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Occupy Wall Street didn't take time off from agitating to get messy on New Year's Eve, temporarily re-occupying Zuccotti Park - in what they called a New Year's Revolution - despite a massive riot cop turn-out. It was the biggest mobilisation of the group since their mid-November eviction (see SchNEWS 797). Unfortunately the cops didn't take any time off from being arseholes: After bringing out the batons, pepper spray and horses, 68 of the several hundred protesters had been nicked by the first morning of 2012 for offences ranging from trespass, disorderly conduct and one case of assaulting police.

After a General Assembly meeting at Zuccotti at around 8pm, the cops clamped down by using a child's toy tent as evidence of rule violations. At the same time a well-attended anti-prison noise demo took place outside a Manhattan 'correction facility', using a 'people's mike' to talk to prisoners inside, which then headed down to the park. The later night antics centred on pulling down the barricades around the park, piling them up in the middle and defiantly dancing on them.

NYPD tactics were aimed at mass arrest and indiscriminate violence in the clashes with the occupiers. Reports from the night include a protester being hit in the face with a barricade and pepper spraying into the air above the crowds. After a dispersal order was issued in the small hours of the morning protesters began to disperse, some continuing to march on Broadway to meet cops blocking off the streets. As before, there appeared to be deliberate targeting of journalists, livestreamers and photographers, but one group of nicked tweeters and livestreaming cameramen refused to be silenced, and were still on it in the back of the police van.

See http://occupywallst.org for more from OWS.

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Twitter: @SchNEWS