Just as Occupy Wall Street was getting some very positive reports in the media over their "sleepful protests," and the relationships being built within the community...anarchy. To what end? To make the residents of NYC fearful of protesters in general? To put an end to the good pr? To give the NYPD even less reason to treat Occupy protesters like human beings, so they can care even less how badly the next one their baton encounters is beaten?
Please already, enough with the "favors."
The heat must be getting to a few peoples' heads. At around 9pm last night, a loose pack of around 50 to 60 protestors took to the streets, looting and vandalizing storefronts and property in the East Village. Their targets: the windows of the Starbucks on Astor and the newly opened 7/11 on St. Mark's.
Glass bottles were thrown at the sites while chants of 'NYPD! Go to hell!' rang out through the night. As the group headed back towards Alphabet City, the night culminated in the closing of Tompkins Square Park, where the group supposedly was congregating.
An hour later, at an after party for the Anarchist Book Fair at the Sixth Street Community Center, two attendees, who apparently had a little too much fun, were arrested for throwing bottles off the Community Center's roof. It has been reported that the events were unrelated but this still led the NYPD - a force of about 30 officers - to close East Sixth Street between Avenue B and C.
Using a tactic known as a 'black bloc,' the cavalcade that ran through the East Village dressed in all-black gear as a way to conceal their identity, promote solidarity and hide in the throngs of Saturday night party-goers if need be. This could explain why there were no reports of any of them getting caught.
A short while later, arrest reports rolled in.
NYDailyNews reports frightened customers taking cover underneath tables at Starbucks as windows were beaten with pipes and bats. Two NYPD officers were injured when they were attacked with pipes:
Nicholas Thommen, 30, and Eric Marchese, 24, were arrested outside Starbucks, and Occupy Wall St. attorney Alexander Penley, 41, was arrested later outside an E. Sixth St. community center, where clashes with police continued.
Penley, 41, of West End Avenue, and Thommen, 30, of Salem, Ore., were both charged with second-degree assault, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, resisting arrest, inciting to riot, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, police said.
Marchese, 24, of Brentwood, L.I., was charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
The three were part of a group of 25 people - some of them masked - carrying 8-feet-long galvanized metal pipes, using them to vandalize commercial properties, cops said.
The group carried on and marched against traffic into the streets near Washington Square Park after leaving the Fifth Annual New York City Anarchist Book Fair at Judson Church on Washington Square South, police said. They began chanting “F--- the NYPD”, “All pigs must die,” and “Cops are murderers’, officials said.
A larger group of around 150 people spray painted anarchist symbols on commercial property and tossed garbage cans while throwing pipes and bottles at responding officers, according to police.
Penley is an often quoted by the media member of Occupy Wall Street, so a reminder -- the movement is open to anyone, and in general this is not a bad thing.
An organizer for the Anarchist Book Fair stated that the group did not have anything to do with the evening's madness and mayhem.
Stay tuned as I'll keep you posted on any official reports of Sunday nights damage totals, or any official statement from Occupy Wall Street.