Protesters across the world hit the streets Tuesday on May Day to rally against austerity measures and call for higher wages and more jobs.
Marches turned violent in Oakland, where protesters pounded on bank windows and went face-to-face with a police line, and in Seattle, where protesters dressed in black smashed windows and police pepper-sprayed some in the crowds.
In the United States, the protests are seen as the biggest test for the Occupy movement since many of its camps were shuttered late last year. Occupiers in more than 100 cities across the country were expected to protest on the day that traditionally celebrates workers’ rights.
New York (CNN) — New York police arrested dozens of people in lower Manhattan as the Occupy Wall Street movement marked six months of protests, authorities said Sunday.
Protesters attempted to re-occupy Zuccotti Park, the downtown plaza where demonstrators were encamped in the first two months of the movement, on Saturday. Police made 74 arrests as they forced them out of the park, the Manhattan district attorney’s office told CNN.
Protesters chanted “We are the 99%,” and tried to set up tents in the park, which they occupied for nearly two months before they were rousted by police in mid-November. Police carried handcuffed demonstrators from the park — some of them struggling, others limp.
According to the New York Police Department, the charges included disorderly conduct, trespassing, assault and resisting arrest. Online, however, Occupy Wall Street and its supporters accused police of abusing peaceful demonstrators.
NEW YORK — An Occupy Wall Street protester says police gave demonstrators little warning before kicking them out of a New York City park overnight and that officers beat several of them during the arrests.
The protester, Chris Casuccio, was at Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park on Saturday, where demonstrators chanted and held impromptu meetings to mark the six months since the movement against economic inequality.
Approximately 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters rallied outside Bank of America this afternoon, as part of a nationwide demonstration to symbolically “foreclose” on the giant predatory behemoth. Activists intend to target Bank of America on the 15th of every month until executives break down into tears and turn every branch into a C.S.A. farmshare. Bank of America is infamous for cranking out foreclosures, and has received two bailouts from Washington totaling $45 billion; it was also the first major bank to get into the subprime-mortgage business.
There were at least three arrests at today’s demonstration outside the Bank of America on Greenwich Street, and protesters have now moved to Zuccotti Park, where a large number of police have also gathered. (The NYPD press office does not yet have an arrest count.) Allison Kilkenny reports that protesters have been chanting “spring is coming!” while running around wrapping things in police tape. Others are staging street theater, making a “deposit” into a mock Bank of America.
The Guardian’s Ryan Devereaux said at 6 p.m., “Pretty mellow scene at Zuccotti right now. Numbers are dwindling due to the cold, protesters are good spirits, security is tolerating them.” One witness reports that there “are currently more police than protesters at Zuccotti Park.” But if recent history is any guide, they’ll wait until most of the press has gone home before randomly arresting people for peacefully assembling in a public place.
ALBANY — Seven dozen protesters arrested over the course of Occupy Wall Street’s Albany’s two-month downtown encampment are officially off the hook.
City Court Judge Thomas K. Keefe has formally dismissed more than 100 charges that were still technically pending against the protesters — long after District Attorney David Soares’ office announced that it would not prosecute protesters arrested for nonviolent offenses that did not involve property damage while exercising their free speech rights.
Citing Soares’ refusal to prosecute, Keefe wrote in a brief decision that he had no other choice — making official what had been all but a foregone conclusion.
“Absent a clear abuse of discretion, which is not indicated here, this court’s only recourse is to dismiss,” the judge wrote.
(Reuters) – Two women caught on camera being doused with pepper spray by a New York police officer during an Occupy Wall Street march in September have sued the city, saying it failed to train police officers properly.
In a viral online video, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was shown pepper-spraying several protesters involved in a march in September, about a week after the Occupy Wall Street movement set up camp in a park in the city’s financial district.
The video helped draw attention to the Occupy protests, which spread throughout the country last fall with calls for greater economic equality before the movement lost some ground as many U.S. cities evicted them from tent camp footholds.
OAKLAND, CA — Police were in the process of arresting about 100 Occupy Oakland protesters for failing to disperse Saturday night, hours after officers used tear gas on a rowdy group of demonstrators who threw rocks and flares at them and tore down fences.
Police Sgt. Christopher Bolton said the arrests came after protesters marched through downtown Oakland a little before 8 p.m. Saturday, with some of them entering a YMCA building.
Meanwhile, about 100 police officers surrounded City Hall while others were swept the inside of the building to see if any protesters broke in.
More help from other police agencies was also on the way, with busloads of Alameda County sheriff’s deputies arriving in the downtown area late Saturday.
The nighttime arrests came after 19 people were taken into custody in Occupy Oakland protests hours earlier.
What really happened:
Oakland police used tear gas and “flash” grenades Saturday to break up hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters after some agent provocateurs dressed as protesters started throwing rocks and flares at officers and tearing down fencing in order to facilitate the illusion of the necessity of forceful riot police response.
