Zuccotti Park, which has been ground zero for the Occupy Wall Street protest since mid-September, was cleared by police in riot gear early Tuesday morning. As NYPD officers carried out the raid, they turned away members of the media--occasionally by force, with several arrests ensuing .
And like the protesters they were trying to cover, the journalists swept up in the raid have been crying foul.
"I'm press!" Rosie Gray, a reporter for the Village Voice, claims she told a female police officer.
Her response: "Not tonight."
Reporters such as Gray took to Twitter, using a #mediablackout hashtag to update their industry colleagues.
At a press conference, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said police barred the media from covering the raid for their own protection, and "to prevent a situation from getting worse."
"The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out, but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others," Bloomberg said. "Nor does it permit anyone in our society to live outside the law."
"Could #Bloomberg be a secret Occupy Wall Streeter?" Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on Twitter. "He seems to have just revived the movement."
According to Gothamist.com, the NYPD restricted airspace in Lower Manhattan to prevent local news helicopters from CBS and NBC from capturing video images of the raid. Police also used pepper spray on a "large number" of reporters.Read More »from Press clash with police during Occupy Wall Street raid; seven journalists arrested