The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral [in London] resigned because he could not face the prospect of “Dale Farm [a massive recent police eviction of peaceful squatters in a camp near London] on the steps of St Paul’s”, as police prepared to take action against the anti-capitalist protesters within days.
Giles Fraser, who announced his decision on Twitter, said he could not sanction the use of violence to rid the cathedral grounds of Occupy the London Stock Exchange campaigners.
The protest, comprising hundreds of tents, is entering its 13th day and organisers say they have no intention of leaving in the foreseeable future despite repeated requests from the cathedral, the City of London Corporation, the bishop of London, the mayor of London and the lord mayor of London…
“It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent. The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence.”
It was apparent that the [City of London] was clearer than the cathedral about its desire to see the protesters moved on, Fraser said.
During an effort to expel Occupy Oakland protesters from Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, California, police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash grenades to get rid of the protesters. Scott Olsen, 24, a Marine veteran and member of Iraq Veterans For Peace, was critically injured, suffering a fractured skull and swollen brain. When protesters went to help him, police tossed a flash grenade into the group. Olsen’s condition has been upgraded to “fair” today, though what happened has sent a strong message to both protesters and police around the country.
"The protesters have been out at Dilworth Plaza in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall since October 6th.
By the end of the week, city officials say the total cost to taxpayers will be a half a million dollars.
But with a construction project planned for Dilworth Plaza next month, many people are wondering if the protests will end with police raids forcing the demonstrators out, like they did in Oakland, California.
To date, both the city and the protesters here have earned high marks nationally, for their communication and cooperation.
And both sides seem keenly aware that a confrontation over the Dilworth Plaza project could destroy all that they’ve worked for…
City leaders have committed to a renovation project, to be finished by late 2013. It includes a $55 million re-do of the Plaza that will include green space, a renovated SEPTA station and even an ice skating rink.
The prep work for the project is set to begin by mid-November.
Mayor Michael Nutter refuses to name deadlines or issue ultimatums. But the protesters are on notice.”
“They gave us no verbal warning whatsoever, they grabbed anybody who stood in their way even if their hands were up, threw them to the ground and arrested them. we asked repeatedly if we could have a few minutes to collect our personal belongings and they had nothing to say, absolute silence,” said Roloff.
Police said the tents are illegal encampments.
There is of course now discussion over how many people were arrested and if those arrests were necessary.
Occupy San Diego people are saying this is unfair and claiming police brutality for arresting observers and protesters.
“There was one young woman who was simply filming them with her iPhone and they reached out, grabbed her arm, put it behind her back and arrested her without any kind of warning,” said one witness.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has supported the movement from day one, and at least one other councilman - Bill Rosendahl - are losing patience and feel that the time has come for occupiers to pack up camp and create a new tent city elsewhere. Will occupiers disperse? Survey says: Not likely.
One protester said, “They can try to shut us down until the cows come home. We’re just going to come back stronger.”
The New York Times had a wide ranging report on the view of the Occupy movement from Mayors across the country. They claim that many of the Mayors of “several cities have come to the end of their patience and others appear to be not far behind.”
Point 1: The constitutionally guaranteed right to assembly is not subject to any Mayors “patience”.
[The completely unnecessary assault in Oakland was entirely out of proportion to the situation.] The people throwing things at police and being violent are not part of our ‘99 Percent’ occupation,” said Momo Aleamotua, 19, a student from Oakland. “They’re not us, and they’re not welcome.
Point 2: Anyone committing illegal acts should be dealt with individually. There is no justification for ending an entire peaceful and constitutionally protected assembly because of the acts of a few.
In Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed ordered the police to arrest more than 50 protesters early Wednesday. … [He] said the last straw came Tuesday, when he said a man with an AK-47 assault rifle joined the protesters in Woodruff Park
Point 3: Georgia passed a law that made carrying an AK-47 legal in that state. The man was rejected by the occupiers and not welcome. Using Georgia’s insane law about open carry of assault weapons against the protesters is a contrived violation and extremely hypocritical.
Providence, R.I., where Mayor Angel Taveras has vowed to seek a court order to remove protesters from Burnside Park, which they have occupied since Oct. 15.
Point 4: The government has no right to continually block freedom of assembly through the legal system. The constitution supersedes all local law, and the creation of “parade rules” or “vagrancy” statutes are violations of the constitution when used to prevent peaceful assembly.
Even in Los Angeles, where the City Council passed a resolution in support of the protesters, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa warned Wednesday that they would not be allowed to remain outside City Hall indefinitely.
Point 5: There is no time limit on the constitutional right to assembly. The word “indefinite” has no bearing on this.
Even in Democratic Chicago, officials seemed to straining to allow for dissent, while maintaining order. “We’ve been working hard to strike a balance,” said Chris Mather, a spokeswoman for Mr. Emanuel.
Point 6: The need to ensure that “order” trumps “dissent” is contrary to American political freedom. The nature of American Democracy is that we accept some level of “disorder” because we believe that freedom is important.
“It’s a significant challenge to deal with their decision-making process,” said Richard Negrin, the managing director of Philadelphia
Point 7: Because it is “difficult” is no reason for shutting down the peaceful exercise of assembly by American citizens. The difficulty is not a question, it is your responsibility to protect this constitutional right. It is your job.
