A vacant lot next to Duarte Square in SoHo has been the subject of discussion as a possible new site for a re-occupation for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Earlier today several hundred marchers and two large wooden ladders met up at the vacant lot where they hoisted one of the ladders up to a tall chain-link fence. The first person over was retired Bishop George Packard, who writes at Occupied Bishop. You can see him entering the lot in the above video.
Bishop Desmond Tutu writes a letter to New York's Trinity Church urging the church to allow the Occupy protest in Duarte Park, which is owned by the Episcopalian parish. "Trinity Church is an esteemed and valued old friend of mine; from the earliest days when I was a young Deacon. Theirs was the consistent and supportive voice I heard when no one else supported me or our beloved brother Nelson Mandela. That is why it is especially painful for me to hear of the impasse you are experiencing with the parish."
The New York Times reports that "Several hundred people gathered across the street, where dozens of police tried to clear sidewalks as people shouted and screamed at them. After the arrests, a few hundred protesters made a blocks-long, late-afternoon march to the church rectory chanting, "For every eviction another occupation" and "Bloomberg beware, Zuccotti Park is everywhere." They later headed uptown to Times Square."
"Legal sources say about 50 people were arrested, though the NYPD press office said late Saturday they did not have the arrest tally and protesters were still being arrested."
"This whole occupation has been a lesson in freedom for me," said Ashley Perry, 24, who traveled from her home in Tampa, Fla., to support her New York counterparts. "If you still think that you have your First Amendment rights, go out and try to express them… and see how long it takes for someone to come and shut you down -- it will happen quickly."
Before there was much time to celebrate beginning a new occupy home, the police arrived, 30 people were arrested hauled away...including the bishop.
Arrest video follows:
I believe the Youtube videos are via Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones, the same last name, and I look and see he has a very in-depth report up on today's activities. Be sure to check it out here.
[Editor's note: Headline was updated to reflect recent report with correct arrest totals. I previously reported the total at 30, but it's actually 50 arrests See report here.]