For years now, whether it be peaceful protests at national conventions, ecologically aimed protests, or the current protests, police have been using strong arm tactics to disperse or in many cases pre-empt protest, entirely.
The first ammendment reads: The First Amendment prohibits government from abridging "the right of the people peaceably to assemble."
Furthermore,in the case of the NYC protests, the abridgment of these Constitutional rights have been partially funded by those whom the protests are aimed at:
"Here’s what we know:
"JPMorgan gave a massive gift of $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation in the form of money, patrol car laptops, “security monitoring software,” and other tech resources.
As I reported this week, the police presence at the union solidarity march in support of Occupy Wall St included many hundreds of officers, scores of cruisers, vans, and buses, at least one mobile surveillance tower, and at least three helicopters."
Attempted police crackdown on Wall Street — in pictures
By Jérôme E. Roos On September 25, 2011
A week since the occupation started, the protests on Wall Street are only growing stronger. Thousands marched on Saturday. The authorities went berserk.
Dear reader: the unprecedented interest in this article has swamped our servers. We’ve unfortunately been forced to remove the pictures from the website in order to prevent further crashes. Luckily, you can still find the pictures on Paul Weiskel’s Flickr profile. Thank you for your interest and sorry for the inconvenience!
#OCCUPYWALLSTREET keeps on growing. Today marked the largest protest since the start of the movement, exactly a week ago. Signs are mounting that the authorities are starting to get increasingly anxious about the potential of the protests to spin “out of control” and go viral.
And so today, just days after Mayor Bloomberg assured protesters they would be “free to express their opinion”, the NYPD went into Mubarak mode, attacking peaceful protesters and making mass arrests of law-abiding citizens for the sole purpose of repressing political dissent. Undoubtedly, as happened in Barcelonabefore, the police repression will only further reinvigorate the protests.
Organizers claim that at least 80 were arrested and multiple people maced and kettled by police, including innocent bystanders, a number of photographers and also protest organizers — in direct violation of the constitutional right to the freedom of the press, of popular assembly and of political protest.
Once more, the real face of American democracy is revealed through these powerful images by Paul Weiskel. Not a single banker has been arrested for crashing the world economy in 2008, but by now, dozens of law-abiding citizens are in locked up in police stations around New York simply for expressing their inconvenient opinion.
PICTURES OF THE PEACEFUL PROTEST AND POLICE CRACKDOWN HERE.