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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted October 10, 2011 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Occupy Wall Street

    13cc99 and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Occupy Wall Street protests

    Arrested as a Photographer


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     13cc99 shot these photos of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, during which he was detained for photographing police arrests. 'As I photographed a man being subdued and hit with a billy club, I was thrown to the ground and arrested,' he said. 'I wasn't aware I was breaking any laws.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    My name is Jay Sansone, and this is my story.


    Irrational, Rational. I'm just not sure anymore


    On the surface, it seemed like a directionless youthful movement. But what I found were the desperate, the lost, and the down right angry.


    Wednesday the 5th, 930pm. As protests grew at Zucotti park, a march toward Wall Street erupted, sending thousands south down Church street, chanting, shouting, and demanding action. As I raced to the front of this march, and jockied for position with my camera to get a clear shot. I came upon a clearing where five or six police motorcycles lay strewn about in the streets. Officers wacked and subdued bleeding protesters who had "gotten out of line". The crowds surrounded the arresting officers and cried for peaceful intervention. The police, desperate to keep order, began to push the line of protesters back. Billy Clubs. Shields. Chaos. Madness in every direction. To my left a group of men fell to the ground. To my right young girls scattered across the street for safety. Behind me, police ran through the streets body checking protesters. Ahead of me, masked men with signs ran through the streets declaring constitutional freedoms. Utter mayhem.


    The police left with no choice but to use force, the people left with no choice but to run. It was a nightmare.


    I continued to run with the swarming crowds as I feared my own safety. As I turned a corner toward Wall St, I witnessed a man thrown to a wall and billy-clubbed. He fell helplessly to the ground. I began to take photos of this but was surrounded by officers. As I retreated, I shouted my press affiliation and my press status. No avail. I was then thrown to the ground and arrested.


    In the back of the pattywagon, One of the men I was arrested with, managed to have his hands free. He lit us cigarettes and recorded this video.




    While in handcuffs, I managed to remove and stuff my camera's memory card deep in my pocket.


    The next 8 hours were spent in a jail cell with a group of passionate people. Some angry, some sad, but most just hopeful. That what they were doing there was somehow right and true, and would somehow in some way pay off.


    Irrational, Rational. I'm just not sure anymore


    Jay Sansone. New York, New York.

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