Mea Culpa

In a post entitled Notes on the March to the NYSE, Nov. 17, I wrote that the police “did a better job of controlling and dispersing the crowd when it was time.” In comparison to Sept. 24 that may be true. But the way the police treated protestors on Nov. 17 was not okay, which is what my article implied.

I was wrong. I missed it. From reports I’ve read in the NYTimes, N+1 and other outlets, the police were indeed brutal and a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) was used to incapacitate protestors at Beaver Street. I was perched on a garbage can in front of Delmonico’s at William and Beaver. The real action (read: brutality) occurred earlier in the day behind Delmonico’s at Broad and William.

The science of predicting and positioning yourself to be where the action is, while avoiding arrest yourself, is a combination of luck and intuition. The presumption that because you were there you saw everything and can generalize is an error in judgment and for that I apologize.

I missed the LRAD and some of the more brutal beatings. My assertion that there is a symbiosis between OWS and police forces across the country still stands, but the brutality and the use of an LRAD is inexcusable and my hope is that history judges Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly as harshly as they’ve treated these peaceful protestors.


About Daniel Fitzsimmons

Staff writer for the Manhattan weeklies Our Town, Our Town Downtown and the West Side Spirit.
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