October 2, 2011 - Members of the Socialist Party of New York City were
arrested yesterday during a march over the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the
ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration. Arrestees included Billy
Wharton, co-chair of the Socialist Party USA, Lawrence Rockwood, Chair of
the Socialist Party of New York State, Kristin Schall, Chair of the
Socialist Party of New York City and SP-NYC members Nick Pelman and Nick
Daka. The group faces misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and one
felony charge for criminal riot. Court dates are set for mid-November.
The march and action on the Brooklyn Bridge were a part of the ongoing
occupation of Downtown Manhattan by the activist group Occupy Wall Street.
Socialist Party USA members have actively supported this occupation since
its inception and will continue to collaborate with all those interested
in challenging the power of the richest 1% and Wall Street.
Yesterday's event dubbed "the Battle of Brooklyn Bridge" ensued after the
New York Police Department trapped hundreds of demonstrators as they were
attempting to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Demonstrators held strong to
their protest demands that they represented the 99% of population
suffering as a result of the 2008 economic crisis.
Protestors maintained a non-violent stance while occupying the bridge even
in the face of aggressive NYPD policing.
"The media has claimed that the protestors have no demands," said Billy
Wharton, co-chair Socialist Party USA, "Socialists have demands. We want
a democratic society; we demand healthcare for all, the right to a good
job and to live in a peaceful, non-militaristic world. That's what we
were marching over the Brooklyn Bridge for."
The five arrested socialists join dozens of other Socialist Party USA
members who have participated in direct actions since the economic crisis
began in 2008. These actions have challenged anti-union legislation, have
opposed budget cuts and have called for an end to war and occupation.
Direct action produces direct results.
For more information or to request an interview please contact:
Billy Wharton at (718) 869-2279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The charges were light, though three received an extra charge. We are working with the
National Lawyers Guild to secure representation.
Here is link to a picture of SP'ers before we were arrested. Spread it around to show
that we are afraid and that we will put our bodies on the line to challenge this system.
And now at 7:00am...I am going to sleep!
The chant in jail - ALL DAY! ALL WEEK! OCCUPY WALL STREET!
Unlike Billy, I couldn't write a report back until I had slept. So here goes. I was one of the 700+ arrested yesterday on the Brooklyn Bridge. The women were all split up and sent to holding cells all over the city. Myself and 17 other women were sent to the 7th precinct. They did not have the capacity there to properly process that many people, so we didn't get food, they did get us water, and were overall as nice as can be expected by the police. We were held for about 10 hours. I met a wonderful and inspiring group of women. Besides being a little uncomfortable, the experience was inspiring and I hope this is the beginning of something much, much bigger!