Occupiers work to fix Zuccotti Park security
In the wake of crime reports at Occupy Wall Street, including alleged rapes at the camp, protesters met yesterday to discuss how to better secure Zuccotti Park.
Some discussed the idea of issuing identification cards for protesters to better establish who belongs in the camp — and who doesn’t.
“I am concerned about other people’s safety here,” a man told the group yesterday afternoon.
A woman suggested checkpoints like those she saw at Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where volunteers posted at the perimeter asked everyone entering a few questions, such as why they came.
Keeping a list of repeat offenders would allow protest security to say, “We don’t want you here,” demonstrator Priciano Pierre said.
Following reports of sexual assault, the camp erected a tent solely for women on Friday. Last week, protester Tonye Iketubosin, a 26-year-old kitchen volunteer, was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman, joining a list of others arrested since the protest began Sept. 17.
Alysa Boone, 17, traveled from Pennsylvania with her mother, and slept in the women’s tent Saturday night. “I felt safe,” she said. Someone was always outside monitoring the tent, she said.
Emily Rappaport, 21, heard about crime before she arrived, but was not dissuaded. “It made me nervous,” she said, but bunked with two guy pals.
Crimes in Zuccotti Park, from the NYPD:
Oct. 11: Cops arrested Connecticut resident David Park, 27, and charged him with sexual abuse. Officials said he was also facing outstanding warrants for open containers. “He’s occupying Rikers now,” police spokesman Paul Browne said.
Oct. 22: Officers arrested Garfield Leslie, 19, a Brooklyn resident, and charged him with trying to sell drugs. Cops said Leslie punched a woman who refused the drug offer, as well as a man who tried to help. He was charged with assault.
Oct. 28: Cops said Dustin Taylor, 34, an Ohio resident, threatened a television reporter with a ballpoint pen while threatening to “stab you in the f—ing throat” and ripping the microphone out of the reporter’s hand. He was charged with menacing.
Nov. 3: Cops arrested Christopher Geiset, 38, and charged him with assault after they said he punched another protester.