By Joshua Sager
Over the last month, protests have sprung up all across the country united by a common moniker and tactic: ‘occupy’. Despite wide variations in geographic locations and group demographics, these protests have marched and met in the hopes of democratically selecting an agenda for their local occupation. As of now, many groups have yet to decide upon a centralized set of goals or demands. However, all of the groups were created from the same ideals and operate in similar manners; thus, they can be considered a single movement.
Like many protests, there have been people arrested both during protests or sit-ins. Unlike many protests, several factors have led to a lack of consideration of the arrests on a national scale. Because of the Occupy movement’s decentralized and geographically disparate nature, people often fail to realize the sheer number of people arrested nationally for exercising their rights to peaceably assemble and speak freely. In addition, the mainstream media have often ignored the Occupy protests for unspecified reasons. Only in recent days have major media outlets begun to regularly cover the Occupy events, meaning many arrests from the earlier days have fallen under the radar.
I have composed a list of locations, dates and numbers of people arrested. Although the bulk of the arrests have been in New York City (where the movement began with #OccupyWallSt), this is an issue of national importance warranting further examination.