Police dismantle Oakland camp, protesters on march
By Laird Harrison | Reuters – Nov 14, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - Police forcibly evicted anti-Wall Street
protesters from their camp in downtown Oakland early on Monday, setting
the stage for possible showdowns with some demonstrators who vowed to dig
in after marching through the streets.
Throngs of protesters headed back to Frank Ogawa Plaza in the late
afternoon, regrouping hours after officers in riot gear cleared the area
and arrested 33 people as they removed about 100 tents. But the police
action avoided clashes that marked a previous attempt to shut down the
"This movement cannot end!" a speaker told the crowd as the march began
outside a downtown library. Police largely stood back, and at one point
even stopped traffic for the marchers, who authorities said could return
to the plaza so long as they did not camp there.
The march ended peacefully with activists huddling in a "general assembly"
meeting, with speakers divided between those who urged rebuilding their
camp in defiance of police and those who advocated various other tactics.
Recent unrest surrounding the Oakland encampment has helped rally
nationwide support for Occupy Wall Street, a movement launched in New York
in September to protest economic inequality and excesses of the financial
By late evening, Oakland crowds had largely dissipated after a consensus
emerged to join a march and rally planned for Tuesday by students and
faculty on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.
The daylong Berkeley strike was called in response to a confrontation last
week with campus police who cleared out a short-lived encampment there and
arrested 39 protesters. Organizers said their rally on Tuesday would
culminate with the "reestablishment" of their "Occupy Cal Encampment."
The move to clear out Ogawa Plaza, after nearly a month of indecision on
how to handle the Oakland protests, came days after a fatal shooting near
the encampment fueled renewed pressure on the city to close it down.
Acting Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said the shooting death of
Kayode Ola Foster, 25, last Thursday left him no choice but to again
dismantle the encampment.
"We had to take action. I tried to do it the next day (following the
shooting) but I didn't have the resources ready. I was going to go all
in," he said.
Jordan said it was unclear if Foster had been living in the protest camp
but that the suspected gunman had been there for several weeks. Occupy
Oakland organizers have said the incident was unrelated to their movement.
Officers in the early morning raid on Ogawa Plaza appeared to take a less
aggressive approach than in a similar action three weeks earlier, and were
met with less resistance from Occupy Oakland demonstrators.
"We had to bring the camps to an end before more people got hurt," Mayor
Jean Quan told a news conference later.
Monday's action saw officers sometimes smiling and talking with protesters
as they took down tents while a helicopter overhead illuminated the area.
A separate line of officers kept a chanting crowd from entering the camp.
Meanwhile, several blocks away from Ogawa Plaza, some 40 tents remained
standing at a separate park where a smaller group of demonstrators said
they have been camping with relatively little attention paid for the past
Protesters there said they too had received eviction notices from the
police on Sunday but that no move had been made to force them to leave the
MOVE PROMPTS RESIGNATION
The decision to evict the camp at Ogawa Plaza prompted the resignation of
a top adviser to Quan, whose handling of the protests has come under
withering criticism. The adviser, Dan Siegel, called the move a mistake.
"I don't know if it will remain calm or if it will become very volatile,"
Siegel told Reuters in an interview.
Quan, asked about Siegel's resignation, said only: "He's moving on, I'm
City officials said there were no injuries to citizens or officers and
that Ogawa Plaza, where protesters had camped for about a month, would
reopen for peaceful demonstrations.
Taxi driver Brad Newsham, holding a placard with the slogan "Re-Occupy,"
said: "We were moved off by the 1 percent and the powers that be."
A previous attempt to clear the square on October 25 had sparked
confrontations between protesters and police that evolved into one of the
most violent episodes since the anti-Wall Street movement began in New
Former Marine Scott Olsen was critically injured during those
altercations, galvanizing protests nationwide. In the aftermath of the
confrontations, Oakland protesters were able to return to the plaza.
Oakland is one of just several cities where authorities have acted in
recent days to shut down Occupy camps, saying they have become sources of
In Eureka, California, early on Monday, police arrested 33 people in
dismantling a protest camp there.
The weekend saw police clearing operations in Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake
City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as well as
threats of action in other cities if protesters did not clear out on their
In St. Louis, where 27 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested on
Saturday, attorneys for members of Occupy St. Louis planned to take their
battle to regain a downtown campsite to federal court on Tuesday.
They were seeking an injunction that would allow an overnight presence in
Kiener Plaza, the downtown city park near the Gateway Arch where
protesters against economic inequality maintained a camp for six weeks.
Meanwhile in New York, protesters said they would seek to shut-down Wall
Street on Thursday by holding a street carnival to mark the two-month
anniversary of their campaign.
