Artist Molly Crabapple Tells TheGloss What Happens When You’re Arrested At Occupy Wall Street

Full disclosure: I am probably the person in the world least likely to care about Occupy Wall Street. The only time I’ve really thought about it up until this point was to consider the fact that bongo drums are unbelievably annoying when I go to the Financial District. I spend more time thinking about I’d make it across the ice if Bane took over (ice skates).  However, yesterday, my good friend Molly Crabapple – who, in addition to being a talented artist and the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, is a person who does care about Occupy Wall Street – got arrested. After hearing what the conditions are like, I feel like maybe we should all care, or at least care about people being really arbitrarily arrested. I’ll let Molly take it from here:

Molly, two nights ago we were eating profiteroles, and the next morning you were arrested. What happened?

Molly: I was going out with my friends for the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, a movement I’ve been very involved in. I am the biggest wuss ever, so always stay to sidewalks and never imagine I’ll be arrested (though I have all the admiration in the world for my brave friends who do civil disobedience). I can’t talk about the details of my arrest, but it was utterly unprovoked, and with no warning.

Do you think the police were overzealous because it was the anniversary?

Yes. They set up checkpoints all over lower Manhattan. There were hundreds and hundreds of officers, aggressively shutting down streets. The police do far more to disrupt traffic than the most enthusiastic black bloc protester could ever hope to.

Did you try to protest or explain that it seemed unprovoked when the police arrested you?

I told the officer several times that the arrest was unprovoked, but he didn’t respond or meet my eyes. Officers in demonstrations are often on autopilot. I did notice (and my cellmates confirmed) that women are especially targeted.

Did you see any more violent arrests?

I saw police pulling female protesters by their arms off the pavements – almost as if they were trying to guide them across the street – and then, when they were in the street, cuffing them unprovoked. In jail, I met elderly nurses, a white-haired priest, numerous legal observers, and accredited journalists.

What exactly were they being arrested FOR?

You actually don’t find out until you’re let out of jail 11-40 hours later. Often it would be “disorderly conduct” or “obstructing traffic”, which are decent catchalls that are easy for police to falsify.

What did they tell you was the cause of your arrest?

I can’t say. I need to take to my lawyer about that

What were the conditions like in jail?

You’re in a freezing cold, 5 x 5 room with four other women. There’s a padded bench, that’s just enough for three of you to uncomfortably sit on, a toilet, and a sink that doesn’t work. When you want to use the bathroom, the other girls line up in front of you to screen you from the male guards who are walking past. For food, we got four slices of stale bread, a packet of mayo, and two glasses water.

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    • Janek Jachimowicz

      Media described small turnout of protesters…my thought..most likely people hate being abused by brother/sisters in uniform. PIG is no longer en vogue? N’est pas?

    • Jamie Peck

      It’s good to see this on here. I think you care more than you let on. And everyone who is not actively participating in the drum circle hates the drum circle.

    • Amy

      I would like to give a shout-out to Molly Crabapple from Edmonton, Alberta. I have been a huge fan for a couple of years now and I thought this story was awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    • Unrepentant13

      Boy, the Occupy movement sure did a LOT of good! Let’s see… each city now owes tens of thousands of dollars more for police and cleanup, there were deaths and rapes, it changed exactly *nothing* in Wall Street and other financial institutions, and it got Kalle Lasn and Micah White of Adbusters MILLIONS of dollars (Adbusters is a Canadian-based not-for-profit, anti-consumerist, pro-environment organization that *sells* subscriptions to their magazine). Thank you SO much for doing the physical equivalent of writing a nasty letter to the editor of your local newspaper!

      (as a FYI, I’m on SSI, a Democrat and well below the poverty level – I’m the REAL 99%, and quite frankly you just looked like 60′s rejects.)

    • Troll Hunter

      Unrepentant13 shut up troll