Latest developments in the global Occupy protests

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2011 5:58 AM
Latest developments in the global Occupy protests

Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests taking place in cities across the world:

UNITED STATES

WEATHER CONCERNS

Anti-Wall Street protesters around the country who are vowing to stand their ground against the police and politicians are also digging in against a different kind of adversary: cold weather.

With the temperature dropping, they are stockpiling donated coats, blankets and scarves, trying to secure cots and military-grade tents, and getting survival tips from the homeless people who have joined their encampments.

More than a month and a half into the movement, Occupy Wall Street activists from New York to Colorado have pledged to tough out the snow, sleet and cold as they protest economic inequality and what they call corporate greed.

But the dangers of staying outdoors in some of the country's harsher climes are already becoming apparent: In Denver, two protesters were hospitalized with hypothermia this week during a storm that brought several inches of snow.

TENNESSEE

Authorities in Tennessee have made some arrests at the site where a few dozen Wall Street protesters have been encamped for about three weeks in Nashville.

Authorities began moving in early Friday using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents.

The state's new rules specifically ban "overnight occupancy" at the public space and require permits and use fees for rallies.

CALIFORNIA

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators held vigils for an Iraq War veteran seriously injured during a protest clash with police in California as some occupy encampments held out against orders from authorities to abandon sites in parks and plazas.

A crowd of at least 1,000 people, many holding candles, gathered Thursday night in Oakland in honor of 24-year-old Scott Olsen who is hospitalized with a fractured skull.

The Marine veteran, who won medals in Iraq, has become a rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators across the nation, with Twitter users and protest websites declaring, "We are all Scott Olsen."

NEW MEXICO

Organizers with Albuquerque's version of the national anti-Wall Street rallies have announced that they will hold a march at the site where around two dozen protesters were arrested.

Members of the "(Un)occupy Albuquerque" movement have scheduled a "1st Amendment Solidarity March" on Saturday at the University of New Mexico's Yale Park.

Earlier this week, protesters were arrested at the park after school officials ordered the four-week-old protest site closed over safety concerns. New Mexico state police raided the spot late Tuesday and have prevented protesters from returning.

Since then, protesters have held their nightly general assembly meetings across the street. Members of "(Un)occupy Albuquerque" movement have been debating whether to fight and return to the site or move to another location.

MAINE

Maine groups aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement are holding rallies on Saturday to draw attention to their message.

Occupy Bangor says it's holding a rally at downtown Bangor's Peirce Park at noon, followed by a march through downtown. The group says it will break into working groups at 3 p.m. and hold a so-called "general assembly" at 4 p.m. The group says participants are organizing to show solidarity for what it calls a "feeling of mass injustice and inequality in America."

In Portland, the Occupy Maine group says it's having a rally with speakers, music and a march beginning at noon at Monument Square.

OREGON

Portland police say their overtime costs so far for Occupy Portland are more than $186,000.

Chief Mike Reese says the figure covers the period through last Sunday and includes Occupy Portland's first demonstration and march on Oct. 6. The costs include everything from traffic coverage for marches to the 24-hour, seven-day-per-week security provided for protesters camping in two downtown park squares.

The chief told The Oregonian that without a large police presence, the camp wouldn't be safe. He says the dynamic is changing, with more of what he termed the "homeless and road warrior-type street youth."

About 300 people have been camping in the two parks as part of the anti-Wall Street protest against what demonstrators see, in part, as corporate greed.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Howard University students, alumni and faculty are planning a march Friday to support the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The planned afternoon march will go from the Howard campus to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Organizers say they've coordinated with and will be joined by protesters from two ongoing "occupations" near the White House.

Talib Karim, an alumnus of the historically black school and one of the organizers, said the march is part of an effort to bring more racial diversity to the Wall Street protests. He says the issues raised by the protesters should resonate with African-Americans, who endure poverty and unemployment in greater percentages than the general population. The marchers will be calling on Congress to pass bills promoting job growth.

MASSACHUSETTS

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is clarifying remarks she made about the Occupy Wall Street protests, saying she didn't mean to take credit for them.

The Democrat and Harvard Law School professor said during a campaign appearance Thursday in Newton that she had intended to say she has been protesting against Wall Street abuses for a long time. Warren added that protesters must follow the law.

