Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia stormed Occupy Wall Street encampments under darkness Wednesday to arrest or drive out some of the longest-lasting protesters since crackdowns ended similar occupations across the country.
Dozens of officers in riot gear flooded down the steps of Los Angeles City Hall just after midnight and started dismantling the two-month-old camp two days after a deadline passed for campers to leave the park. Officers in helmets and wielding batons and guns with rubber bullets converged on the park from all directions with military precision and began making arrests after several orders were given to leave.
The raid in Los Angeles came after demonstrators with the movement in Philadelphia marched through the streets after being evicted from their site. About 40 protesters were arrested after refusing to clear a street several blocks northeast of City Hall, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. They were lined up in cuffs and loaded on to buses by officers. Six others were arrested earlier after remaining on a street police that police tried to clear.
In city after city, the same scene is replayed — hundreds of cops excessively clad in riot gear (are they preparing to confront, or engage in, a riot?), are sent in to evict Occupy camps under the cover of midnight’s darkness.
Though we now know (thanks to the confession of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan) that many of these municipal crackdowns have been actively coordinated at a local and even federal level, even where there has not been outright conspiracy by the powers-that-be, the political and economic elite of each city have learned to mimic this particular strategy of repression.
Though cities are suppressing the physical encampments of the Occupy movement, the 1% who effectively rule this nation better be aware that the struggle for social, political, and economic democracy, which Occupy heretofore embodied, is not going away. This Genie is not going to be so easily stuffed back in to the bottle.
Though it may need to metamorphose in form, the process whereby the Occupy encampments are destroyed is akin to the process whereby the caterpillar is destroyed as it turns into a butterfly. Having put an end to the current phase of the struggle, the ruling class of this nation are unwittingly ushering in the next, more powerful phase of this struggle, which we will inevitable see arise in the months to come.
Los Angeles police officers, scores of them in riot gear, dismantled an Occupy encampment at around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, after allowing hundreds of protesters to camp in front of City Hall for weeks.
When the police moved in, protesters scrambled out of the park and gathered in large groups in the surrounding streets. The police said they arrested 200 people.
By 3 a.m. the area around City Hall was quiet — the camp had mostly been cleared and police were focusing on a few protesters who had climbed up trees with their tents. The park was a sea of collapsed tents and litter. Several protesters who had linked arms in a circle were carried out by officers.
In Philadelphia early on Wednesday, police officers began to clear out a nearly two-month-old encampment next to City Hall. They met little resistance from protesters, many of whom marched elsewhere in the city after the police arrived at the site.
There were no reports of violence, but some demonstrators were arrested in what Mr. Goldstein called a “civil disobedience” action. Live aerial pictures from a local television station showed other protesters being detained about a mile north of City Hall, where they had marched. “You can’t evict an idea,” the local movement’s Facebook page declared.
It includes the use of horses to disperse the crowd. Also, someone I know (somewhat) had their foot broken by one of the police officers, apparently with press credentials. It should be noted that the sidewalk is where the police told the protesters to go - then dispersed them further. The police captain was on WHYY this morning acting as if this was a peaceful process without injury, but what’s starting to surface is that that’s not quite the case.
Washington, Nov 30 (Prensa Latina) - U.S. police forces dismantled on Wednesday camps of protesters in Los Angeles and Philadelphia during another day of governmental repression against the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
Riot troops disrupted the Californian City Hall Square early Wednesday morning forcing OWS members protesting against social and economic inequality in the U.S. to leave the square.
A similar operation occurred in Philadelphia, where police forces arrested 40 people after clearing Dilworth Square and warning protesters they could not resume the demonstration, by order of the mayor’s office.
Head of Police Charlie Beck told CNN news channel that nearly 1,000 officers participated or collaborated in the raid, arresting nearly 200 people.
Popular demonstrations began two months ago as a replica of demonstrations in Spain and protesting corporate financial greed and the excessive power of banks.
On September 17, the OWS took to the streets to denounce the global economic and political crisis.
“Last night the enforcers of the 1% attacked and destroyed the occupations in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. They ignored both the constitution and our rights as free people. The 1% control our economy, our governments, and the police force. They have now arrested and detained over 5,000 people in less than 3 months. This is because we are winning. We will no longer allow our futures to be controlled by the elites who seek to supress and exploit us. In the next week, you will have the opportunity to show that you stand with the 99%, and you are willing to take direct action. The time is now. It is up to you. We will not be silenced.”—via Occupy Wall St. facebook group Nov. 30, 2011 (via mediavinecitizen)
Police across the US have been criticised for their actions in clashes with Occupy Wall Street protesters. The man who led the police response to the Battle in Seattle protests at the 1999 WTO meeting blames the post-9/11 militarisation of American policing.
