Today I received an email from BreakThru Radio in New York City… There DJ John Knefel who is a stand up comedian and co-host of their radio show called Radio Dispatch. He was arrested of December 12, 2011 during a peaceful Occupy Wall Street Protest.. John was shooting video of the protestors and live-tweeting from Occupy Wall Street. He was arrested with 17 others and held in a jail-cell for over 37 hours, which is completely ridiculous! His sister which is his co-host for his radio show questioned the arrest and appeared on Keith Olbermann to talk about the arrests. You can hear about his experience here and here is a quote from the article that his sister wrote on Salon.com:
Monday morning marked yet another Day of Action for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Eight cities on the West Coast attempted to shut down ports. (The hashtag #PortShutdown on Twitter is moving a mile a minute.) In New York City, there was a solidarity march targeting Goldman Sachs that began at 7:30 a.m. The march was well attended, peaceful and culminated in a street-theater Vampire Squid press conference held in front of the Goldman Sachs building. Everyone was laughing and having a great time, and my brother John and I were there to tweet and take pictures. As things calmed down after the fake press conference, word began to spread that protesters should reconvene at the Winter Garden, a nearby public atrium owned by Brookfield Properties (the same company that owns Zuccotti Park).
John and I walked over with a couple of other media people. He covered the Zuccotti Park eviction for Salon, live-tweets most of the OWS events in the city, and has gotten to know many of the independent journalists who document the movement. We arrived at the designated area, which felt like an enormous common space in a mall. The main floor was decorated with Christmas trees, festive lights and public tables and chairs, with a wide marble staircase leading up to a balcony that overlooked the space.
The protesters — maybe 100 or so — had gathered in the center of the floor and were dancing and chanting, “Occupy Brookfield!” A long line of police began to form in the periphery, and John and the other media people dispersed to take pictures. As the police formed an outer circle to surround the large group, the crowd began to disperse. Many of the protesters headed up the marble staircase away from the cops, and a small group bolted up a nearby escalator.
That was when everything escalated completely out of control. The escalator was stopped. Suddenly, the outer circle of cops was swarming in and violently pushing people away. John had been standing near the crowd, taking video. I was about 20 feet from him, and when I looked back in his direction, I saw his blue hood on the ground. I ran toward him and slid to the ground, leaning in between people’s knees to take pictures. John was face down on the ground being handcuffed, his glasses flung across the floor and people screaming, “Stop, stop, he didn’t do anything!”
A cop pulled me up by my shoulders and told me to step back. I said, “He’s my brother.” Several cops pushed me away as I asked, “What is he being arrested for? He was taking pictures.” A cop said, “He didn’t produce an official press pass, so that means he was resisting arrest.” I quite literally didn’t understand, so I said, “What?” At that point, the same cop said, “If you don’t step back immediately, you will be arrested too.”
I was pushed behind a line of police. I stood there, several inches from them, and heard myself saying, “Why are you doing this?”
A protester next to me was yelling at the cops, something about free speech or unnecessary force or any number of logical things to say at a time like this; I was too distracted to pay attention. But then, an officer said to him, “Get out of my face. I have a gun, and I don’t need people up in my face like this.”
Below is a special episode BreakThruRadioTV featuring John Knefel and Molly Knefel. They have been covering the Occupy Movement since the beginning on September 17! They are very strong voices in this movement and please feel free to support BreakThru Radio and many of the protesters who are there spreading the word and standing up for what’s right! The NYPD and many other police forces should respect people’s rights and let them protest the big banks, corporations and greedy governments that make us pay for their bad mistakes! Check out the video below: