Occupy Wall Street protesters attacked some photographers covering the May Day protests today in New York, trying to damage or seize their cameras. There are no reported injuries but one photographer was hit in the face, another got in a "tug-of-war" with a protester over her camera, and another had her camera smashed into her face by a protesters, according to those at the scene.
"The black bloc crowd has been making grabs for cameras," C.S. Muncy, a freelance photographer on assignment for the Village Voice, told BuzzFeed. The "black bloc" is a group of protesters all dressed in black, wearing masks.
"I had a couple people make grabs for my gear," Muncy said. "They just didn't want their pictures taken."
"One girl walks up to one of the photogs and nailed him right in the face," Muncy said. "He popped her right back." Muncy said the photographer was Lucas Jackson of Reuters.
Stephanie Keith, a freelance photographer, said that a black bloc protester tried to forcibly take her camera out of her hands. It happened around 1 p.m. at the beginning of the "Wildcat March" leaving from a park in Lower Manhattan.
Keith said that she was holding her camera up above her head to take photos of a confrontation between protesters and police when "all of a sudden this guy, who was way bigger than me, grabs my camera." Keith said the protester was yelling at her, "No cameras, no cameras, no cameras."
"We were having a fucking tug of war over my camera," Keith told BuzzFeed. "It's a four thousand dollar camera."
Keith said she tried to bite the protester's hand to repel him, and "just before I connected with his skin he let go. The guy had a mask on so I couldn't even identify him."
Muncy said he saw a protester throw a "black paint bomb" at a photographer, and several on the scene say that another photographer was approached by a protester who pushed her camera into her face as she was lifting it up to take a photo.
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.