Naomi Wolf arrested at Occupy Wall Street protest in New York
Feminist author detained after police attempted to clear the street where Occupy Wall Street protesters were rallying
Matt Wells and agencies in New York
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 19 October 2011 04.06 BST
Naomi Wolf, the celebrated feminist author and campaigner, has been arrested at an Occupy Wall Street protest outside an awards ceremony held to honour New York’s governor.
Wolf and a companion were led away in handcuffs from the street in front of Skylight Studios in Manhattan.
Inside, the New York state governor, Andrew Cuomo, was being presented with the “game changer of the year” award from the Huffington Post website, for which Wolf is a contributor.
She was detained after ignoring police warnings to stay off the street in front of the building and where a crowd of about 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters had gathered.
Wolf had been at the event, hosted by Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and attended by a number of celebrities, including the reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who was presented with a “business leader” award.
The protesters arrived at the event in SoHo to demonstrate their support of a “millionaires’ tax”, which Cuomo, a Democrat, opposes.
According to Ryan Devereaux, a reporter for the liberal TV news organisation Democracy Now, some chanted: “Where is Cuomo? Protecting the 1%!”
There was a dispute with police, who said protesters were blocking the sidewalk. Wolf came and told them they “didn’t need a permit for a megaphone”.
According to another witness, Wolf objected to a police officer’s assertion that the group were blocking the street. “Tell it to the judge,” the officer is reported to have said.
It was unclear what charges Wolf, author of the best-selling book The Beauty Myth, might face. Most people detained during the month-long protests have been arrested on misdemeanors.
Witnesses said protesters marched to a nearby police precinct, where they chanted and sang songs. A police officer came out of the building and used the protesters’ now-famous “human mic” call-and-response system to tell them Wolf had been released from another precinct after being issued with a summons.
Earlier in the evening, it was revealed that a New York Police Department investigation had censured a police officer who used pepper spray on Occupy Wall Street protesters last month.
Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna faces losing 10 vacation days after the incident on 24 September near Union Square, shortly after the protests began in lower Manhattan, according to the Associated Press.
Video from the protests shows a small group of mostly women corralled by orange netting used by officers to control crowds. Bologna approaches and seemingly without warning blasted a cluster of women with pepper spray. Two of the women crumple on the sidewalk in pain. One screams.
The incident sparked outrage by demonstrators and helped propel the movement into the media spotlight.