it anywhere else up there $7 a bottle thanks… awesome! Oh look what a cute miniscule bottle!

  109. Thank you Naomi. I’m sorry you had to spend the night in jail. Amazing that on the same streets as ground zero they are now arresting people for lawfully speaking out. We all need to wake up.

  110. Whether or not you agree with the aims of the protestors, they have the right to protest and seek redress from their government. The story as told is chilling and the police’s behavior is unacceptable. I hope that all people who are illegally arrested demand a jury trial.

  111. Nice post. We need more people to highlight the positive and powerful changes that this movement is causing within the hearts and minds of all who are open to receive them. The General Assembly and Human Microphone are wonderful creations. namaste

    “Begin within, and you won’t go without” – moose logic

  112. Wow, that is really scary to think about. I am glad that the police handled you and your partner with courtesy. However, you are right to point out the much larger issue of authority exercising power where in an unlawful manner. A very sticky business this.

    I have been trying to rally resources and information about Occupy Wall Street in Japan. If you have any resources that you have and are willing to share about Occupy Tokyo (or any other such movement in Japan), I would be happy to share them on my blog as well.

  113. Naomi, while I don’t completely agree with the reasoning behind most of the occupy movements, I’m with you on the idea that government is overstepping when it comes to allowing the people to assemble and requiring permits for so much. The red-taping of America, which goes back father than either of us. I’m proud of the way you handled yourself. Good luck to you.

  114. I don’t get it when armchair pundits say “it is the government” . WE are the government. It is the police – your neighbors, your gym buddy or guy at the bar who use brutal tactics on First Amendment Peaceful demonstrations. Your local tax dollars pay the police- so use your first amendment backed peaceful voice at a city council meeting and say this is not ok. If that doesn’t work organize to vote them out— and then simply don’t support the corporations with your $’s who then use your dollars to take away your rights, your health care and your right to free speech. Its not the government — it all who support corporate lobbyists by buying their products. Stop buying their stuff. Cut their income stream that you support with your dollars.
    This is a no brainer!

  115. Pingback: The Desert Lamp » Campus » Occupying the Rule of Law: Why Occupy Tucson is Both Right and Wrong

  116. Better late than never, but i just found your post and I am glad for that. Sadly, I quit reading the reactions/comments because what we are going through today is a very serious issue that only a few people: the truly educated. bright and command of common sense can understand. Perhaps only a few can see that this is the beginning of a long process, unless the shield of Patriot Act halts it. Sorry, lost my pace for a sec but I meant to say, it is so sad to see everyday, everywhere this vitriolic attitude and acting – that doesn’t truly represent what the USA is about and undermines the faith and trust of the international community. And it makes me sick because I remember old times here, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and France where I lived repression and no freedom because democracy became an instrument of power and will of a few, the ones in power and affluence. I only hope we don’t end there if we fall in the hands of the wrong upcoming government this coming election. I hope this great post, story and writing make people reflect that we are talking about the future and well being of a nation that supposedly is leading the world and is compromising the future of our children. Thank you for this great post!

  117. Patriot Act – oiy, President Obama has taken more money from Wall Street than the entire Republican field, and don’t listen to his speeches watch his actions – extended the Bush tax cuts! Some progressive. Senator Schumer takes millions from Goldman-Sachs but also claims to care for Harlem and upstate New York (metaphor). He even defends Wall Street bonuses! This is our party of the people, so what can you expect from the corporate party? In fact we have no politics, we have nice theatre, and oligarchy. We haven’t had a liberal since Nixon – how ironic is that?

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  121. Naomi, it is a very brave thing that you’ve done to stand up for your rights. In this day and age, few Americans have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. Since the idea of the Patriot Act was first pushed through Congress in 2001, I’ve believed we were on a downward spiral into big brother America and in 20 years, we’ll all be corporate slaves. Thank you for having the guts to stand up for what you believe.

  122. Naomi, I caught you on NOW with Alex. You weren’t in an orange jumpsuit so hopefully this incident was resolved. Do you have any plans to return to Spokane’s Get Lit. I wasn’t able to make it the last time you were here but I heard rave reviews.

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