Occupy Wall Street Tweets Reports of Tear Gas, Arrests (UPDATED)


In Occupy Wall Street’s eighth day, protesters claim on their Twitter account today that they have been targeted by tear gas, and at least 50 people have been arrested during their march through the city this afternoon headed toward the United Nations building [Updated per retraction from a member of Occupy Wall Street’s public relations working group, marchers were not headed to the UN, but back to Zuccotti Park.]

Member of Occupy Wall Street’s Public Relations Working Group Patrick Bruner said that he heard accounts of the tear gas from people who were monitoring the protest’s livestream and from another person who was in contact with someone “on the ground.”

“I’m working on confirming that,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’s accurate.”

That said, he added that he hasn’t been able to get a first-hand confirmation.

When we reached out to the NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information we were told that the NYPD does not use tear gas and does not have it.

About 20 minutes after Occupy Wall Street tweeted about the tear gas, they added that more than 50 people have been arrested and five women were maced.

Bruner said that the arrests likely happened somewhere between 12th Street and Union Square. The report of five women being maced came to him from someone on the scene, he said, adding that that information has to be taken “with a grain of salt.”

A representative from DCPI said he had not heard anything on arrests from the field yet.

We’ll update as more information comes in.

Update: 3:46 p.m.
Occupy Wall Street’s account just retweeted this photo of a woman, who is said to have been “pepper sprayed on 12th and university along with 5 other people.”

Update: 4:03 p.m.
Bruner has just issued a retraction in regards to the tear gas tweet. He told us over the phone that it was a report perpetuated by people who saw steam coming out of vents on the livestream, which they mistook for tear gas.

Update: 4:16 p.m.
DCPI confirmed to us that there have been several arrests, but does not have specific numbers yet. Occupy Wall Street is saying that in total there have been at least 55 arrested, and at least five maced.

Update: 4:45 p.m.
Bruner told us in an email regarding the reported macings that “we know that at least one has been confirmed.” He forwarded along a video of an arrest.

Update: 4:59 p.m.
Our Nick Pinto is in Zuccotti Park, which the protesters have dubbed “Liberty Square.” He reports that the Occupy Wall Street media team says there have been over 60 arrests, based on their count. Most of the arrests happened in Union Square after police kettled the march that was taking place.

Nick also tells us that Brookfield Properties, which owns Zuccotti, posted notice that the protesters have to leave by Monday, but protest lawyers say that is not binding.

Update: 5:51 p.m.
Nick tells us there is a large police presence on the scene. The protester’s liaison to the National Lawyers Guild is now saying that close to 100 people were arrested today.

Update: 9:28 p.m.
DCPI told us that there have been about 80 arrests.

Update: 12:01 a.m.
Bruner just issued a retraction to members of the media explaining that, despite what he said earlier, the march Saturday was never headed to the United Nations building.

Previous Coverage:
Fourth Day of Occupy Wall Street Brings Arrests, Accusations of Excessive NYPD Force
Occupy Wall Street, Day Three: Inefficiency Starts to Cripple Protest
Is This What Democracy Looks Like? Observing the Launch of Occupy Wall Street
On Saturday, 20,000 People Could Be Doing Yoga and Dancing to ‘Thriller’ on Wall Street