Arrests During May Day March From Tompkins Square Park [Updated]

UntitledDaniel Maurer Police loaded a man into this van.

Multiple people were apprehended by police during a May Day Anti-Capitalism March that started at Tompkins Square Park this afternoon.

At East 14th Street and Second Avenue, The Local arrived on the scene to see officers loading a young man wearing a black hood into a van.

A friend of the individual who at first identified himself as Etan and then asked to be called Gristle said, “They grabbed somebody from the sidewalk and pulled him down and arrested him,” adding that the man, who he declined to identify by name, was standing up against a wall doing nothing when he was taken into custody.

Gristle said he and an indeterminate number of people were protesting capitalism and oppression during a march to Union Square when the apprehension occurred. “They don’t want anyone who’s protesting to even exist,” he said of the many police officers stationed in the middle of the intersection, bringing crosstown traffic to a halt.

UntitledDaniel Maurer

A witness named Jack, who did not want to give his surname, said a woman was also arrested as she walked toward Union Square. Another witness who didn’t want to be named (“they’ll arrest me too,” he joked) said the arrestees were seemingly doing nothing when they were apprehended.

Christopher Robbins, a reporter for Gothamist, described the march on Twitter as “brisk, violent, saw 5 arrests. Now protesters & cops mill around in U Square.” He reported “four violent arrests” at Second Avenue and East 15th Street,” and tweeted a photo of an arrest at East 13th Street and Avenue C. Nick Pinto, a staff writer for the Village Voice, also tweeted about arrests at those corners, and said people were running in the street. Like Robbins, he put the number of demonstrators at about 100. Allison Kilkenny, a co-host of Citizen Radio, reported on Twitter that she saw three arrests, and tweeted photos of one.

A Facebook invite for the march and other events commemorating May Day called for “NYC radicals to converge at Tompkins Square Park on May 1st,” at 1 p.m., “for a Day of Action in commemoration of International Worker’s Day and the 1886 Haymarket affair and against statism, capitalism and all forms of oppression.”

Last year, 34 people were taken into custody and another 52 issued desk appearance tickets during turbulent May Day protests in the streets of the East Village and beyond.

Update | 4:45 p.m. Several thousand people are choking Union Square: a mix of labor rights activists, immigration reform advocates, Occupy-ers, anarchists, peaceniks, social justice groups selling Chomsky books and NYPD are cordoned in by metal gates in front of the George Washington statue. Broadway south of 14th Street is closed, and a Disorder Control Unit vehicle has arrived on the scene.

Meanwhile the Greenmarket is suffering one of the worst sunny spring days on record, at least for the meat vendors. “I’m really pissed off and want to choke them,” said Joe Gyurik of Arcadian Pastures in Sloansville, N.Y.

Daniel Simons at the Rogowski Farm stand said, “I wish farmers had time to be a part of this day, the farmers don’t have time to do anything but farm.”

Ray Lemoine and Mary Reinholz Scenes from Union Square.