29th STREET AND EIGHTH AVENUE–I have just returned from the scene of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign rally. Reports of pepper spray are unconfirmed and there was zero evidence of tear gas or tasers.
According to several witnesses, around 8 p.m., as the march reached the designated rally spot, police dragged metal barricades across this intersection, cutting off perhaps the last 300 people marchers from the rally site. Plainclothes cops on scooters divided the crowd by physically pushing people back, in the same manner that horses were used on February 15, a tactic that was ended by court order. One observer described the plainclothes cops on scooters as “goons” and another reported being punched in the chest by one of them as he attempted to protect a woman from being hit.
Amid cries of “let them through,” some people rushed the barricades, were picked off, thrown to the ground and arrested. Paul, 18, was knocked down on top of a barricade with several people thrown on top of him. It is hard to tell but it seems that fewer than five people were arrested in all. The rally continues with about 75 hardy souls south of the convention center.