Latest developments in the Occupy protests

AP News
Posted: Nov 11, 2011 6:18 PM
Latest developments in the Occupy protests

Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests:


Citing a strain on limited crime-fighting resources, police officers pleaded with Occupy Oakland protesters Friday to leave their encampment at the City Hall plaza where a man was shot and killed the night before.

The Oakland Police Officer's Association, which represents rank-and-file police, issued an open letter to protesters.

"With last night's homicide, in broad daylight, in the middle of rush hour, Frank Ogawa Plaza is no longer safe," the letter said. "Please leave peacefully, with your heads held high, so we can get police officers back to work fighting crime in Oakland neighborhoods."

A preliminary investigation into the gunfire suggests it resulted from a fight between two groups of men at or near the encampment, police Chief Howard Jordan said. Investigators do not yet know if the men in the fight were associated with Occupy Oakland, he said.

Protesters said there was no connection between the shooting and the camp.

In Fresno, a fifth night of arrests at the Occupy protesters' encampment brought the total this week to 54.


St. Louis officials have told Occupy St. Louis protesters to move out of a downtown park, but many protesters say they plan to be arrested when police action begins.

The city's original deadline of 3 p.m. Friday passed without any action _ Keiner Plaza was filled with around 200 demonstrators but police did not show up to force anyone to remove the 50 or so tents at the park. Eddie Roth of Mayor Francis Slay's staff declined to say specifically when police and parks officials would step in.


Lawyers for more than 700 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge are pressing prosecutors to drop the charges.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund sent the Manhattan district attorney a letter Friday calling the Oct. 1 arrests unconstitutional and "indefensible." The Washington-based civil rights legal group has sued the city on behalf of those arrested.

The DA's office says it's evaluating all the cases.

A dozen tents sprung up overnight in Washington Square Park after the mayor shifted direction to allow Occupy Rochester to protest round the clock in a city park where 48 people had been charged with violating a nighttime curfew.

The trespassing arrests over the last two weeks were the first in upstate New York's major cities among supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Now, protesters say, Rochester is the only city in New York to provide a legal basis for an Occupy encampment.


An Occupy protest group in Ohio is holding off on saying "yes" to a request that it move out of the way of a Christmas tree lighting-ceremony.

Occupy Dayton demonstrator John Tall tells the Dayton Daily News the group will discuss the issue on Saturday before making a decision.

The protest is going on in Dayton's Courthouse Square, where the ceremony called the Grande Illumination is planned for Nov. 25.

President Sandy Gudorf of the Downtown Dayton Partnership says that while the Occupy Group has a right to protest, the kickoff of the holiday season isn't the right place to make a political statement.


Police say they believe some people inside the Occupy Portland encampments are preparing for a confrontation when officers attempt to clear the parks.

Occupy Portland organizers say the movement is nonviolent and have appealed to people in the camp to resist peacefully when the midnight Saturday deadline arrives.

But authorities say that a call for reinforcements has gone out to other cities, and as many as 150 anarchists may come to Portland. Police also say some elements may be building shields and looking for gas masks.

Mayor Sam Adams has ordered the camp shut down, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment's attraction of drug users and thieves


Protesters with Occupy Philadelphia are proposing to stay at their City Hall encampment and also expand to a site across the street, frustrating city officials who have asked that they move their camp entirely to make way for a long-planned renovation project.

Philadelphia Managing Director Richard Negrin said he was disappointed by the group's proposal Friday, but said the city hasn't even begun the conversation about when and how it might possibly remove protesters from the current location.


Salt Lake City police say a man found dead inside his tent at an encampment of protesters likely died from a combination of drugs and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Police Chief Chris Burbank ordered the protesters to pack up their tents and leave Pioneer Park by Saturday night after the body was discovered Friday morning.

Burbank says authorities found a propane heater inside the dead man's tent.


Burlington police said Friday they would begin enforcing a ban on camping in a downtown park after a man staying with Occupy Vermont protesters apparently shot and killed himself.

Police identified the man as Joshua Pfenning, a 35-year-old transient originally from northeastern Vermont.

Occupy protesters said Pfenning was a military veteran who was not getting the government services he needed to get his life on track.

Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee said Pfenning "was discharged from the Army after approximately two weeks in boot camp."

Three other men were with Pfenning in a tent when he shot himself, police said. They added in a statement that "just prior to the fatal shot, Mr. Pfenning had pointed the gun and threatened another person inside the tent where this occurred."

The incident pointed to what police said is a growing phenomenon at Occupy encampments around the country _ some are becoming blends of protests against perceived economic injustice and a place for homeless people, often struggling with substance abuse and mental illness, to gather.


Officials at Seattle Central Community College say they're getting fed up with Occupy Seattle.

The protesters moved their encampment to the school late last month after city officials told them they couldn't pitch overnight tents in a downtown park. The college estimates the demonstration is costing it $20,000 a week. There have been reports of vandalism and the school says it has to pay for extra security and additional cleaning crews.

College administrators have contacted state lawyers to find a legal way to remove protesters from campus grounds.