Occupy protesters played drums, cymbals and trombones, held group meetings and waved signs with a variety of messages — “Disobedience is civil” and “Sorry to inconvenience your apathy” — as they marked the movement’s third-month anniversary with a major direct action that could give them a new home as authorities continue to shutter camps nationwide.
A few hundred protesters — flanked by police officers — coalesced on a nearly half-acre plot about one mile northwest of their former camp at Zuccotti Park. But their potential new landlord at Duarte Square, Trinity Church, has voiced strong opposition, and the move by Occupy is seen by some as applying strong pressure to them to cave in and let the protesters install themselves.
Under the banner of “Re-Occupy,” the protesters said more than 1,400 people — elders of the civil rights movement, prominent artists, faith leaders and community members — will help them try and set up camp there after they were evicted from Zuccotti Park on Nov. 15.
“I’m just loving seeing everybody from Zuccotti Park and it really puts an exclamation point on the (question) that’s been asked today so many times, ‘Do you guys need a space?’ … and the answer is, ‘yes.’ When you walk around and see the familiar faces and the kindred spirits and the unification of effort, then you realize yes we do need a space so that we can all be together and function as whole as a group and move forward, no doubt,” said Thorin Caristo, a 37-year-old protester who is part of an independent livestream team.
“Severe police repression continued in Rochester, NY for the 5th consecutive night. The Rochester police crackdown started at about midnight when about 60 police forcibly violated the people of Rochester’s rights and evicted them from Washington Square Park. The 16 arrested transformed the Rochester 32 to the Rochester 48 who have been arrested enforcing their First Amendment human rights. About 150 supporter rallied around the arrestees as they were taken away. Many Occupiers surrounded the park all night, sleeping the on the sidewalks until moving back into the park at 5am.
Unlike cities such as Oakland and Cairo where repression was followed by allowing people back into public squares 24/7, Rochester’s Mayor, Tom Richards, has remained defiant forcibly imposing a curfew on protesters in Washington Square Park.”
On Wednesday, 16 more protesters were arrested at Rochester’s Washington Square Park, bringing the total number of Rochester arrests to 48. After a march involving local unions and a total of about 300 people, there was a general assembly. The primary discussion, one that took almost an hour, was about whether or not there were enough willing to be arrested to make a point. In the end it was decided that an occupation of the park would be attempted, and 17 put their names on a list of people willing to remain in the park and risk arrest.
10:45pm: Alex, one of those planning to try to occupy the park after police arrived, sat on the ground in front of the soldiers and sailors monument, meditating in preparation for the park’s 11pm closure. Alex remained in this spot until his arrest just after midnight.
12:02am: “The park is closed. Anyone who doesn’t leave now will be arrested.”
An hour after curfew and 30 minutes after channels 8 and 10 ceased live coverage, between 10 and 20 police vehicles arrived at the park to enforce park closure.
12:05am: Olivia, an activist who was one of the 32 arrested on Friday (October 28th), watches the arrests while Jonathan, a fellow protester, holds her back so she won’t enter park property. None of the 32 arrested last Friday could volunteer for arrest on Wednesday because a second arrest would result in more severe legal consequences.
12:07am: R.J. Bean is led out of the park in handcuffs.
The police were on the whole very calm and professional, mirroring their behavior on Friday night. They were mostly expressionless, as if they were deliberately removing themselves from the political issues being hurled at them by the protestors. But while the majority were composed, a few seemed to have a very hard time keeping strong emotions under the surface.
At 12:15, the police vans holding those who remained in the park left, as did the majority of the squad cars. Some of the remaining protestors began to march the walkway surrounding the park, and a large group remained at the front of the park next to the remaining squad car. At just after 12:20, another arrest was made at the back of the remaining group. Some of the crowd had been pushed a few feet back, off of the sidewalk running along the street and onto adjoining sidewalk that is considered part of the park.
12:26am: “I didn’t DO anything!”
Nick calls out to protesters from the back of the squad car he was put in for stepping into Washington Square Park after curfew. Nick was arrest number 16 on Wednesday, and he was at the park as a spectator - the only person of the 16 who hadn’t wanted to risk arrest.
1:17am: Leah and Jake, both among the 32 arrested last friday, occupy the sidewalk bordering the park.
2:32am: An occupier talks to people viewing the Occupy Rochester livestream.
5:39am: At 5am, the city’s parks are reopened. At this point, protestors who have remained on the sidewalk all night move back into the park, usually to try to catch some sleep before sunrise.
In Los Angeles, the occupation has the support of city and local officials:
(Los Angeles) passed a resolution voicing support for the (Occupy L.A.) movement. (Organizer Matt) Rolufs was thrilled when city officials said that Occupy Los Angeles had inspired them to move forward on a policy initiative to demand accountability from big banks.
While protesters in other cities have battled with the police, Los Angeles is letting around 700 people spend the night on city hall’s lawn even though it’s against the law. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa even handed out ponchos to campers during a rainstorm. But the city council went even further in its resolution by urging implementation of a proposal known as the Responsible Banking program because it would address some of the protesters’ concerns.
And in Albany, they don’t… but they get help from unexpected places:
In a tense battle of wills, state troopers and Albany police held off making arrests of dozens of protesters near the Capitol over the weekend even as Albany’s mayor, under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, had urged his police chief to enforce a city curfew.
The situation intensified late Friday evening when Jennings, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Cuomo, directed his department to arrest protesters who refused to leave the city-owned portion of a large park that’s across Washington Avenue from the Capitol and City Hall…
“We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble,” the official said. “The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.”
A city police source said his department also was reluctant to damage what he considers to be good community relations that have taken years to rebuild. In addition, the crowd included elderly people and many others who brought their children with them.
We’re making progress.
Posted 2011-09-24 10:09:29 UTC by OccupyWallSt This report just came in a half hour ago from the chair of the NYC IWW chapter: Protesters arrested today (including the NYC IWW chair) are being locked inside a police van outside the: 1st Precinct Police Station They’ve been there for over an hour. One has a very bad concussion, possibly life threatening. Right now the NYC IWW chair he is calling on us to send people NOW for help out and to demand medical care for our comrades. If you can’t make it in person then please call these numbers: 1st Precinct - (212) 334-0611 - 16 Ericsson Place
16 Ericsson Pl.
New York, NY 10013
+1 (212) 334-0611
6th Precinct - (212) 741-4811 - 233 West 10 Street
NYPD Switchboard: 1-646-610-5000
Posted 2011-09-24 10:09:29 UTC by OccupyWallSt
This report just came in a half hour ago from the chair of the NYC IWW chapter:
Protesters arrested today (including the NYC IWW chair) are being locked inside a police van outside the:
1st Precinct Police Station
They’ve been there for over an hour. One has a very bad concussion, possibly life threatening.
Right now the NYC IWW chair he is calling on us to send people NOW for help out and to demand medical care for our comrades.
If you can’t make it in person then please call these numbers:
1st Precinct - (212) 334-0611 - 16 Ericsson Place