Yesterday the Occupy Wall Street movement passed a milestone — five thousand arrests since the Zuccotti Park encampment was established on September 17. As a result of multiple crackdowns overnight, the tally now stands at 5,163 arrests in 75 days, an average of almost 69 a day.
Let’s put those numbers in perspective.
There were 13,120,947 arrests in the United States last year. (That’s one for every 24 people in the country, including babies.) Almost 36,000 arrests each and every day.
Assuming those numbers are about right for the last few months, that means that one out of every five hundred people arrested in the US since mid-September was arrested in connection with OWS.
The OWS arrests since September 17 amount to less than ten percent of the number of vandalism arrests in the same period. A little over a third of prostitution arrests. One and a half percent of drug arrests.
More people were arrested for vagrancy in the last seventy-five days than were arrested in connection with OWS, and almost four times as many were arrested for loitering or curfew violations.
In the last seventy-five days, three children twelve and under were arrested for every OWS-related arrest. So far this year, there have been fewer OWS arrests than arrests of children under ten. Since mid-September the number of juveniles referred to adult courts for prosecution is double the number of total OWS arrests.
This country arrests a hell of a lot of people. This country arrests a hell of a lot of kids.