Occupy Didn't Occupy Duarte Square


This story is over 5 years old.


Occupy Didn't Occupy Duarte Square

It only took five minutes for the cops to enter Duarte Square and start beating and arresting nearly anyone they could get their hands on.
December 20, 2011, 3:50pm

Last Saturday was D17, aka the three-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Thousands of people met at Canal and 6th Avenue in an attempt to set up a new Occupy encampment in the locked up, fenced in, and vacant Duarte Square. The protestors, who've been searching for a new space since they were evicted from Zucotti Park, cut the bolts locking the square owned by Wall Street's Trinity Church the night before D17, but the police replaced the locks early in the morning.


Realizing the gate was locked, the protesters marched in a circle away from the square and up 6th Avenue, only to return to Duarte a few minutes later. Using a makeshift stairwell, every protestor in sight scaled the fence screaming, "Duarte, Duarte, Duarte!" Others crawled beneath the fence, squeezing their way into the uninhabited lot.

It only took five minutes for the cops to enter the square, where they started beating and arresting nearly anyone they could get their hands on. Allies on the outside of the square began prying up the fence to let battered occupants out of the lot. One cop started jumping up and down on the bent fence to prevent anyone from exiting. Other cops beat people through the fence with their billy clubs.

As the possibility of occupying Duarte Square completely faded away, the protesters departed into a massive march. The horde of protesters overtook the streets carrying a movable tent. They headed towards the house of Trinity Church's Rev. James H. Cooper (the guy who wouldn't allow the occupiers into the church's vacant lot) on Charles Street in the West Village.

After being slowed down by the barricades blocking the street, the activists began running  against traffic until they had taken over all of 7th Avenue. Cops on electric scooters tried to run over the protestors while swinging at them with billy clubs.

The Occupiers screamed, "Off the sidewalk, onto the street! Out of the cars and into the streets! Bloomberg beware! Zucotti park is everywhere!" Then the kettling started. The police trapped the protestors and the media on the side streets with those ugly orange fences, splitting D17 up into a bunch large groups. Police arrested a total of 49 protestors.