Roots drummer ?uestlove just happened to be driving by New York’s Zuccotti Park late Monday night when he noticed something odd happening at the Occupy Wall Street site.
“OMG, drivin down south st. near #OWS. Somethin bout to go down yo, swear I counted 1,000 riot gear cops bout to pull sneak attack #carefulyall,” he tweeted around midnight.
He wasn’t wrong, as a short time later the NYPD stormed the site of the sit-in protest and forcibly removed the residents of “Freedom Park” in order to clean up the public square. Quest continued to issue his warnings for about an hour after his initial tweet, finally getting confirmation from fellow Twitter users a short time later that his suspicions were true. “I was tryna downplay it 1ce tweets were discrediting me,” he wrote once the raid was underway in the early Tuesday morning (November 15) hours. “But I swear I saw like 6 city blocks of nothin but riot gear cops under my bridge.”
The Roots drummer wasn’t the only one who noticed some late night action in the vicinity. Comedian Kathy Griffin posted a tweet after leaving the Larry King Friars Club roast on Monday night, writing, “Whoa! On my late nite NYC walk. Passed Zuccoti park, saw a large group of people running. Nypd walking in formation in riot gear.”
Hip-hop icon Russell Simmons urged protesters to keep up the fight. The Def Jam co-founder, who is slated to visit the Occupy Boston site on Tuesday and make what he called a “major” announcement that will “promote more equal and just democracy,” tweeted about the new location OWS members headed toward following the raid. “Foley square is the new zucootti for now here in the city..fyi #occupywallstreet,” he wrote early Tuesday morning.
Russell Brand, who had visited OWS with Simmons, was none too pleased, writing, “#OWS moved out of Liberty Park ‘because they’re blocking 1st responders’- here’s my 1st response ‘that’s bull—t.’ ”
There were plenty of others who weighed in as well, including Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, who lamented, “Quite a message to send — destroying, reportedly, 5K books at #OWS.”
Actor/activist Mark Ruffalo added, “People in Liberty Park were pepper sprayed. Police beat women. Press pushed out so they could not witness the crackdown. Dehumanizing 99%#Ows.”
Filmmaker Michael Moore promised that this was not the end, tweeting, “Phase Two of this massive, nonviolent MAJORITY movement will now commence. Wall St will wish they had just left it alone in the park. #ows,” while Public Enemy leader Chuck D said, “The People are thrown into the abyss of believing a flawed system. Thrown off track, thrown at, thrown a bone with the meat cleaned off it.”
Share your thoughts on the Occupy movement in the comments below.