Nation Books author and Institute Senior Fellow Chris Hedges was arrested earlier today at an Occupy Wall Street protest outside Goldman Sachs. The New York Observer has posted an amateur video of the 300-person march and the subsequent arrest of 15 protesters, including Hedges and Reverend Billy Talen, of the Church of Stop Shopping. According to a Wall Street Journal blog post, 16 marchers, not 15, were arrested.
The rally was held after a mock trial at the nearby Occupy Wall Street encampment, in which Goldman's alleged misdeeds were weighed in a "people's hearing." The event, led by author and activist Cornell West, was broadcast live on a radio station and drew hundreds of protesters and spectators, many of whom then marched down Trinity Place towards Goldman's skyscraper.
"The banking system has been shot through with greed," said West, a professor at Princeton University. He marched arm in arm with several protesters, whom he referred to as his "brothers and sisters." Some protesters held signs that read "Out of Your Ivory Tower" and "Don't Feed the Bull."
People sat down and linked arms in nonviolent resistance in front of the entrance of the Goldman Sachs building in lower Manhattan. Earlier that morning, Hedges had also spoken at a mock trial of Goldman Sachs.
Hedges has been active in the Occupy Wall Street movement since it began 47 days ago. The second issue of The Occupied Wall Street Journal featured an editorial by Hedges on its front page. He has been interviewed about OWS several times, including by the protesters themselves, but it's his exchange with CBC pundit Kevin O'Leary that went viral, forcing the Canadian firm to issue a written apology to Hedges after complaints poured in from viewers. A few days ago, in his regular Truthout column, Hedges wrote:
[Zuccotti] park, like other Occupied sites across the country, is a point of integration, a place where middle-class men and women, many highly educated but unschooled in the techniques of resistance, are taught by those who have been carrying out acts of rebellion for the last few years. These revolutionists bridge the world of the streets with the world of the middle class.
Last week he was interviewed on Charlie Rose, along with Amy Goodman.
Hedges' most recent Nation Books title, The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress, a panorama of the American empire at home and abroad, from the War on Terror to the predations of Wall Street and the creation of a permanent underclass in America. His earlier books include Death of the Liberal Class and Collateral Damage.