As we just shared on our live blog of today’s OWS May Day events, Voice writer Robert Sietsema has confirmed that while much of the OWS activity is happening in Bryant Park, Union Square is undergoing a massive barricading effort by the NYPD.
Robert wrote to us that: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many barricades in 1 place. The barricades are doubled along 14th street and union square and are being set up all the way to sixth avenue, not only 1 set but concentric circles of barricades focusing on the stage that’s been setup right across from whole foods. Pedestrians coming out of the subway bewildered by the maze.” On the phone, we asked him if it looked like the barricade plan was to keep people out of the park entirely, or for crowd control for the music rally. “Both,” he said. “I’ve never seen the double barricades before. They can put a cordone of police officers between fences,” he said, adding that the barricades “prevent the freedom of assembly and divide people up into little units. They’re keeping Union Square cordoned off, and they can limit the number of people in Union Square, or keep them out altogether if they want.”
Robert added that “The barricades, many of them double extend on 15th, 16th and 17th street for a block in each direction and parts Union Square are completely blocked off” and can’t be entered.
Follow all the day’s events on the Voice live-blog here.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 1, 2012