100 CENTRE STREET, 7 P.M.–Alexander Dunlop, 30, had no plans to protest the RNC this weekend. “I was supposed to be on a plane to Reno at 6 a.m.,” he said, to join friends at Burning Man.
Instead, he spent the night in a dirt-floored holding pen at Pier 57.
Dunlop, a writer who holds a master’s degree in theology, left his home at 8th Street and Avenue C last night about 8:45 to get dinner at Sushi Garden, a restaurant on East 9th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. He traveled by bike. At 9th and 2nd he encountered the scene of mass arrests of Critical Mass riders. “Basically I was rubbernecking. I got up close and asked people what was happening and nobody seemed to know. The next thing I knew I was behind a police barricade and they said you can exit this way or you’ll be arrested.”
Dunlop moved in the direction indicated, but was placed under arrest. “I saw the police officer who had given the order and I said, ‘I thought you told me I could exit this way.’ He said, ‘We just told you that so we could get you up here to arrest you,’ ” Dunlop said.
Like many of the people arrested last night, Dunlop was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, with an additional charge of resisting arrest. He was offered a plea of disorderly conduct with time served, but refused and entered a plea of not guilty, vowing to fight all charges in court. “I’m not going to let the state win. I’m not going to let them bash me over the head,” he says.