January 7, 2012

#OWS protesters arrested at Grand Central Terminal for protesting #NDAA

via gothamist

Two protesters mic check about the loss of freedom brought about by the passage of the NDAA and both are promptly arrested and whisked out of public sight.

Sounds more like Communist Poland than the USA, land of the free, home of the brave.

The two protesters who were arrested were Lauren Digioia from OWS's sanitation working group, and her boyfriend Zach Kamel, who I have never met (but I assume is also on Sanitation working group.)

Says Zach Kamel to Gothamist via phone:

I find it extremely disturbing the way that protesters are being treated in the United States, especially considering how this country was founded. You have the founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, who is always quoted as saying that if you don't like what the government is doing in America, you can change it. And when we try to do that, look what happens: we're getting beaten. Lauren was beaten by several police officers at Zuccotti Park on New Year's Eve, and she still has bruises.
I don't blame the officers, even though there are a lot of bad ones out there who are clearly enjoying this. I saw the look in one of the officer's eyes while I was in custody at Grand Central, and I could tell he was shaken. And I took that as an opportunity to talk to him, and I could see he was ashamed. I told him that I understood he has his family to feed and he's following orders, and he said, "You know I can't talk to you." So I said, "Just listen, then." Because I know it's not his fault; it's the fault of the white shirts, the higher-ranking officers like Lieutenant Lakeram, who you can see shoving me in that video. It's the fault of Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg, who sees the police as his personal army.
Honestly, I'm scared for my unborn children and their unborn grandchildren, because the United States is no longer the bastion of freedom it's been purported to be. This American myth is all bullshit, and what's going to happen to our country as we start to turn into what we hate? I'm sure it's been happening for a long time, but now we're seeing it out there in the open, in places like Grand Central Station and Zuccotti Park. You can't turn away from things like this.

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