While police and protesters disagree on the severity of the crimes that have occurred, there’s no disputing that some folks are leaving New York’s Occupy Wall Street live-in at Zuccotti Park over safety concerns. The New York Times’ Todd Heisler reports that despite a formidable security team and a plainclothes police presence, assaults at OWS have increased, though protesters blame some of that activity on homeless residents who’ve moved into the area.
To increase the sense of safety for female protesters, Heisler says, the activists have set up a large women’s-only tent on the south side of the park and there are plans to construct a tent for transgender protesters. But according to Nate Barchus, a facilitator of the LGBT contingent at OWS, at least 28 protesters — 12 of them transgender men and women, and the rest nontrans women — have abandoned the park in recent days because they feared for their safety.
Actual crime statistics for Zuccotti Park are not available. Read more at The New York Times.