While the media’s focus on the Occupy movement has been split between the Bay Area and New York City, OccupySD (San Diego) and OccupyNashville were pushed out of public parks on Thursday and Friday, resulting in 80 arrests. The movement, protesting against an economic and political system that unfairly benefits the top 1% of the population, has spread to cities throughout the country in just a few short weeks.
- After San Diego protestors set-up (and took down) their camp every day for the past three weeks, the San Diego police moved in last night and arrested 51 occupiers, clearing out tents and personal possessions from San Diego’s Civic Center Plaza and Children’s Park.
Police say they tried to reach out to the group earlier using professional mediators, but “These are not the kind of negotiations we’re used to, with this leaderless group,” the police chief said during a press conference. Occupiers returned Friday to find barriers erected around Civic Center plaza, and are planning a sleep-in later Friday night to protest their removal.
- In Nashville, police changed the policy under which OccupyNashille had been occupying Legislative Plaza since Oct 7th. Within hours of that change, around 3am Friday morning, 75 state troopers moved in, cleared the site and made 29 arrests. According to the OccupyNashville Facebook page, the occupation had repeatedly sought law enforcement help with disruptive individuals, but were told they would have to pay for security personnel. The arrested occupiers faced charges of criminal trespassing, but the night court commisoner they were hauled in front of set them free, admonishing the police that they had “no lawful basis to arrest and charge those people.”
After being released, occupiers have returned to Legislative Plaza, and GA is planned for 7pm Friday evening.
- Protestors marched in Egypt’s Tahrir Square Friday in support of OccupyOakland after Tuesday’s violence as part of a largely pro-democracy demonstration. Some of the marchers approached the gates of the U.S. Embassy, but were blocked from going further by security.