Occupy Protests Grow, Despite Clashes With Police, Cold Weather

PHOTO: A protester wears a dollar bill over his mouth at the start of a march by demonstrators opposed to corporate profits on Wall Street on Sept. 30, 2011 New York City.
Share
Copy

Occupy Wall Street protesters will face their first weather test in New York today, as forecasts call for snow on the coldest day since the protests began last month.

The Fire Department of New York on Friday removed six gas-powered generators from Zuccotti Park and 13 cans of gasoline, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg called illegal safety hazards.

Carrying signs reading things like "End Corporate Welfare" and "Corporate Greed is Economic Terrorism," Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City marched to some major banks, including Citi Group and Bank of America. They carried stacks of paper that they folded into paper airplane to throw at the bank buildings.

In San Diego, the Occupy movement's makeshift camp site at the Civic Center Plaza was abruptly dismantled by police around 2 a.m. Friday. The police arrested 51 people during the clash. Earlier this week, police had warned protesters that they could stay on the plaza but they would not be allowed to set up camp there.

Some of the protesters are claiming that they were still asleep and they were injured by police, who they claim were being overly forceful in removing the tents. The police deny that, and say there had been numerous complaints about unsanitary condition, drug use and littering in the park. The demonstrators will be allowed to return, without their tents and other belongings, once the park is cleaned up, police say.

In Phoenix, Ariz., a stack of provocative flyers found near the Occupy Phoenix protest has been a source of concern to law enforcement. The flyers encourage violence and claim that people have the right to resist police searches at airports and at border and sobriety check points. Occupy Phoenix protesters say they are not responsible for the flyers, and that they must have come from an outside group.

San Diego Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves says officers are looking into finding the source of the flyers.

"We don't have a direct connection yet that this is directly related to that event [Occupy Phoenix]," Graves said. Our investigation will look at all that."

Occupy Phoenix spokesman Paul Pulchalski says the group is worried that police might use the flyers as a reason for stronger tactics.

"As far as I'm concerned, it gives police a reason to be forceful with us as far as, you know, peacefully protesting and they want us gone, costing the state money and stuff like that for the police to be out here," Pulchalski said. "So, they're trying to get us out of here -- that would be the reason for getting us out."

In London, Giles Fraser, the main priest of St. Paul's Cathedral resigned via Twitter in protest of plans to remove the Occupy London protesters by force.

"It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St Paul's Cathedral," he wrote.

"It's extremely admirable of Friar Fraser to stand by his principles," said Occupy London protester Babken DerGrigorian, 25, a California native who has a master's degree from the London School of Economics. "It's very unfortunate that the City of London and other political pressure forced him out. As a participant, I have tons of respect for the friar and more contempt for the undemocratic powers at the City of London."

In Nashville, Tenn., 29 Occupy Nashville protesters were arrested Friday morning and issued citations for criminal trespassing on the Legislative Plaza. State troopers acted under a newly enacted curfew for the grounds, which bans overnight occupancy and requires permits and use fees for rallies.

"It's a little sad but it makes you proud too because you're able to stand up for what we believe in and we are able to hopefully make a point," one protestor told ABC News Radio. "You are arresting citizens of Davidson country, in the state of Tennessee protesting on the Legislative Plaza where we have the right to protest our government."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...