'Violent hacker/police clashes turn out to be more hijinks than oppression

Liveblogging, bad video gives impression of widespread police abuse

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(#OccupyWallStreet hasn't articulated those goals or demands, either, except to say they're all opposed to the financial oligarchy they charge with ruining the economy, running the country and taking advantage of everyone who can't out-Geco Gordon Gecko, out-manipulate Karl Rove or outdo Dick Cheney in cynically profane, ruthlessly self-interested political puppet-mastery.)

The union-supported part of the march went went almost without incident, despite a late change in plans that shifted the starting point from City Hall to Foley Park, though its destination remained Zucotti Park, which protesters have used as a base and gathering point due to its semi-private stature and the willingness of police to not roust them out at the first sign a crowd was gathering.

Breaking bad: The AfterParty

Where things turned a little ugly was after both the official march and the follow-up milling-about-amongst-the-revolutionaries was finished.

Just before 8 p.m. – when most of the union reps had gone home and the area around Zucotti Park was still filled with overexcited protesters and lines of police standing behind the barricades that have been in place to isolate the two-week protest – some of the protesters decided they'd go to City Hall after all.

According to a report in the NYT, one group gathered itself into a scrum, may even have counted down to D-second, and rushed the police barricade, where they were shoved back, pepper sprayed and, in some cases, whacked with batons.

They were shoved back, but the attempt set off an exodus from the park that was partly a proto-protest march toward City Hall, partly wilding to let off steam.

It looked a lot more serious to supporters outside the gory zone.

The clashes – which were isolated to a few busy corners where protesters coagulated and police often took the initiative to shove them off the street and onto sidewalks, or to try to break up small crowds and move them along, was broadcast live from handheld video cameras and cell phones, that showed the maximum chaos and minimum hard information.

Seeing only snippets of the action, the protest's online audience was outraged. Messages posted to Twitter and to the protest's live videoblog scrolled by so fast they were impossible to read.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters/Mike Segar

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