An overview of 'Occupy' protest across the U.S. and in London
New York and cities across the country are preparing to host rallies and marches on Thursday, the two-month anniversary of the Occupy protests’ birth in a lower Manhattan park.
Predictions varied, but protest organizers promised it would be their biggest event yet. A New York deputy mayor said officials were bracing for tens of thousands of people at various locations who could clog subways and bridges.
It was unclear Wednesday how reliable that estimate was. Previous protests in New York have consisted of several hundred people.
The encampment in Zuccotti Park, considered the epicentre of the global Occupy movement, was cleared out by police early Tuesday, leaving the movement in the nation’s largest city without a permanent home. The day of marches was planned before the raid.
Some of the 200 or so protesters arrested in the raid were arraigned Wednesday, while dozens more arrested during an Oct. 1 march had court dates down the hall.
Protesters were also told they could retrieve belongings confiscated in the raid from a Manhattan sanitation garage. The mound of items ranged from books to tents to clothing.
In a city that celebrates behaving badly, Occupy Las Vegas protesters are touting civil obedience and government cooperation as anti-Wall Street efforts elsewhere have turned to violence and police confrontations.
Las Vegas demonstrators have sought approval from government leaders and police before protesting or setting up a camp site. They called off a protest during President Barack Obama’s visit to Las Vegas last month because police asked them to do so. And they have created a system of protest rules that ban, among other things, law-breaking and hate signs.
The good behaviour in Las Vegas and other Occupy efforts across Nevada is even more noteworthy because Nevadans may have the most cause to rage against the machine. The state tops the nation in foreclosures and unemployment and entire neighbourhoods have been overtaken by vacant homes and storefronts.
But while protesters in other cities riot and rage, the Vegas group is hosting a series of free foreclosure mediation workshops for homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages.
Organizers insist their anti-greed message has a better chance of spreading if they aren’t labelled violent anarchists.
An 84-year-old woman has become a face of the national Occupy Wall Street movement after she was hit with pepper spray during a Seattle march.
A photo of Dorli Rainey with the chemical irritant dripping from her chin quickly went viral, becoming one of the most striking images from the protests that have taken place in cities across the globe.
Rainey has been active in Seattle’s liberal politics for decades and once ran for mayor. She says Wednesday that she showed up at the downtown protest the previous day to show her support.
Police say demonstrators were blocking a downtown intersection.
Rainey was not among the six people who were arrested.
London officials attached eviction notices to protest tents outside St. Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday. They are asking demonstrators to remove the camp by Thursday evening or face legal action.
The notices posted by the City of London Corporation said the encampment was “an unlawful obstruction” of a sidewalk, and asked protesters to take down “all tents and other structures.”
Cathedral and city officials had suspended legal action to remove the camp two weeks ago, and offered the protesters a deal to allow them to stay until the New Year if they then agreed to leave. But the corporation said Tuesday that talks had failed and it was resuming legal action.
If the more than 200 tents are not removed, the corporation says it will go to court seeking an eviction notice. That process could take weeks or months.
An attorney for Occupy Dallas said an agreement with the city was reached Wednesday that allows protesters to stay at a campsite near City Hall four more weeks as long as they obey the law.
Protesters say they will keep their campsite clean so they don’t get kicked out.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has said public safety and health conditions are a “paramount concern.”
The city last week alleged protesters violated an agreement allowing the campsite. The city noted reports of an alleged sexual assault of a child, the removal of a baby over possible endangerment and trespassing arrests.
The Republican leader of the state Senate said Wednesday that the entity that manages the Statehouse grounds should clean up the Occupy protest grounds because it represents a public health risk.
Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, stopped short of saying demonstrators should be removed, but complained they were an eyesore.
In a letter to Gov. Nikki Haley, Peeler cited the “tables, sleeping bags, coolers, folding chairs and even a port-o-john” at the encampment and said he didn’t see how the items didn’t “invade the public health, safety and welfare” of citizens.
A Boston judge has ordered the city not to remove protesters or their tents from a downtown encampment without court approval, except in an emergency such as fire, a medical issue or an outbreak of violence.
A temporary restraining order was issued after a hearing Wednesday on the protesters’ lawsuit. Fuller arguments will be heard Dec. 1, and the judge orders the sides to hold a mediation session before then.
A lawyer for the demonstrators says they are concerned they will be forced out in the middle of the night as Occupy protesters were in New York City this week.
Occupy San Diego protesters have once again been rousted from a downtown plaza by police.
The San Diego Union-Tribune says nine people were arrested and a 10th was cited during the confrontation early Wednesday.
Officials say most arrests were for resisting or obstructing police.
Officers used bull horns to roust sleepers at the Civic Center Plaza. A police statement says tables, sleeping bags and other items were removed so the area could be cleaned up.
It is the latest confrontation in the city where 74 people were cited or jailed since the demonstrations began last month.