A new year, a new silliness; and this one turned unpleasant. Marking the six-month anniversary of the “occupation” of Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park on Saturday, a group of protesters from the Occupy Wall Street franchise attempted to retake the ground they held hostage for two months last year. The NYPD was having none of it — having apparently learned from its indulgence last year — and it is estimated that 73 protesters were arrested. The Internet was set ablaze by one arrest in particular, during which a protester named Cecily McMillan — notably profiled by Rolling Stone last year — allegedly suffered a seizure. But McMillan does not really fit into the narrative of unwarranted “police brutality” that is carefully being constructed, as a Daily News video appears to show her violently elbowing a police officer in the face:
This behavior is unsurprising because encouraging violence was the point of the exercise. In early January, I wrote that,
the occupiers [are] in the midst of an attempt to grab the first headlines of 2012 — ostensibly by encouraging their members to get themselves arrested, which is apparently the new metric of revolutionary success. . . . They seem to have settled upon flashmob-esque descents on major public spaces, which are keenly filmed in the craven hope that something bad happens.
Don’t take my word for it. Ed Needham, a member of the OWS “press team,” clearly considers the stunt to have been a success: ”Mayor Bloomberg did us a big help last night in terms of fundraising,” he said. Perhaps OWS will contribute the money to its PAC?