“Law enforcement across the country is pursuing the same tactics that failed so miserably in Seattle,” Norm Stamper tells BBC World Service’s Witness programme.
“There’s a lack of patience, there’s a lack of imagination and there are clear over-reactions to the challenges the police perceive. It is all so disheartening.”
In November 1999, Chief Stamper was one of the main officials charged with managing the huge numbers of demonstrators who brought the city to a standstill in protests against the launch of a new round of global trade talks…
Chief Stamper says he has learnt his lesson but that other US police forces have not. He blames what he calls the militarisation of the police in America.
In the years following 9/11, the federal government provided military equipment to police forces across the country and instilled in them a military mindset, all in the name of homeland security, the former police chief says.
“At some point, I realized my bike was still in Dilworth Plaza and would probably be swept up with the cleaning crew. I Tweeted Rich Negrin to see if that were the case. He Tweeted me back pretty quick: “You should get your bike.” But police wouldn’t let me near City Hall. I even showed them the Tweet and said I was press, but it was a no-go. My bike may be gone, which sucks.”—
"Both sides taunted. When the group was barricaded by bike cops from Dilworth Plaza to the south, an Occupier repeated a common meme throughout the night: “The police are the 99 Percent,” “They should join us,” (and when that doesn’t work) “Our tax dollars pay your salary.”
“You don’t pay taxes,” said one officer to a protester.
“Yeah, I do,” he retorted.
“You have a job?”
“I have two jobs!” the protester yelled back.
The cop bluntly said he didn’t believe the protester, and insisted while the protester did not pay taxes, he, the police officer, does.”
Update: OccupyPhilly is going to gather at 8th and race street at 9:00am to support those who have been arrested
About 50 protestors total were arrested early this morning when City Hall was raided.
Our backup plan is still in effect: For those of you who can’t make it to Roundhouse (the jail) this morning we are still meeting up at Rittenhouse Square around 4PM and we all go together to do jail support.
CENTER CITY - November 30, 2011 (WPVI) — Police have begun arresting a group of roving marchers who left the Occupy Philadelphia encampment near City Hall after officers evicted protesters.
Police began pulling down tents at about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday after telling demonstrators they had to leave. A group of protesters who left Dilworth Plaza began roving through downtown.
Their march came to an end at 15th and Hamilton streets where some 40 protestors were arrested.
Those taken into custody were placed into buses belonging to the sheriff’s office. Police say the arrests were peaceful.
Those arrests are in addition to the six occupiers who were taken into custody at Dilworth Plaza.
There were a total of four injuries during the operations. Three police officers received minor injuries - two were injured while making arrests, while a third was hurt taking down a tent at Dilworth Plaza.
An Occupy Philadelphia protestor was hurt when a police horse stepped on her foot, Mayor Michael Nutter said. The operation to remove Occupy Philadelphia protestors began around 1:00 a.m. when police closed off streets around City Hall.
Shortly after 1:00 a.m., Mayor Nutter said police issued three warnings to the protestors, telling them they had to clear out for the long-planned construction project for Dilworth Plaza.
After leaving the plaza, some protestors tried to go to a nearby park, but were turned away by police. They made their way back to City Hall at 16th and Market where barricades blocked their travel.
At one point, a few in the group tried to push through the barricades, but police stopped their efforts.
Unable to set up a new camp, some protestors began marching through the city streets. That lasted until 4:40 a.m. when, at 15th and Hamilton, police corned the marchers and told them to leave.
That is where scuffles broke out between some of the protestors and officers and arrests were made.
Back at Dilworth Plaza Philadelphia police and city work crews tore down all the tents that became a part of City Hall’s entrance for the past several weeks.
One female occupier continued her protest in a tree after most others left Dilworth Plaza. After rescue crews came with a ladder, she climbed back down herself.
A group of protestors remained across from Dilworth late into the night and continued chanting and watching police activity.
Through the night’s proceedings, officials have been using the social network twitter to update the city’s residents on the latest.
Managing Director Richard Negrin tweeted at 2:19 a.m., “Clean up crews heading to Dilworth. The clean up begins shortly” and shortly thereafter, the Plaza was being cleared with the use of trucks and dumpsters.
At 1:14 a.m., Philadelphia police tweeted, “Thanks Occupy Philly for their cooperation. We’re here to protect constitutional rights and ensure public safety.”
The City gave Occupy Philly a deadline of Sunday at 5:00 p.m. to vacate Dilworth Plaza. While many left, some stayed until this day.
The City needed the rest of the protesters to leave so a long-planned renovation of a City Hall plaza can begin.
The protestors began their movement on October 6th.
Admins Note: The media left out the part where protestor were choked and beaten by police, trampled by police on horses, one of the cops pulled a knife on protestors, and that protestors were peaceful the whole time while police got violent.
