September 21, 2011, 1:35 PM — After half a week of sit-in/campout protest carefully moderated to impede the masters of Manhattan's universe enough to make a point but not enough to prompt a response from police, members of Anonymous' #OccupyWallStreet project are charging police used excessive force yesterday in tearing down tents and tarps some protesters were using as shelter from the rain.
Seven people were arrested, according to the NY Police Department, which said most were charged with disorderly conduct and only one was slightly injured.
Video of the incident shows one protester being dragged off and illustrates the international stage on which hactivist group Anonymous and other groups have placed the protest, whose goal is to urge the Obama administration to use prosecutions and new regulation to end “the influence money has over our representatives in Washington,” according to Adbusters Media Foundation, one of the groups helping to organize the protest.
A total of 16 people have been arrested since the protest began, according to NYPD sources cited in BusinessWeek, but fell far short of the scale predicted by organizers, who called for 20,000 people to shut down the Wall Street area simply with their presence.
Protest smaller than predicted, more persistent than expected
Instead, about 1,000 people showed up Saturday Sept. 17, many confused about conflicting instructions posted by Anonymous and other groups trying to steer protesters around Manhattan regulations on public gatherings, public hygiene and traffic regulation.