Organizers acknowledged that the move could be the group's most
provocative yet and could lead to mass arrests and further strain
relations with city authorities.
(Additional reporting by Emmett Berg, Jim Christie, Noel Randewich, Dan
Levine, Peter Henderson, Mary Slosson, Dan Whitcomb, Bruce Olson and Chris
Francescani; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jerry Norton and Cynthia
New York police evict anti-Wall Street protesters
By Michelle Nichols | Reuters – Nov. 15, 2011
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police wearing helmets and carrying shields moved to
evict protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement early on Tuesday
from the park in New York City's financial district where they have camped
Authorities declared that the continued occupation of Zuccotti Park --
which had become a sea of tents, tarps and protest signs with hundreds of
demonstrators sleeping there -- posed a health and safety threat.
Scores of police barricaded streets around the park, which had been lit up
with spotlights, and were keeping people about a block away. More people
were arriving at the scene to support Occupy Wall Street after the
protesters sent out a mass text message alerting followers to the raid.
"They gave us about 20 minutes to get our things together," protester Sam
Wood said. "It's a painful process to watch, they are sweeping through the
The protesters had set up camp in Zuccotti Park on September 17 to protest
a financial system they say mostly benefits corporations and the wealthy.
Their movement has inspired similar protests against economic inequality
in other cities, and in some cases have led to violent clashes with
The office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the protesters
should "temporarily leave" the park and remove their tents and tarps.
Police spokesman Paul Browne said the city and the owners of the park,
commercial real estate corporation Brookfield Office Properties, issued
fliers to the protesters saying the park would be cleared for cleaning
shortly after 1 a.m. (0600 GMT).
Browne said 15 people had been arrested for disorderly conduct and
The flier said the city and Brookfield had decided "that the continued
occupation of Zuccotti Park posed an increasing health and safety hazard
to those camped in the park, the city's first responders and the
Browne said most people had left peacefully, but there was a small group
of people in the middle of the park refusing to leave. He said the
protesters can return if they want after the park is cleared but without
their tents and belongings.
The protesters had set up a kitchen in the middle of the park and they
also had a medical tent, a social media headquarters and a library.
Protesters have said several hundred people had been regularly sleeping in
Some protesters said police had used pepper spray while clearing the park
and journalists at the scene said they smelled the substance.
'SWEEPING THROUGH THE PARK'
Police were using a loudspeaker to tell protesters still at the park that
if they did not leave they would be arrested.
Wood, an unemployed 21-year-old from Farmingdale, New York, said he had
been living at the park since the protests started on September 17. "They
weren't disassembling anything nicely. ... They trashed our library," Wood
Wood said there were still about 50 to 80 people in the park, many of whom
had linked arms and were sitting around the kitchen area in the middle of
the site. He said he saw some people who had chained themselves to trees.
Wood said dozens of sanitation workers were helping police clear the park.
Samantha Tuttlebee, 35, from the Brooklyn section of the city, said she
was volunteering at the protesters' medical tent when the raid happened.
She said she had not been living at the park.
"I'm shocked. They put my arms behind my back. They are really violent,"
Tuttlebee said. "We were trying to leave and they threw us out."
The protesters issued a statement by e-mail that said, "You can't evict an
idea whose time has come."
"Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces -- our
spaces -- and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a
battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve
us, the people -- all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth
and power," the Occupy Wall Street statement added.
Police on Monday moved into an encampment by anti-Wall Street protesters
in Oakland, California, clearing out occupants and taking down tents,
while in Portland, Oregon, police confronted an estimated 1,000 protesters
The protesters in Wall Street had said they hoped on Thursday to shut down
Wall Street -- home to the New York Stock Exchange -- by holding a street
carnival to mark the two-month anniversary of their movement.
(Editing by Will Dunham)
Police with Assault Rifles Raid Newly Established Squat, Crowds Gather
Nov. 14, 2011 Anarchist News
In one of the largest coordinated police responses in recent Carrboro
Chapel Hill history, dozens of SWAT team members raided the newly
established squat in the 10,000 square foot Chrysler building. With guns
drawn, they blocked off the surrounding streets. Eight people were
ultimately arrested, likely on trespassing charges or break and entering.
A large crowd gathered outside, booing the cops, screaming, and vowing to
return. Two town aldermen from Carrboro even took part, ironic considering
Carrboro police were involved.
A benefit show is being held tonight and bail money is being raised as
this is typed. Solidarity actions everywhere are appreciated; the cops
here have seriously overstepped their normal bounds, and have been
captured on film by mainstream press with guns drawn on old ladies and
This is only the beginning of this effort, and we already have found more
comrades than ever before through this struggle.
More updates coming asap...
[Note the beautiful juxtaposition w/ the banners?]