6 Stories That You May Have Missed From the Occupy Movement
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His statement continues:
Our law enforcement officers have a duty to protect our health and safety, but that duty must always be discharged with respect for the fundamental First Amendment rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.
Predictably, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pooh-poohed the idea of an investigation, saying "If [Nadler] would spend more time getting us homeland security money, maybe he'd make the streets safer."
4. Protesters occupy foreclosed homes.
Occupy Our Homes' effort to occupy foreclosed houses and help families stave off eviction continues around the country. In the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, homeless activist Alfredo Carrasquillo and his family have been occupying an abandoned home at 702 Vermont Street since December 7. The home was foreclosed on by Bank of America.
Similar actions are taking place in California, Georgia, Michigan, and elsewhere in response to the avalanche of foreclosures that is burying homeowners, especially those who are low-income, across the nation.
Watch this Up With Chris Hayes segment from last weekend, in which Hayes interviews Carrasquillo and talks about the growing U.S. foreclosure problem:
5. Protesters defy Boston eviction deadline by getting hitched.
Half an hour after a recent eviction deadline at Occupy Boston, two occupiers engaged in what In These Times ' Allison Kilkenny calls a "remarkable act of defiance" -- they got married.
Kilkenny reports that Aaron Spagnolo spontaneously proposed to his girlfriend, Nanore Barsoumian, on eviction night because he felt "the night was just perfect." He popped the question via -- what else? -- the people's mic. Spagnolo and Barsoumian's wedding guests included about 1,000 fellow protesters gathered in Dewey Square, despite the eviction deadline.
This wasn't the first Occupy wedding; a few other couples have tied the knot at occupation sites. But Spagnolo and Barsoumian may have been good luck for the occupation, in the short-term at least, because the police never showed up to raid the square that night. However, the 74-day occupation did come to a close several days later, on December 10, when Boston police swept in and arrested 46 protesters.
6. Real Occupy Wall Street shuts down TV version of Occupy Wall Street.
It's safe to say the folks who make the TV show Law & Order had no idea what they were in for when they decided to film an Occupy Wall Street-themed episode. Mere weeks after the real occupiers were thrown out of Zuccotti Park, the Law & Order crew set up a faux occupation in the plaza. Their eviction wounds still fresh, the real Wall Street protesters took offense to the "mockupation," and about 60 of them gathered at the set to let Law & Order know about it.
The alternate-reality Occupy Wall Street had a library, kitchen, tents and protest signs, just like the real occupation... except not. Reportedly, it was a pretty bizarre scene, especially after the real Occupy protesters shut down filming by chanting and entering the park.
The NYPD ended up rescinding Law & Order 's filming permit, and the crew had to dismantle the set and get out of there. Here's a video of the ordeal, with some great protester interviews, via Gothamist:
Lauren Kelley is an associate editor at AlterNet and a freelance writer and editor who has contributed to Change.org, The L Magazine and Time Out New York. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter here.