After ‘Occupy’ Arrests, Protesters Plan to Keep Marching

Oct 26, 2011 4:58pm

gty occupy oakland nt 111026 wmain After Occupy Arrests, Protesters Plan to Keep Marching

After nearly 170 arrests across the country early this morning at camps associated with the ‘Occupy’ movement, protesters said they plan to continue marching and occupying parks after curfews, defying police and city orders.

“Occupy Oakland will reconvene every day … until the camp is reestablished,” a note on Occupy Oakland’s website said after police dismantled and raided the group’s camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza late Tuesday night, arresting more than 100 people.

Fifty-two people were arrested without incident in Atlanta after refusing to vacate Woodruff Park at the closing time of 11 p.m.

In New York City, where the movement began over five weeks ago, protesters marched up from Zuccotti Park in the downtown financial district to Union Square in a show of solidarity with demonstrators in Oakland. Activists marched through the evening traffic, but it was a mostly peaceful demonstration. Still, several arrests were reported as protesters clashed with police throughout the night.

In Albuquerque, N.M., two dozen demonstrators were taken into custody after refusing to leave their campsite on the University of New Mexico campus after the school revoked its permit because of safety concerns, the Associated Press reported.

No arrests were reported in Orlando, Fla. However, after midnight police began moving items and people out of Beth Johnson Park, including the local “Occupy” group’s flag.

“We serenaded them with the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ as they took it,” protester Maria McCluskey tweeted.

According to McCluskey, protesters moved back into the park this morning.

But Oakland, Calif., was the most tumultuous scene, with allegations of police violence. Pictures have emerged from a skirmish showing a woman in a motorized wheel chair engulfed in tear gas and an Iraq war veteran being carried to safety after suffering a skull fracture from a projectile allegedly thrown by police.

The Oakland Police Department did not respond to multiple messages left by ABCNews.com today. However, at a press conference late Tuesday, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said police intervened after the protesters reportedly began throwing items at officers. Jordan said in that moment it became an “unlawful assembly,” according to ABC News station KGO-TV.

Jordan added that police were only using tear gas and bean bags, not rubber bullets, as had been reported.

Jordan Towers, who was at the scene, disputed the police chief’s claim on Twitter, tweeting a picture of rubber bullets.

“Oakland PD saying they didn’t fire in the crowd is [expletive]! Here are some of the shells I picked up!” Towers wrote.

Despite the arrests, protesters in all three cities and others around the country said they will remain resolute.

“I’ll be right here the next day,” Rhadona Stark of Albuquerque, N.M., told the Associated Press, something protesters in the other cities echoed. “This isn’t over.”

In New York, the problems in Zuccotti Park paled in comparison to Oakland. Representatives from the Occupy Wall Street movement had to answer to a Lower Manhattan community board about a throng of bongo drummers who were called a nuisance.

“Some people within the community wanted the drumming to be lessened since it was disrupting their meetings,” Occupy Wall Street spokesman Jason Ahmadi told ABCNews.com, as the pounding beats of a few dozen bongo players pulsed through the air at Zuccotti Park.

Drummer Jonathan Vergara said he and his friends were just trying to provide some energy for the movement.

“Some of us don’t have the talents to organize or speak to a large group,” he said. “This is our talent that we can share with the movement.”

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