The whole coverage of this by the media has been one sided.
I have been the target of oppressive and patriarchal behaviors since I first entered the space of Occupy Denver. I have been pointed out and labeled as violent, though I have never even been involved in a physical confrontation with a participant or the police. I spoke out against the oppressive and aggressive behavior of one security guard/marshall and recommended that he be removed from those roles of power until he complete some kind of an accountability process. I was shut down as was anyone else who spoke against that individual, but more specifically the women who spoke out against him. This is only one example of the type of oppressive patriarchal behavior within #OD.
Homeless occupiers have left City Hall to set up their own tent city following our deadline to vacate. Occupy Philly, with our meager resources, was able to provide housing and food infrastructure to hundreds of homeless people. The City of Philadelphia - and our dominant economic system - with it’s massive resources refuses to provide food, housing, education, and healthcare to those in need. It’s not a priority, even though there’s an estimated four unemployed people for every available job. Since the City threatened eviction many members of our homeless community have once again been left out in the cold. The City did not offer them space in shelters. In fact, the city plans to CLOSE multiple homeless shelters in the near future. Growing numbers of homeless people are doing what they must to survive in the wealthiest country on earth. For some that means setting up a tent city in north Philly. #wecanendpoverty
Remind me again why the city is building an ice rink but not helping the poor?
“We’ve suddenly become a people that use(s) pepper spray to eliminate minor inconveniences. Pepper spray is America’s new car horn.”—JON STEWART, in re this, this and this, on The Daily Show (via inothernews)
As the Occupation enters its third month, it has already changed the conversation regarding our social and political challenges, all within the space of weeks, all in the face of a massive crackdown more reminiscent of third-world dictatorships than what many Americans believe the United States to be, and a complicit media blackout resembling the suppressive efforts seen in propaganda-driven autocracies Americans have always regarded with disdain. And yet here we remain.
Occupiers, we have the world’s attention. It is time for Phase Two.
The Occupation currently enjoys the support of approximately one-third of American citizens: 100 million men, women and children that demand a better world, and a fulfillment of the promise this country has always professed. However––and here is the best chance for success Occupy could possibly have been given––when polled as to the specific issues supported by the Occupation, that support jumps to two-thirds…a super-majority.
In other words, 100 million people agree with us, but don’t even know it.
It is this ocean we must traverse, one that will immediately double the chances of achieving these goals, and we must do so before the inevitable (and currently underway) corporate public relations efforts succeed in discrediting the movement, and its potential victory. It is time to storm out of the park, and convince 100 million people––by telling them nothing but the truth––why we occupy.
It is thus, in my estimation, in the best interest of all Occupy encampments––while continuing any marches or other demonstrations as well––to convert a percentage of their Occupying force into outreach activists, to take to the streets, to inform as many citizens as possible of our policy goals, and the specific legislative demands to achieve them, through millions of one-on-one conversations on street corners across the country.
Perhaps the best strategy to achieve this goal is the creation of a massive, open-source campaign literature project, wherein publicly-available, and more importantly, home-printable political pamphlets are made accessible for individuals to download, print, read, and distribute, enabling mass participation of any citizen anywhere in the country, at whatever level is feasible, regardless of the existence of a local Occupation. This will enable an unprecedented number of individuals to communicate––under the limitations of local canvassing laws, of course––with an extraordinary number of people in a very short period of time, especially those whose main source of political news is the corporate media, and might be sympathetic, but thus far unaware, of the political goals of the Occupation.
These materials should focus on the main goals of the Occupy movement, namely income inequality, corporate political influence, financial reform, and job creation, including specific, tangible legislative goals, such as the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, the overturning of Citizens United and the Bush tax cuts, infrastructure investment, ending the wars, prosecuting financial crimes, ending corporate welfare, and electoral reform––though there should be no tactical limitation regarding the contents; a simple, heartfelt story of the real human cost of the political policies of recent decades is likely to be equally effective.
It is thus that all sympathetic, talented, knowledgeable graphic designers are called upon to participate in the creation of these materials, which should outline the main goals of the Occupy movement, and contain links to online literature for those wishing to inquire further. Distribute them to the local Occupation if possible, and make them publicly accessible for outsourced participation, so that any individual, officially Occupying or not, can become part of the movement. Do what you do best, and make your country proud. And Occupiers, take to the streets and show the world who we really are.
This is our chance, kids. We have 100 million people to convince. Time to change the world.
Thank you to Citizens Anonymous for posting this and this, which are great examples of what we need. I will post whatever further literature I find that works for this purpose. Please reblog or post wherever appropriate.
________________________________________________________________ Original submission :: Please review this strategic shift. I think it would be cartoonishly easy to double the support of the movement, and we need that sort of mobilization.