A small group of protesters had put up what police were calling a "structure," which consisted of a dozen or so unfurled cardboard boxes, draped over a banner hung between two trees. This provided occasion for the New York Police Department’s own tone-setting action. The NYPD’s message: prepare for a violent spring.
It's quite possible that, had the police let the protesters hang out in the park, the numbers would have dwindled down to a few dozen by 1 a.m., and the park would have been easy to maintain. Instead, the decision was made (although no officer would tell me by whom) to deploy hundreds of police to empty the park.
Detective Rick Lee remarked just before the deployment, "Unfortunately, it’s probably going to get pretty ugly in a few minutes." Either the NYPD was breathtakingly incompetent at de-escalation on Saturday night, or it was impressively competent at escalation.
Read More | Re-Occupation and Police Raid of Zuccotti Park Set Tone For Radical Spring | J.A. Myerson | Truthout