Roots drummer—and social media king—Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson was the unsung hero of the Occupy Wall Street movement this week, when he tried to give protestors a heads up about a police sweep, via a series of tweets to his 1.7 million Twitter followers. After noting an influx of police officers close to New York City’s Zuccotti Park, Questo sent out messages in an attempt to alert protestors. The New York Times has rightfully dubbed him the Paul Revere of OWS.
After noticing an unusual amount of police, Questo sent out his first tweet, guessing that officers were potentially a staging “sneak attack.” The post was retweeted in droves, with the hashtag “#ows,” that eventually caught the attention of those within the movement. While some OWS protestors brushed off Questlove’s warning as nothing more than overreaction to a shift change, chaos ensued when police descended on Zuccotti Park around 1.a.m. on Tuesday to remove occupants and arrest over 100 people who resisted.
“[Wait]. so i was right? #owsis being raided? told yall! tryna make me think i was crazy! i knew i saw what i saw,” Thompson tweeted to the @OccupyWallStNYC account after the police invaded. From there, occupiers and police in riot gear faced off in heated exchanges that lead to some physical altercations. Journalists who weren’t allowed to get near to the campsite relied on live tweets and an ongoing video feed from the Global Revolution channel on Livestream for their reports.
According to statements from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, protestors will be able to return to Zucotti Park after the area is cleaned. Hats off to Questlove.