About 3,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters avoided eviction today after plans to clean up the park in Lower Manhattan where the protesters are congregating were postponed indefinitely. Brookfield Office Properties, which manages Zuccotti Park, said it will put off the clean-up for now, Reuters reported.
Some of the protesters, after hearing that they were allowed to stay on, apparently spread out from the park to approach the New York Stock Exchange. That's where they began clashing with police, CBS reports.
Fourteen people were arrested--far fewer than in other protester-police showdowns since the demonstrations began in September. On Oct. 1, police arrested hundreds of people after they sought to cross over into Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge.
Still, violent clashes marred Friday's protests--and some of them were caught on tape.
In the first video, below, a uniformed policeman follows a man dressed in green, turns him around, and then punches him in the face. The crowd presses in and starts chanting "the whole world is watching"--the slogan made famous during the antiwar protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
According to the local news blog Gothamist, the protester, Felix Rivera-Pitre, says he "shot the cop a look" when the policeman asked him to get on the sidewalk. But he said he was "dumbstruck" when the policeman pursued him and then punched him in the face. Rivera-Pitre, who is HIV positive, says his earring was torn out by the blow.
The video also shows less violent but still tense encounters between protesters and the police. (This video and the one below also contain some harsh language.)
In another video, below, a protester appears to be in pain after he is run over by a policeman driving a motorcycle. The left-leaning National Lawyers Guild told Gothamist the man is Ari Douglas, a legal observer from the group. Lawyers Guild representatives say Douglas was struck by the scooter and then kicked it over in order to get his legs free. He is currently being treated in a hospital, and was charged with disorderly conduct and other crimes. New York Daily News photographer Dan Marino, who witnessed the accident, claims that Douglas was struck by the scooter but then stuck his leg under the wheel to make it appear as if he were trapped under it.