(Photo: REUTERS/STR New) Highly-regarded writer Naomi Wolf has released a statement alleging that her arrest was a direct attempt by New York police to silence her, after she attempted to inform protesters at the scene of their rights.
Author and activist Naomi Wolf has released a statement alleging that her arrest was a direct attempt by New York police to silence her after she attempted to inform protesters outside a New York awards banquet of their rights.
Wolf made her claims Wednesday via a statement published in The Guardian. The author was arrested outside the 2011 Huffington Post Game Changers Awards in New York Tuesday as she defended Occupy Wall Street protesters. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was among the honorees, and the demonstrators opposed his rejection of a "millionaire's tax."
Prior to her statement, though the video below showed the arrest, why the NYPD chose to arrest her remained vague. Wolf has since claimed that her arrest was made after she challenged officers at the event over their use of fictional "permits" to separate and hamper Occupy Wall Street protesters' ability to voice their concerns.
According to Wolf, the police had made up a series of fake "permits" -- many of which would have no legal basis -- to stop the protesters gathered using a megaphone or gathering anywhere near the event they wanted to address.
"I saw that the protesters had been cordoned off by a now-massive phalanx of NYPD cops and pinned against the far side of the street - far away from the event they sought to address," Wolf wrote.
"I went up and asked them why. They replied that they had been informed that the Huffington Post event had a permit that forbade them to use the sidewalk.
"I went over to the sidewalk at issue and identified myself as a NYC citizen and a reporter, and asked to see the permit in question or to locate the source on the police or event side that claimed it forbade citizen access to a public sidewalk.
"Finally a tall man, who seemed to be with the event, confessed that while it did have a permit, the permit did allow for protest so long as we did not block pedestrian passage."
Wolf's arrest occurred after she and around 30 or more protesters marched forward, being careful not to block pedestrian traffic.
The author's arrest comes after tensions between U.S. police forces and Occupy protesters have reached boiling point.