The leaders of this Country need to understand that their job is not solely as a protector of the rich and businesses in their cities. It is also a requirement that they protects each citizens constitutional right to freedom of assembly, no matter how difficult.
Wow — made an argument on the Occupy Boston facebook page that cops are not our friends and especially not the friends of people of color, who are routinely abused and beaten by the police. Was responded to by someone who argued that “perhaps one should stop committing crimes if they don’t want to receive “abuse” or be “routinely beaten” from the police.” This responder’s comment was then applauded by the Occupy Boston facebook administrator!
Yeah, there’s no problem with racism in the Occupy movement at all …
Admin’s note(This is a personal note and not affiliated with OccupyPhilly):
I’m posting this because between this article and what occurred at OccupyPhilly regarding racism, this is a major issue with the OccupyMovement that really needs to the address. I know some people want to ignore it, or push it aside for another time because there are ‘more important issues’ to be address. But that’s the problem. The issue with racism has been going on for a while and pushing aside and forgetting about it is not going to solve any problems. Blacks have been a part of the 99% for the longest time, and when there is finally an opportunity for everyone to come together for a similar cause, black people are met with the same racist issues that they have been dealing with for all of their lives.And that is not right. Racism exists within the 99%. It needs to change now. Not tomorrow. Not when OWS is over. NOW.
You want to know why many POC won’t get behind OWS? This is why. Until everyone can come together and address this issue, nothing will change and we will all be divided. So let’s all unite to address racism once and for all.
Now that the occupation has lasted more than a month, what have we learned?
1. We have learned that they are afraid. The top 1% knows that we know, and that we know that we know, that its stories of “trickle down” and “what’s good for wall street is good for main street” and “free markets” and “new economy” and all the rest is a sandwich of steaming shit. They know the gig is up and they are afraid. Evidence: right wing talking heads warning about revolution; massive police force.
2. We have learned that they will bend. Eric Cantor’s tail behind his legs retreat is a mighty triumph of the political power of Occupy Philly. How many more retreats can we force throughout the country? We are legion.
3. We have learned that people in the US, people all over the world, no longer accept business as usual. ”We are the 99%” resonates because people are sick of the exploitation, sick of the unfairness, sick of working for a world in which the very, very few take from us our lives and futures. The occupation movement is the crack, the rupture, the awakening: all over the world people are talking about extreme inequality, economic failure, the fact that capitalism is broken. All over the world people are talking with each other about what comes next, what to do, what to make—what new world should we demand of ourselves?
4. We have learned that collectively we are strong. We’ve learned this in part through new practices of interacting and building consensus. We’ve also learned it more painfully, through experiences of blocking, trolling, derailing, and sabotage by contrarians who demonstrate neither care nor concern for the movement.
5. We have learned and will continue to learn how hard it is to build and maintain these collectivities. This learning is painful. It is divisive. It involves learning that sometimes exclusion is necessary; it involves learning when to be decisive, when to coerce, when to say “enough is enough.”
6. We have learned that collectivity is not unanimity; it’s almost like we are learning through experience a lesson suggested by Rousseau: the difference between the general will and the will of all.
7. We are learning that the movement exceeds any single occupation. The movement to occupy, to assert our presence in our world, in the processes and systems through which we shape it, is now established and strong. We are already here. The point of occupation is to state that we are here, to make our being here register—that we are here means that what is here is ours.
8. We will start learning the different tonalities and variations of this movement. Some sites might become more intensive as others regroup. Some might abandon one site in order to occupy new possibilities. Regrouping is an opportunity: an opportunity to build outside of the prying eyes and presumptive expectations of a 24/7 media cycle concerned only with pumping content through feeds.
9. We will learn to plan—for the winter, for the upcoming election cycle: Cantor’s retreat reminds us of the abundant opportunities we have for occupation in the upcoming year. How many campaign events? How many primaries? How many caucuses? What will happen as the fearful millionaries retreat in the face of the collective strength of those willing to occupy the campaign (or campaign to occupy)? How many more retreats can we force, demonstrating the bankruptcy of the political system and its obesiance to capital? How many advances can we make? Occupying not public squares but spaces claimed as private by the few? What would a real Bank of America look like? We won’t know until we occupy it.
10. We’ve learned that we can will differently. We need to learn how to sustain this will and how to forge it into a collective desire for a collectivity that can and will persevere.
Very interesting development. Especially since the Occupation is not composed just of far-left fringe groups that are always calling for a general strike, but also includes various trade unions.
Currently the General Assembly in Oakland - with several thousand people in attendance - is voting on a motion to call for a General Strike on Wednesday November 2nd.
At 10:00 pm Pacific Time, just as the mandate to leave the public spaces they occupied, the General Assembly in Oakland California voted overwhelmingly to call a General Strike for next Wednesday, November 2nd.
With over 1,500 votes cast the results were 1,607 YEA, 77 ABSTAIN, and 46 NAY.
We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.
We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.
All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.
While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.
The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.
Earlier in the evening several thousand people tore down the fences that police erected last night and re-occupied Ogawa Plaza. It was reported that a large number left the Oakland occupation as news of a potential crack-down in San Francisco emerged. But there were still nearly 2,000 in the plaza in attendance at the General Assembly.