Published in
The Empire

Occupy Albany Cleared from Lafayette Park

By Karen Dewitt, New York Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

The dismantling of one of the last Occupy encampments in New York ended with pepper spray and arrests on Thursday, as Albany city workers moved in and took down tents at the Occupy Albany encampment.

Occupy Albany’s camping permit expired at 7:00 a.m. Thursday, and by mid afternoon city workers moved in and began dismantling the tents. When workers tried to take down the last tent, protesters seized it and began marching up and down the city streets in the midst of the evening rush hour. They chanted “Occupy Albany all day, all week”, and “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out”.

The protest took on a carnival atmosphere, but things turned darker when the demonstrators returned to the city park. Police attempted to take the tent away, a scuffle ensued, and four were arrested. A local news cameraman was apparently assaulted in the ruckus.

“The police came, they started knocking everybody away, they were forcefully grabbing us, bringing people to the ground,  ” said Shana Goldman, who was among the protesters who said they were pepper sprayed.

“Some had to be taken to the hospital,” she said.

By early evening last night, some protesters lingered, but the park was clear of any tents.