A protestor of the Occupy Atlanta demonstration is arrested after refusing to leave after Mayor Kasim Reed revoked his executive order allowing the protestors to camp out in Woodruff Park early Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests taking place in cities across the world:
Occupy Wall Street protesters went to court Wednesday to say the state is trying to silence them by limiting what items they can take to a memorial where they gather outside the Statehouse in Trenton. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, on behalf of the protesters, asked a judge to stop police from enforcing rules against camping gear such as tents and chairs. The state says camping doesn’t fall within the parameters of the First Amendment and it’s trying to ensure the park can be used by everyone and demonstrators don’t damage it. The judge said she’ll rule soon.
Police responded to a downtown Pittsburgh PNC bank branch after employees grew concerned when members of the Occupy Pittsburgh movement entered and began filming their attempts to open accounts. Police say the protesters left the bank late Wednesday afternoon of their own accord and there were no arrests. The branch closed briefly. Occupy Pittsburgh’s website posted a video showing one protester saying part of the “mission” was shutting the bank down.
Police on Wednesday closed a downtown Atlanta park where more than 50 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators had arrested following days of protests. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement that the arrests were made after protesters at Woodruff Park moved from peacefully demonstrating to “increasingly aggressive actions” in recent days. Reed said one man had walked through the park with an assault rifle, and demonstrators had inserted wire hangers into electrical sockets to create additional power sources. Authorities did not say how long the park would remain closed.
Oakland demonstrators vowed on Wednesday to return to their protest site just hours after police cleared hundreds of people from the streets with tear gas and bean bag rounds. The city had erected a chain-link fence around the plaza in the morning, and workers were mowing the grass and sweeping up remnants of the encampment that was dismantled the day before. After the encampment was cleared Tuesday, protesters began marching toward City Hall in an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of the disbanded camp.
Charges against hundreds of protesters who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge or at Manhattan’s Union Square could be dropped if the protesters accept a deal from the district attorney. But defense lawyer Martin Stolar says many of them will likely reject the deal because it is void if they are arrested again and might chill their ability to continue protesting. The district attorney’s office declined to comment.
MTV said it will follow three young people on the front lines of Occupy Wall Street in New York City for an episode of its “True Life” documentary series. The cable network embedded its cameras over a two-week period to capture protesters’ activities and explore what motivates them. The episode is scheduled to air Nov. 5.
Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, says protesters camped outside St. Paul’s Cathedral should go home. Protesters pitched tents outside the cathedral 11 days ago. Initially they were invited to stay, but on Friday the building shut its doors to the public, citing health and safety concerns. Chartres said Wednesday that the protest had “raised a number of very important questions.” But, he said, “the time has come for the protesters to leave, before the camp’s presence threatens to eclipse entirely the issues that it was set up to address.” The protesters say they plan to stay.
The Vancouver-based anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters has called on members of the Occupy movement to protest on the eve of the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations in Cannes, France, and demand the G20 leaders impose a 1 percent tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. It says the Oct. 29 protest would send the G20 leaders a clear message: “We want you to slow down some of that $1.3 trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day — enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.” The appeal was posted on the Adbusters website last week.
In the wake of violence and arrests at other Wall Street protest sites, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she has no interest in a violent exchange with protesters in her city. The mayor said Wednesday that she does not want to curtail the free speech rights of the Occupy Baltimore protesters, many of whom have been living at McKeldin Square by the Inner Harbor since Oct. 4. But she also says their rights don’t trump the public’s right to enjoy the space.
More than a dozen protesters with Albuquerque’s demonstration were arrested at the University of New Mexico after the school ordered them out of a makeshift campsite. Police shut down the protest site at Yale Park, forcing hundreds of protesters onto the sidewalks and a main thoroughfare.
About 30 protesters in downtown Denver stacked blankets and sleeping bags near bags of charcoal as they vowed to remain through the season’s first snow, which began falling Wednesday morning. Up to 4 inches was expected, and protesters appeared determined to stick it out. They’ve received briefings on winter camping and have put a plan in place to check each other for signs of hypothermia. They’ve also gotten shovels and plan to take turns keeping the sidewalks clear of snow.
A generator, American flag and signs were among items police say they removed from a park where Occupy Orlando protesters have been stationed for more than a week. Police took the items late Tuesday night after warning protesters that property had to be removed from the park near downtown. Officers said that items left after 11 p.m. are considered “found property” but can be reclaimed at police headquarters.
A third protest inspired by Occupy Wall Street sprang up Wednesday in the nation’s capital. The demonstration, known as Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue, will be different from two encampments that have been in place since early October in that participants will not be camping out. They plan to leave at night and return every day until “we get Change in DC at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue,” organizer Patrick Schneider said in a statement. He said the demonstration had the appropriate permits and that the goal was to communicate its message without breaking the law.