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Union Square-Off (Updated With Arrest Video)

Jared Malsin The Local’s raw footage of this morning’s events. Yoni Miller, 18, is dragged off and arrested around the 4:00 mark. Video contains explicit language.

City Room reports that a total of six protesters were taken into custody during this morning’s clashes between police and Occupy Wall Street protesters in Union Square. Charges include resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration. Meanwhile, a non-Occupy demonstration protesting what many say is a lack of justice in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin is slated to occur in the park this evening.

Police Roust Occupiers Out of Union Square Park

Taunting policeJared MalsinA demonstrator taunted officers with a doughnut on a string.

At least one person was injured and another arrested when police confronted Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in Union Square early Wednesday morning.

Shortly after midnight, police moved protesters, some of which had been sleeping in the park since Saturday night, off of the south steps of the square and onto the sidewalk before sweeping through the encampment and rousting reclining protesters.

Police arrested activist Yoni Miller, 18, of Brooklyn, dragging him away by the shoulders. In an interview with The Local moments before his arrest, Mr. Miller said, “I think we will eventually be arrested.” Read more…

Occupiers Set Up Camp, Soak Up Rays in Union Square

Occupy in Union SquareJared Malsin

Could Union Square be the next Zuccotti Park? Earlier this afternoon, a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters said that they had decided to attempt an indefinite occupation there, although few were confident that police would allow them to stay for long.

“We reached consensus today to try to make this a permanent occupation,” said Darah McJimsey, a 23-year-old activist who came to New York from California in November to join the Occupy movement full-time. “Although we’re aware of what we’re up against, and we’re going to draw on our skills as far as being mobile.”

The decision to launch an open-ended occupation of Union Square was made by 20 to 30 activists who came there after police forcibly dispersed around 500 people from Zuccotti Park on Saturday. The Union Square group, which has spent two nights there, appears to have attracted support from the broader movement. Occupy Wall Street’s website now features a call to “Occupy Union Square.” Read more…

OWS Protester Gets On High Horse

A little over a month after Superman climbed the George Washington statue in Union Square Park, an Occupy Wall Street protester – wearing a keffiyeh instead of a cape – climbed onto George’s horse early this morning and held court for about 40 minutes. NY1 has footage of police officers escorting the man to an ambulance after he finally came down, and reports that about 50 protesters spent the night in the park.

Tompkins Square Park Gets a Zuccotti-Style Makeover

Tompkins Square Park looked something like Zuccotti Park in its heyday yesterday, as a giant Statue of Liberty puppet shimmied to a beat thrashed out by a cohort of drummers. Next to them were the People’s Library, a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cart, and a “Parents for Occupy Wall Street” station crawling with children.

Activists said the single-day occupation – the third to be organized by the group Occupy Town Square – was part of the movement’s process of reorganizing in the wake of the police eviction of the original Occupy encampment.

“We lost a few things when we lost Zuccotti,” said Jonathan Jetter, one of the event’s organizers. “We lost a place where the movement could come together to network amongst itself.” Read more…

Protesters Swarm Bank of America on Second Avenue

Photos: Stephen Rex Brown

Chanting against Mayor Bloomberg and Monsanto, protesters marched from the Bank of America on Second Avenue to the bed-in at Washington Square Park. “I want to go on the offensive against the ‘get a job’ people,” said Roman Shusterman, an unemployed 30-year-old from Brighton Beach who was holding a sign with an unprintable message about jobs.

“The whole world should demand better food,” he added in regards to Monsanto. “But we’re in a position to challenge our government, so why not?”

Occupiers Stage Cuddle Puddle in Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park Bed-InJared Malsin

A dozen Occupy Wall Street demonstrators staged a “bed-in,” inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 anti-war protests of the same name, at Washington Square Park this morning. The group brandished flowers and took turns lounging on a mattress while inviting passersby to join them in bed. (Just in case anyone is feeling really lonely this Valentine’s Day.)

“Imagine every mattress in New York City – or maybe, who knows, the planet, since the Internet allows us to have this dialogue – every mattress, indoors or outdoors, becoming a stage for free speech and public expression and even human expression,” said Alexandre Carvalho, 28, an activist with a group called Revolutionary Games.

Mr. Carvalho added, “Because it’s boring to be political all the time. Maybe you can just be in bed with your friends and just talking about what it means to be living a happy life.”

New Year Begins With Occupy Arrests, Motorcycle Accident

motoDaniel Maurer Medics treat the motorcycle accident victim.

Two incidents marred New Year’s celebrations in the East Village during today’s early morning hours. At Second Avenue and 13th Street, around 3 a.m., dozens of police officers moved to detain Occupy Wall Street protesters as helicopters circled over the neighborhood; about an hour later at 12th Street between Avenues A and B, a man was struck by a motorcycle and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The motorcycle accident occurred around 4:20 a.m. When The Local arrived on the scene, a man lay facedown, bleeding onto the street, having been struck by a BMW with Maine plates as he crossed the street well away from the intersection at Avenue A. Paramedics transported him to Beth Israel Hospital, where the police said he arrived with severe head trauma and is currently in critical condition. The driver of the motorcycle, a 38-year-old male, is not suspected of criminality.

The earlier incident at Second Avenue and 13th Street occurred after protesters clashed with police at Zuccotti Park shortly before midnight. The Post reported that one officer was stabbed in the hand with a pair of scissors then, and City Room reported that just before 1:30 a.m., police officers entered the park to clear it of about 150 people, five of whom were led off in handcuffs. After a group marched north, 60 to 100 people, eyewitnesses told The Local, arrived at Second Avenue and East 13th Street around 3 a.m. There, their progress was stopped by a wall of police officers. Read more…

OWS Exhibit at JujoMukti

If you just can’t get enough of the images coming out of Occupy Wall Street, you’re in luck: JujoMukti will be hosting a photo exhibit of the protests on Dec. 1. The Local’s photographers and videographers have filed numerous dispatches from Lower Manhattan and Union Square; one of our contributors even spent two nights behind bars. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the tea lounge on East Fourth Street between Avenues A and B. Just be careful where you park your bicycle.