At Least 6 Occupy Encampments Attacked Across America, But Protesters Willing to Fight
Over the weekend, police evicted and/or attacked several Occupy encampments across America, sending a clear message: the cops, and the corporate banks, have apparently imposed a time limit on citizens' first amendment rights. There was, of course, the cop raid in Oakland last night, which had protesters kettled until the wee hours in the morning (stay tuned for a full report from AlterNet's Joshua Holland). And protesters in Chapel Hill, NC, who were occupying an abandoned building before they were removed by rifle. Here are six more cities where local governments are trying to suppress the protests:
Portland. Fifty were arrested in city parks yesterday and two separate encampments were surrounded by chainlink fence after 37 days of being occupied. KPIC:
"It's not that I want to be standing in front of a bunch of armed police officers," one protester told KATU News. "I just feel that it's a need to change the economic and political discussions in this country."
"We don't feel like we have our voices anymore. This is our voice," he added.
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese told KATU News he was pleased with how his officers handled themselves overnight and through the day.
"It went very well," said Reese. "We reclaimed the park for the parks bureau."
Salt Lake. On Saturday, 19 people were arrested in Pioneer Park after they refused to evacuate the encampment. But though their Occupy was evicted, they returned the next day:
"My experience at the jail was so pleasant because I was with the greatest people," a man who identified himself as Lionel said of being arrested with the others.
"I couldn't have been arrested with a nicer group of people," said a woman who identified herself as arrestee No. 13.
The group thanked those who were arrested for coming back, and also thanked them for being not being violent when they were taking into custody.
While their tents were now gone, the group Sunday wanted to work on strategies for continuing their protest, including meeting at the Gallivan Center everyday this week at noon for a march. The group had signs posted at their meeting with messages such as, "Back off Becker" and "More committed than ever."
"Don't lose sight of the vision and the dream," one member encouraged the others.
Albany. Thirteen were arrested in the capital of New York on Sunday, after ignoring an 11 PM curfew at a state park. The DA's office, however, says the charges will be dismissed when the arrestees show up in court next week. (The DA is, of course, the awesome, union-friendly David Soares.)
Denver. Seventeen were arrested at Occupy Denver over the weekend after a clash at an encampment: "Westword reported on Saturday that the Denver police, in "the most significant riot gear presence to date" clashed with nearly 100 protesters leading to 17 arrests for not removing personal items from the park sidewalk.