Video: Reporter for The Local Is Arrested During Occupy Wall Street Clearing

The police arrested some 200 people, including this reporter, in and around the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park early Tuesday.

While some officers, many in riot gear, moved into the park, others blocked access to the park within a one- to two-block radius, also closing subway stations in the area as well as access to the Brooklyn Bridge.

At around 1:45 a.m., finding all routes to the park blocked, this reporter filmed scuffles between the police and a crowd of more than 100 demonstrators near the intersection of Broadway and Cortlandt Street, about one block north of Zuccotti Park. As shown in the video above, protesters chanted “Shame!” and “This is a peaceful protest!” while occasionally jostling with police.

Less than 15 minutes later, an officer speaking through a bullhorn ordered the demonstrators to leave the area, while a line of police in riot gear slowly pushed the crowd northward along Broadway’s western sidewalk. This reporter tweeted from the scene: “I am one block north of the park and can’t leave. Crowd on sidewalk literally surrounded by police.”

The Local’s reporter, who repeatedly identified himself to the police as a journalist while on the scene, complied with the order and walked north while filming protesters, however (as seen at the 2:11 mark in the video) his progress was stopped by a group of officers blocking the sidewalk at the intersection of Broadway and John Street. One of the officers arrested him using plastic Flexi-Cuffs, even as he continued to identify himself as a journalist and called attention to press credentials hanging from his neck. (The press card had been issued for an unrelated assignment by the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit of the United Nations in September).

The Local’s reporter was put onboard a police van with eight other arrestees, including two New School undergraduates, a photographer with Agance France Presse, and city councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, all handcuffed behind their backs. Mr. Rodriguez had blood on his temple from what he said was an earlier confrontation with the police. He recalled previous demonstrations, including the occupation of a City College administration building in the early 1990s.

The van arrived at One Police Plaza at around 3:20 a.m., where the arrestees were placed in holding cells. Over the course of the night some 60 other men were remanded to the men’s communal cell, a concrete room separated by bulletproof glass from a police work area.

This reporter was released at 9:35 a.m. and charged with disorderly conduct, which in New York is a “violation,” a step below a misdemeanor.

Most of the demonstrators held at One Police Plaza were charged with the same violation, while others were also accused of resisting arrest. At least two said they were charged with jaywalking after being arrested crossing the street.

According to City Room’s live blog of the Zuccotti Park clearing, at least five other journalists were reportedly arrested while covering ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests. Those arrested included a reporter and a photographer from The Associated Press, a reporter from The Daily News, a photographer from DNA Info, and a freelance reporter for National Public Radio. The Times’s Media Decoder blog reported that other journalists, in what some have called a “media blackout,” complained that they were not allowed access to areas around Zuccotti Park. Gothamist and Huffington Post also noted the seeming crackdown on media coverage.

Today at 11:57 a.m., Matthew Lysiak, a reporter for The Daily News, wrote on that outlet’s live blog that he was arrested while covering a demonstration at a park at Sixth Avenue and Grand Street. At 12:34 p.m., he posted an update indicating that he was on a police bus with two other reporters.