News from the West Coast began pouring into Zuccotti Park on Tuesday via telephone, text message and Twitter feed: the Oakland, Calif., encampment was being evicted.
The police in Oakland showed up at the plaza early Tuesday and removed close to 200 protesters who had been encamped there. A larger number of protesters later returned and tried to re-establish the camp. The police responded by launching tear gas canisters and firing projectiles. Some protesters threw paint at officers, according to news reports. One protester, a former Marine, suffered a fractured skull, veterans groups said.
In Zuccotti Park, some protesters said they were worried that that the authorities in New York might try to oust them from the park, but in interviews on Wednesday several occupiers of the park said they thought it was unlikely that the police in New York would use the sort of tactics used in Oakland.
“I’m not concerned that something similar is going to happen here, because New York City is much too high profile for police abuse on that level to happen here,” said Nina Gilbert, 27, a social worker from Brooklyn Heights. “The more attention we draw, the less likely it is that the police will attack us.”
Senior police officials in New York have said in the past that the department does not use tear gas.
At the New York general assembly on Tuesday night, protesters endorsed a statement supporting those in Oakland. On Wednesday, a version of that message was printed on fliers and distributed inside Zuccotti Park.
Several of those gathered in Zuccotti Park on Wednesday said they were disturbed by images and videos depicting the crackdown in Oakland. Among them was Scott Simpson, 22, from Atlanta.
“People doing what you are doing, standing up for the exact same thing are being violently put down,” he said. “That cuts pretty close to the core.”