A new short film by Paul Sullivan marking the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement explains how New York City police used targeted arrests to sap the gatherings of momentum, while also showing the threats leveled at protests, including the filmmaker himself.


Sullivan's encounter with police is the tenth arrest in "10 Arrests In 87 Minutes," as officers throw him into scaffolding while he tried to back away from another arrest. The camera spins around, but the audio remains clear, as an officer tells Sullivan -- whose face is pressed against another officer's shoulder -- "Don't put your mouth near him, 'cause I swear to God I will break your jaw. I will break your jaw if you bite him. And somebody will kill you."

The film, shot during a demonstration marking the movement's first anniversary on Sept. 17, 2012, also shows police going into the crowd at various points and dragging people away. In one instance, they throw a person to the ground, but do not arrest him until other protesters attempt to help them up.

Sullivan also points out that many of the arrests he sees involve men wearing hooded sweaters or bandannas, a day after former NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne warned of encounters with "anarchists."

"That makes it sound like the NYPD has a very clear idea of who they are looking for," he observes.

Around 150 people were arrested at the protest Sullivan filmed. A CNN Money panel discussion on Tuesday concering the "fizzling" of the movement did not name police suppression as a factor.

Watch Sullivan's short film, posted on Tuesday by Sparrow Media, below.

[h/t Gothamist]