Latest developments in the Occupy protests

AP News
Posted: Nov 04, 2011 5:13 AM
Latest developments in the Occupy protests

Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests:


Occupy Wall Street supporters who staged rallies that shut down the nation's fifth-busiest port during a day of protests on Thursday condemned the demonstrators who clashed with police in the latest flare-up of violence in Oakland, California.

The 3,000-person protest outside the port Wednesday night represented an escalation in tactics as demonstrators targeted a major symbol of the nation's commerce with peaceful rallies and sit-ins, managing to effectively suspend maritime operations there for the night.

Riot police arrested dozens of protesters in the city's downtown, where bands of demonstrators threw chunks of concrete and metal pipes as well as lit roman candles and firebombs, police said. At least four protesters and several officers were injured.

On Thursday afternoon, representatives from the Occupy Oakland media committee read a statement saying participants supported the goal of reclaiming empty buildings to serve the public but regretted that their daylong downtown demonstration was marred by an "autonomous" group.

In downtown Los Angeles, about 100 nurses and supporters marched in a call for a tax on Wall Street financial transactions. The members of National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association are wearing red T-shirts saying "An Economy for the 99 Percent."

A federal judge sided with Sacramento's enforcement of a city ordinance banning anti-Wall Street protesters from camping overnight in a downtown park. U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. ruled that the time restriction does not violate protesters' First Amendment rights.


Denver supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement said Thursday they're temporarily moving their protest location out of respect for a Veterans Day parade and will march in front of downtown banks this weekend.

Protesters have been stationed across the street from the state Capitol for weeks, but group members said they'll move Saturday to give space for the parade honoring veterans in Civic Center Park.

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore told Occupy Wall Street supporters in Denver to be mindful of people trying to incite violence within the movement, saying they could be working undercover for the government.


Sarah Palin told Republican donors in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that Occupy Wall Street protesters want the same thing as the "fat cats" they're upset with _ a government bailout. Palin criticized the protesters as believing they're entitled to other people's productivity and money and said they've drawn the wrong conclusions. Instead, the former Alaska governor said people should look to the tea party.


The Occupy Atlanta movement got a boost Thursday from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who told protesters at a homeless shelter that their efforts are an extension of the struggle he helped lead for civil rights in America.

Jackson urged the protesters to keep up the fight and to focus their anger on economic and social disparities, not City Hall.

"Do not let difficult times break your spirits," Jackson said. "In all things, keep your eyes on the prize. Renew your faith, keep your hope alive and victory is assured."

Jackson is in Atlanta participating in a conference with his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and said the organization shares many of the concerns of the Occupy movement. He also has visited with protesters in other cities around the country, including New York, Chicago and Detroit.


Dozens of shouting Occupy Chicago protesters disrupted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's speech to the Union League Club of Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports that ( ) Walker had been speaking for just a few minutes Thursday morning when about 50 protesters began shouting in a room where about 300 people had gathered for the event.

Protesters' chants included "Union busting, it's disgusting" and "We are the 99."

The Tribune says the protesters are backed by unions that oppose the Republican governor's efforts to curb collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin's public employees. Walker is the target of a recall effort.

Walker stood silently during the shouting, and protesters left after about 10 minutes.


Casting the Wall Street protestors as misguided, Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann on Thursday said their frustrations should instead be directed at Washington politicians who protect their allies and put unfriendly companies out of business. Bachmann said politicians have far too much power and unfairly pick winners and losers. The Minnesota congresswoman, trying to recapture her once surging poll numbers, said she has watched lawmakers enact laws that intentionally shut businesses down.


Hennepin County says it is rejecting a request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota to rescind new restrictions on protesters. The ACLU-MN contends the restrictions violate the protesters' First Amendment rights. The county says the government plaza occupied by protesters needs to be winterized, and she cites health and safety concerns. Under the new restrictions, protesters at the downtown Minneapolis plaza will have to consolidate their possessions and can't leave them unattended or they'll be taken. Signs will not be allowed to be taped to plaza property. And overnight sleeping won't be allowed once significant snow falls or the temperature falls below 25 degrees.


Police arrested three people early Thursday while evicting Occupy Omaha protesters from a parking lot near downtown. The Omaha Police Department said officers made loudspeaker announcements at around 4 a.m. to ensure the nine people on the property heard and had a chance to leave before being arrested for criminal trespass on city property.

Two of the people immediately refused to leave. A third person later sat in the middle of the lot and said he was staying. All three were cooperative as they were arrested and taken a few blocks away for booking into the county jail, police said.


In lower Manhattan, 17 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Thursday at Goldman Sachs' headquarters. Many of the protesters were carried off by police after refusing to move.

Several hundred activists marched from Zuccotti Park a few blocks away. Officers flanking them had handcuffs strapped to their waists.

At the Goldman Sachs building, police demanded that the protesters get off the private pavement in front of the entrance. Most did. But the rest sat down and refused to walk.

Also in New York City, more than 50 people arrested at an Occupy Wall Street march rejected offers Thursday to get disorderly conduct cases dismissed by staying out of trouble for six months, saying they wanted trials on what some called unjustified arrests.

Prosecutors say the demonstrators blocked traffic and prevented pedestrians from getting by. But many of the protesters say the disorderly conduct charges weren't justified. They say they stayed on the sidewalk, took care to leave a path for others to get through and followed police instructions.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited unconfirmed reports Thursday that Occupy Wall Street protesters are allowing crimes to go unreported and are instead chasing wrongdoers out of their park encampment. He declined to say whether the information could be grounds for police to forcibly evict protesters from the site.

Protester Justin Stone-Diaz said he knew of two sexual assaults after which the female victims refused to file charges, leaving their fellow protesters _ and the police _ unable to take further action. The protesters gave the police department's liaison detailed information about the incidents, he said.

Sixteen people were arrested early Thursday at the Occupy Rochester protest in a downtown park.

The demonstrators face charges of trespassing and violating the city's park law that prohibits people from being on the property after 11 p.m.

Since Oct. 28, police have made 50 arrests at the park, where the Occupy Rochester group gathers daily.

Mayor Tom Richards says there are no sanitary facilities in the park and it's not designed for people to spend the night.


Demonstrators said Thursday that 23 arrests in the past two days, some of which involved officers using pepper spray, only made them more resolute to keep returning to the park. Several protesters who observed Wednesday night's arrests said authorities appeared to handle the situation in a subdued fashion and didn't flash pepper spray at occupiers.


Members of Occupy Nashville delivered a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday saying they want to collaborate with him "to achieve the best possible outcomes."

One protester presented the letter to an office secretary after reading it out loud. Haslam was having a meeting in his interior office and didn't meet with the protesters, according to his spokesman.

Protester Megan Riggs told reporters after presenting the letter that "it was just a gesture of goodwill to communicate to him ... that we want to be good neighbors."