In an interview posted on The Daily Beast website, Warren said she "created much of the intellectual foundation" for the demonstrators. Republicans criticized her for the remark, pointing to arrests of some protesters in Boston and other cities.

Warren is considered the likely Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Scott Brown next year.

NEW YORK

The head of the union representing New York City police sergeants wants Occupy Wall Street protesters to know he'll pursue legal action against anyone who harms police.

The statement Thursday came after clashes between protesters and police in Oakland, Calif., and elsewhere. The movement in New York City, where the protests originated, has been largely peaceful.

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins told The Associated Press he wants demonstrators to know that assaulting an officer is a crime. He hopes no violence breaks out in New York.

RHODE ISLAND

The public safety chief in Providence has delivered letters to local Occupy Wall Street protesters notifying them they are violating multiple ordinances by camping overnight at downtown Burnside Park and asking them to leave within 72 hours.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare dropped the letters off at protesters' tents Thursday. The letter lists regulations including littering, keeping off the grass, storage of explosive or inflammable materials, and permitting.

The activists have been camped in the park without a permit since Oct. 15.

NEVADA

Reno elected officials have given the go-ahead for a northern Nevada group to set up a three-month encampment modeled on Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and other cities.

The Reno City Council waived a $35-per-day fee for use of the site near an unused municipal swimming pool several miles south of downtown Reno. One councilman even offered to pay for the $103 permit filing fee for Occupy Reno.

Encampment organizers agreed to follow public safety and health rules and provide portable toilets.

In Las Vegas, protesters also held a vigil in honor of 24-year-old Scott Olsen, hospitalized with a fractured skull after a confrontation with police in Oakland. The vigil drew a handful of police officers. Afterward, protesters invited them back for a potluck dinner.

VIRGINIA

A tea party group in Virginia is demanding a refund of about $10,000 from the city of Richmond, claiming the group was unfairly charged for rallies while Occupy protesters have used the same space for several weeks for free.

The political organization is sending the city an invoice for the charges incurred for three rallies held in Kanawha Plaza over the past three years.

The Occupy protesters have been camped out at the plaza since Oct. 15.

Richmond Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens said it was not fair that her group had to pay fees for permits, portable toilets, police and emergency personnel. The group also had to purchase a $1 million insurance policy.

The Atlanta Tea Party has raised similar complaints about Occupy Atlanta protests.

EUROPE

ENGLAND

St. Paul's Cathedral in London is opening its doors to the public after a weeklong closure, as a former head of the Anglican church accuses clergy of bungling their response to anti-capitalist protesters camped outside.

Clergy plan to lead a special Eucharist service Friday, including prayers for the demonstrators.

Several hundred protesters have been camped outside the building since Oct. 15.

Days later, cathedral officials shut the building, saying the campsite was a health and safety hazard.

The protest has divided managers of the cathedral. Senior clergyman Giles Fraser, resigned Thursday, saying he feared moves to evict the protesters could end in violence.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said the situation had become a "debacle" that could damage the reputation of Christianity.

GERMANY

The distribution of wealth in the United States is among the most unequal among industrialized nations, according to a study by the independent Bertelsmann Foundation, based in Gutersloh, Germany.

It was conducted independently of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the foundation said, but gives credit to the battle cry of many protesters that "we are the 99 percent" _ the vast majority of the population that does not benefit from the income of the world's leading economy.

The United States ranked in the bottom five on a combination of issues including poverty prevention, health and access to education _ ahead of only Greece, Chile, Mexico and Turkey _ according to the study on social justice in the 31 developed nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Distribution of wealth in the United States is the most unequal among the nations examined, with more than 17 percent below the poverty line. Of those living below the poverty line in the U.S., some 21.6 percent of them are children, who also suffer from a lack of access to equal education, it showed.

Topping the list were the Scandinavian nations _ all places where the Occupy movement has failed to gain traction. The largest gathering in Sweden to date drew a crowd of only about 500 people. The foundation used data gathered both independently and by the development organization in 2010.

SCOTLAND

Police say they are investigating reports that a woman was raped while participating in the anti-capitalist protests in Glasgow. The report involved a 28-year-old woman at a tent in the city's George Square. No arrests have been made. Occupy Glasgow organizers said they are shocked by the report and working with police to ensure that everyone at the camp is safe.