For the internet, here’s a first-hand account of Occupy Oakland on 1/28/2012, because the news never tells the full story. I’ll tell you about the street battle, the 300+ arrests, the vandalism, the flag burning, all in the context of my experience today. This is deeper than the headlines. No major news source can do that for you, but Reddit can.
Protesters with the “Occupy” movement in the US capitol said Friday the authorities’ efforts to evict them would fail, after the city mayor called for their removal.
“They are trying to annoy us, to get our spirits down but I really think it’s not working,” said Sam Mellot from Virginia who has been camping at McPherson Square, a few blocks from the White House, one of two downtown sites being used for an encampment by “Occupy Washington” and “Occupy DC” demonstrators.
“Evict us, we’ll multiply — Occupy will never die,” he said.
Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary but Ron Paul’s showing could have as big an effect on the race. After finishing third in Iowa, the Texas Republican placed second in the Granite State, securing nearly one in four votes. That keeps him in the hunt to challenge Romney for now and could inspire him to make a third-party run later. Either way, the longer Paul sticks around, the more the national debate is likely to shift on important economic issues.
Paul’s crusade against the Federal Reserve will keep the spotlight on the central bank and Chairman Ben Bernanke and Occupy Wall Street approves. Paul’s desire to strengthen the dollar and sharply raise interest rates could resonate with voters, especially if inflation noticeably picks up by summer. And Romney and Barack Obama would be put in the unenviable position of supporting a weaker dollar, or explaining a more nuanced view on a complex subject.
The matter of domestic spending will stay front and center with Paul around, too. He would cut to the bone, while Romney and Obama are more inclined to slice surgically, if at all. The libertarian-leaning candidate would axe at least five agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, and push harder for expanding domestic oil exploration than Romney, potentially leaving him on the defensive.
On tax reform, Paul is also more aggressive than Romney. While the frontrunner would extend the Bush-era tax cuts and make other small tweaks to the code, Paul wants a bigger overhaul. His push for simplification, ending many deductions and a flat tax will keep the hot-button issues on the agenda.
The biggest distinction would be on foreign policy. Paul wants to hack military spending and engagement deeper than either Romney or Obama, perhaps even pulling U.S. troops out of Europe. He also wants less U.S. funding for the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. That’ll leave the other two candidates trying to tell voters why their tax dollars should help defend far-flung nations or stabilize their economies.
As the first votes in the Republican presidential race approach, Rep. Ron Paul has become a serious force with the potential to upend the nomination fight and remain a factor throughout next year’s general-election campaign.
Although few think the congressman from Texas has a realistic shot at winning the GOP nod, he has built a strong enough base of support that he could be a spoiler — or a kingmaker.
In a muddled field, Paul could win the Iowa caucuses. While other candidates have been hesitant to commit to the state or have had trouble sustaining their initial bursts of support, Paul has been methodically building an organization and a growing corps of followers.
Over the past week, he has spent more than $600,000 on attack ads that are cutting into support for a fellow front-runner, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.). And Paul has built an organization that will allow him to remain in the race well beyond the early-voting states and amass convention delegates.
Eight people affiliated with Occupy Des Moines were arrested this afternoon at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines.
The eight, whose hands were zip-tied behind their backs, were placed in a police wagon and transported to the Des Moines police station, where they were cited and released.
Each was to be charged with criminal trespassing, which is a misdemeanor. They did not resist arrest and were escorted out of the headquarters at 5661 Fleur Drive without incident.
Twelve people had walked into the headquarters late this morning. They were there to demand that President Obama veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the omnibus spending bill. Police told the protesters that they could either leave the headquarters or be arrested.
By 2:15 p.m., all protesters had left the building.
Norm Sterzenbach, executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party, said the protesters are continuing to deliver the same message they were brought earlier today to the Obama campaign office north of downtown Des Moines.
Demonstrators had been at Obama’s campaign headquarters much of the weekend. However, the office was closed and protesters were not able to talk personally with anyone about their concerns. Demonstrators decided to move the Obama campaign office occupation at approximately 11 to the Democratic party headquarters.
“They don’t want to be hear to listen to us, we decided to go to the state headquarters and make them listen to us,” Occupy Wall Street member Daniel Bragg said.
Imagine my surprise this morning when, without warning, my shiny new Twitter account (@d_seaman) was suspended and taken offline.
No more tweets for you. You now have 0 followers.
My crime? Talking too much about Occupy Wall Street (I’m not an Occupier, but as a blogger and journalist it strikes me as one of the most important stories out there — hence the constant coverage), and talking too much about the controversial detainment without trial provisions contained in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would basically shred the Bill of Rights and subject American citizens to military police forces. The same level of civil rights protection that enemy combatants in a cave in Afghanistan receive!