BRYANT PARK, 6:30 P.M.–Minutes after the library scuffle had died down, an officer arrived with a giant roll of orange netting, which he proceeded to unroll at a run down 42nd Sreet. Most of us out there, media and protesters alike, knew what that meant and we yelled to passersby to get on the outside of the net.
Cameramen chased the officers as they unrolled that net and a second one to enclose the entire side of the block to Sixth Avenue. I leapt up into Bryant Park to get away. An overwhelming number of officers were holding the line and keeping people out of the ivy, but they had already found their quarry. They arrested around a dozen young activists I have seen many times this weekend, including several volunteer medics. One, Amelia, I had met when she was offering medical care to people being released from 100 Centre Street.
The people arrested might have been practicing civil disobedience, or they might have just been slow to obey the order to move. In any case, as they were being led to an unmarked maroon police van, six or so other young activists rushed out in front of it, arms linked, singing. They sat down in front of the van in the middle of the eastbound lane of traffic and were quickly arrested, two forced down to the ground. One rather heavy young man hit the ground hard. The other was feet away from me as I knelt in front of a truck to get a photograph. He managed to tell me his name so I could tell the National Lawyers Guild.
I knew I had to get going; there would be many more confrontations in Herald Square.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 2004