Occupy Updates: Tragic Shootings in Burlington and Oakland; Occupy the Highway Hits the Road

--Some awful news out of Occupy Burlington (Vermont): A 35-year-old military veteran committed suicide yesterday afternoon. The as-yet-unidentified man shot himself in the head at the occupation site and later died from his wounds. Following the tragic incident, the scene at Occupy Burlington turned tense. The Burlington Free Pressreports:

The evening culminated in this surreal scene nearly five hours after the shooting: Mayor Bob Kiss, standing hatless and coatless in a cold rain, talking a group of close to 100 City Hall Park occupiers down from a near riot.

Kiss had called a 6 p.m. meeting in City Hall’s Contois Auditorium to talk about modifications to the city’s rules for the encampment following the shooting, and Police Chief Michael Schirling told the large group that the tents would be off limits for at least 24 hours while police continued their investigation into the death of a man whose name has not yet been released.

It had been a good relationship between police and protesters since the encampment began Oct. 28, city officials said, but the death had changed the landscape in the park.

--Tragedy struck near Occupy Oakland yesterday as well when a man was shot and killed close to the occupation site. The individuals involved with the shooting were apparently unaffiliated with the occupation, but occupiers worry that the Oakland Police Department will use the shooting to justify another eviction of the camp.

--Occupy the Highway, the two-week march from New York City to DC to protest at the November 23 Congressional Supercomittee meeting, has hit the road (pun intended, thanks). According to the action's blog, the group made it to Elizabeth, New Jersey, on its second day of marching and plans to make stops at Occupy Philly and Occupy Baltimore during its journey.

--Occupiers in Portland, Oregon, have been issued an eviction order by the city's mayor. Protesters are supposed to clear out by 12:01am on Sunday; a standoff is expected.

--St. Louis occupiers face eviction today, and say they will not budge.

--Occupy movement protesters plan to "occupy" this year's Rose Parade in Pasadena. Via Raw Story:

“It’s not rocket science. All we’re trying to do is use this event, a historical piece of Americana that is becoming increasingly militarized and corporatized, to get our message out to millions of people,” organizer Peter Thottam told Reuters in an interview.

--Occupy Wall Street now has a "People's Firehouse." Info

By consensus of the General Assembly, the People’s Firehouse – named in honor of Engine 212 in North Brooklyn, which was occupied for 18 months after budget cuts forced its closure – will serve the camp around the clock and be staffed by trained fire experts. It’s also on twitter right here!

--Another buzzworthy item from OWS: Joan Baez is slated to perform in nearby Foley Square today. (Update: here's video of the performance [starts around 3:30], via Firedoglake)

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at November 11, 2011, 4:51am

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