I hope your weekend has gone swimmingly. Mine has, we have flood warnings. (Ha, ha, ha.) I took some time off writing yesterday night to go out for the first time in months, which is why this update is a little late.
Here is the news for today:
-- Occupy Portland (Oregon) has marched to a park, and set up. According to the Washington Times, 19 people were arrested when police moved in, for criminal trespass and interfering with police officers. While the Washington Times is reporting that a Sgt. said he "didn't know if protesters put up any resistance," RT.com is reporting that there was at least one brutal injury from riot police moving in. A teenager was hit in the face with a police baton. If you would like to see and compare the stories yourself, please go here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/4/police-portland-park-arrest-saturday/ and here: http://rt.com/news/occupy-portland-arrests-park-985/
-- Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have started a hunger strike. They are trying to regain an outdoor space. This one is a vacant area owned by a church. Occupiers say that if they are arrested, they will continue the strike behind bars. The strike is not only to gain space, but also to continue the life of the movement in the face of government violence and repression.
-- A statewide General Assembly was held in Cedar Rapids yesterday, for all of Occupy Iowa. They brainstormed ideas and planned for future activities. When they went to the office of the company who wants to build drones in the state, they were joined by numerous other peace groups.
-- Occupy Atlanta has tents again, for the first time since they were evicted in late October. They have found a loophole in municipal code that allows people to protest on the sidewalks, as long as they leave a four foot berth for passersby. Luckily for Occupy Atlanta, outside of Woodruff Park, there is a bit of sidewalk that is wider than most of the others. While police have been watching and questioning the protesters, they have not yet attempted to remove them.
-- The Texas State Capitol got a loud wake up call yesterday thanks to Occupy Austin. The group held a rally at the Capitol building, encouraging people to move their money from big banks. They feel that the big banks have been exploiting their customers while receiving giant bailouts from the government.
-- Occupy Seattle had 16 arrests yesterday morning, as demonstrators broke into a locked Capitol Hill building and barricaded themselves inside when police arrived. The empty building is privately owned.
-- Occupy Denton is dealing with a heavy blow. A 23 year old man was found dead in a tent yesterday afternoon. Distraught Occupiers held an emergency meeting, in order to plan a press release. The young man is not being identified, and the cause of death is unknown as of now. Protesters say the young man "is a friend of ours who found a family here." They are "dealing with it like a family."
-- A man associated with Occupy DC was arrested by the Secret Service yesterday. The arrest occurred outside a Starbucks, and they searched his backpack, only finding his laptop and some clothing. The Secret Service says they were not aware the man was an Occupier, and that they were arresting him for an outstanding "failure to appear" warrant. (The Secret Service does that now?! What is this I don't even.... *sigh*)
-- Occupy Hartford wants to move to a new location downtown, and police are saying no. Occupiers are citing the recent sexual assault, drug use, and violent behavior as reasons for the move. Police say that the park they want to move to is public property, which makes it illegal for them to camp there. They say that police and fire departments will be watching the area to make sure they can't set up an encampment.
-- Occupy Nashville had a statewide assembly yesterday, resulting in a few arrests for disorderly conduct. A journalist filming the arrests was detained as well. While the reporter repeatedly told the officer that he was press, the crowd shouted "He's media." The officer replies "I don't care," at least two times. While he wasn't charged with anything, he was still detained for over thirty minutes.
That's all the news for today, but I have something that recently occurred to me that might be worth a mention. Many Occupy encampments are on University and College campuses throughout the US, and this is what leads to my cause for concern. My campus, as well as many others, will be closing at the end of the Fall semester in roughly two weeks. This means that most individuals will be going home for the Holiday season. While many student Occupiers may leave, those who don't will likely be evicted, as Colleges are not likely to be happy about paying for extra Police surveillance during that time. Basically what I'm saying is this: Prepare to see multiple evictions in the next few weeks, especially from Campus grounds. Let's just hope we don't have any more idiotic, unnecessary, violent advances from Campus Police or other Police officers.
If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or other information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.