Arrests At Some Occupy Sites, Snow At Others | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Arrests At Some Occupy Sites, Snow At Others

Occupy Wall Street protests continue this weekend in several states.

There were arrests in Austin, Texas, and Portland, Ore. In Tennessee, protesters defied a curfew for a third consecutive night, and in New York and Boston, protesters hunkered down as an early snowstorm hit the East Coast. In Denver, 15 demonstrators were taken into custody after they tried to stop the police from taking down their tents.

Austin, Texas

Thirty-nine people were arrested after a pair of pre-dawn confrontations between police and Occupy Austin protesters.

The first confrontation came about 12:30 a.m. Sunday when officers moved to enforce a new rule banning food tables in the City Hall plaza after 10 p.m. Some protesters surrounded the tables with arms linked.
The Austin American-Statesman reports another confrontation came when more than 50 police officers moved to clear an amphitheater on the plaza for a regular power-washing, leading to more arrests. Most of the protesters, however, remained peaceful and moved to allow the cleaning before returning to their spots. No injuries were reported.

Oregon

In Oregon, protesters from the Occupy Portland movement marched to the Pearl District, with some saying they viewed its residents as part of the wealthy demographic they're protesting.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Jamison Square Saturday evening to defy a midnight curfew to vacate.

As police moved in, most of the protesters backed off but a core group of about 30 sat in a circle in the park and awaited arrest.

An Associated Press photographer said most of the protesters were carried or dragged away. There was no violence during the arrests, which took about 90 minutes.

The protesters all appearing to be in their 20s and 30s with many were wearing Halloween-style face paint were handcuffed before they were placed in police vans and driven off.

"We are the 99 percent," one arrestee continued to chant.

Police said they arrested more than two dozen people on charges that included criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer, and disorderly conduct. The showdown came in the shadow of high-rise condos in the middle of the Pearl District, with some residents watching the events from their balconies.

Providence, R.I.

Occupy Providence protesters ignored an eviction deadline set for Sunday, opting to stay despite a dusting of snow.

With a small generator powering space heaters, protesters held their ground in Burnside Park. About 200 people have camped out for the past two weeks. Although the weather has become considerably colder and it snowed overnight, Occupy spokeswoman Amanda Magee characterized the mood as "wicked chipper."

"There's a couple snowball fights already. We're all ready for today," she said. "I mean the snow's definitely not going to bring us down. It's a really good mood, high spirits, happy people."

City officials plan is to seek a court injunction forcing the demonstrators from the park.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, about 50 demonstrators in Nashville chanted "Whose plaza? Our plaza!" early Sunday in defiance of the curfew, which is in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Capitol police sporadically made their rounds and a state trooper occasionally walked past the protest in the pre-dawn hours, but organizers said authorities did not make arrests as law enforcement agents had done on the two previous nights.

Elizabeth Sharpe, 20, took part Sunday and said she was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement after seeing a 2003 documentary called "The Corporation." She said she felt the need to be an activist in the movement that expresses opposition to perceived greed on Wall Street and across corporate America.

"How can I as an individual change this?" she asked, speaking with an Associated Press reporter. With the Occupy moment's far-flung reach across American cities, she said she felt there was strength in numbers, adding, ""I got for the first time a glimpse of hope."

Some danced to keep warm on a chilly morning and others shivered in the frosty air, huddling under blankets.

The protesters have been galvanized by the friction between state officials and the local magistrate.

Nashville magistrate Tom Nelson has said recently that there's no legal reason in his city to keep the demonstrators behind bars and he has released them after each arrest. He has refused each night to sign off on arrest warrants for more than two dozen people taken into custody.

California

Demonstrators held a festive march through San Francisco Saturday, but tension marked another march in nearby Oakland as protesters rallied against police violence in the name of an Iraq War veteran who was injured during a police clash.

Many of the some 1,000 demonstrators in San Francisco wore costumes as organizers had urged, including suits in an apparent imitation of Wall Street bankers and Robin Hood outfits.

Before the march, left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore told them that excesses on Wall Street had stolen "the futures of so many of our citizens."

San Francisco police escorted the crowd as it snaked through city streets, and police spokesman Albie Esparza said there were no arrests or any disturbances.

The crowd stopped briefly and chanted in support of Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old Iraq War veteran who suffered a fractured skull in an Oakland protest on Tuesday.

Later Saturday night, hundreds marched through the streets of Oakland in protest of police violence, as helicopters hovered overhead and officers in riot gear lined the streets.

Boston

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino urging Occupy Boston activists who've been camped out on a downtown square for weeks in an anti-Wall Street protest to leave for the night due amid an October snowstorm.

But media volunteer Jason Potteiger said Saturday night that about 200 people still staying in tents at the site were in good spirits and the people running the food tent had more donations of hot meals than they knew what to do with.

"The term solidarity is used a lot in this movement, and I think the sentiment that's all over camp is that if Oakland and Denver can make it through tear gas and rubber bullets, we can make it through a little snow and sleet," he said.

New York

Drenched protesters in Central Park hunkered down in tents and under tarps as the plaza filled with rainwater and melted snow.

Technically, tents are banned in the park, but protesters say authorities have been looking the other way, despite a crackdown on generators that were keeping them warm.

"I want to thank the New York Police Department," said 32-year-old protester Sam McBee, decked out in a yellow slicker and rain pants. "We're not supposed to have tents. We're not supposed to have sleeping bags. You go to Atlanta, they don't have it. You go to Oakland, you don't have it. And we got it."

A few demonstrators didn't bother to take cover. Jason Jones, 23, sat on a chair in the rain wearing a soaked black coat and garbage bags around his ankles.

"I slept without a roof last night," he said, adding that he couldn't care less about being wet. "We need to teach the world a lesson."

Denver

In Denver on Saturday evening, authorities moved into an encampment of protesters and began arresting demonstrators just hours after a standoff near the steps of the Colorado Capitol turned into a skirmish that ended in police firing rounds of pellets filled with pepper spray.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Why Are Theater Tickets Cheaper On The West End Than On Broadway?

In London, a matinee ticket for Matilda costs about $60; in New York, it's $137. What's going on? The West End has weaker unions and subsidized theater, while Broadway has amenities.
NPR

Why Your 'Small-Batch' Whiskey Might Taste A Lot Like The Others

A food blogger says dozens of distilleries are buying rye whiskey from a factory in Indiana and using it in bottles labeled "artisan."
NPR

House Approves $16 Billion Plan To Improve Health Care For Vets

The Senate is expected to pass the measure this week. It would expand government programs and provide funds for vets who are unable to access VA services to see private doctors.
NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.