Latest developments in the Occupy protests

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2011 6:21 PM
Latest developments in the Occupy protests

Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests:

CALIFORNIA

Dozens of people were arrested during Occupy demonstrations at the University of California, Berkeley campus, as authorities twice clashed with protesters trying to set up encampments. The bulk of the arrests came Wednesday night, as authorities in riot gear confronted demonstrators.

The university reported earlier that an administrator had told the protesters they could stay around the clock for a week, but only if they didn't pitch tents or use stoves or other items that would suggest people were sleeping there.

Shadrick Small, 25, a UC Berkeley graduate student, was among the protesters trying to block police from dismantling the camp. "We were just standing there with a bunch of tents," Small said. "And their first response is just to come in and start hitting people. The reaction is just over the top."

University police didn't immediately return calls from The Associated Press.

Wall Street protesters in Fresno are continuing to defy deputy orders to clear out of the park at night, resulting in another 11 arrests. Deputies took protesters into custody early Thursday morning. It was the fifth straight night of arrests for violating a county ordinance.

DELAWARE

A judge ruled that Occupy Delaware protesters can use a downtown plaza in Wilmington as they see fit pending a hearing Friday in a lawsuit claiming that the city is violating their rights of assembly and free speech.

Assistant City Solicitor Rosamaria Tassone-Dinardo says the protesters can enter the plaza and sit on benches day or night, but they cannot establishment an "encampment" without a permit.

Given that Occupy Delaware has no formal membership, anyone could take part in the group's encampment and use it as an opportunity "to basically have a terrorist act" by hiding a bomb inside a tent, she suggested.

MASSACHUSETTS

Dozens of Harvard University students have set up tents in Harvard Yard in the shadow of the Ivy league school's founder to protest what they say is a growing wealth gap in the country and the university's perceived role in creating that inequality.

The tents were set up after some tense moments when university police and security guards blocked and locked the gates to Harvard Yard to keep more than 300 protesters out.

School officials say they wanted to keep people who were not Harvard students out, but many protesters pushed at the gates while holding up Harvard IDs.

OREGON

Portland's mayor on Thursday ordered Occupy Portland to take down its tent city on two adjacent downtown parks by midnight Saturday, saying conditions at the camp have become dangerous, unhealthy and a refuge for criminals.

Mayor Sam Adams said Occupy Portland "has had considerable time to share its movement's messages with the public, but has lost control of the camps it created."

A 29-year-old man at the Occupy Portland encampment was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of throwing an improvised incendiary device at a downtown office building, the latest in a series of incidents that has shaken the confidence of many of the movement's supporters in city government.

RHODE ISLAND

The Providence public safety commissioner has defended the use of thermal-imaging on an Occupy Providence encampment in a city park to determine how many tents were occupied during the cold weather.

The Providence Journal reports that Commissioner Steven M. Pare said Wednesday that thermal imaging was used Nov. 2 for public safety.

The Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union says imaging raises privacy and constitutional concerns. ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown said authorities entered the park at night to gather information by peering into tents.

Pare says no one's privacy was invaded and that there was no surveillance or "constant monitoring."

SOUTH CAROLINA

Occupy Wall Street protesters interrupted a foreign policy speech by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, saying she was more concerned with dividing Americans than helping them.

Bachmann was delivering the speech Thursday on the deck of the mothballed aircraft carrier USS Yorktown near Charleston when the protesters stood up and began shouting, "Mike check!"

They chanted for about three minutes while the Minnesota congresswoman left the stage.

The protesters eventually walked off the ship after she left.

TENNESSEE

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will ask prosecutors to drop charges against dozens of Occupy Nashville protesters arrested last month for trespassing. Haslam spokesman David Smith said the decision to dismiss the charges against 55 protesters was made in light of a federal judge's ruling that the state couldn't enforce the new curfew on the grounds around the state Capitol.

VERMONT

Witnesses say a man shot himself in an encampment of the Occupy Wall Street movement in Vermont's largest city.

Burlington police say the 35-year-old man was gravely wounded Thursday afternoon. They say they don't believe the public is in danger but won't characterize the circumstances of the shooting. Police say the shooting took place in or near a protest tent.

People who know him say the man is a military veteran. Occupy Vermont leader Emily Reynolds says he "clearly needed more help than we were capable of giving him."

Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee says the victim is from the Burlington area.