Earlier today, during a march associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, the NYPD kettled and mass-arrested demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge. Reports are sketchy so far, but as many as 400 may have been pinched.

Their crime was walking on the roadway (instead of the originally planned pedestrian walkway). Though police initially warned marchers not to take the roadway, little was done until hundreds were already on the roadway. This has prompted allegations that it was a trap, and given the outrage over last weekend’s roundup, and whether or not that’s true, this says a lot about the treasured legal status of automobile routes. Why should a little thing like public protest be allowed to get in the way of people driving wherever they want?

The commitment to nonviolence, so far, has been strict and inspiring. Not only does this take a lot of discipline (and isn’t always possible), but in the face of pepper-spray and kettling tactics, it takes a lot of personal courage as well. I know it’s not easy to stay peaceful under these conditions, but the fact that it’s happened is a really good sign.

Despite this crackdown, the protests have clearly been growing. Occupy LA began today, and the union support is just rolling in. Though, regrettably, the rumours of Radiohead, yesterday, were greatly exaggerated.

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