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Another concerted effort to break the Occupy Wall Street movement is coming in at least four major US cities. Occupiers have been given notice to dismantle their camps. More riot cops, chemical gas and pepper spray?

It's the same story repeated over and over again across the nation. Mayors who say they support the Occupy Wall Street movement continue to order the protesters to remove their camps from public property. The implied threat, of course, being that police will use physical force to push the occupiers out.

The same refrain has been heard numerous times. In New York City, Oakland, Portland, etc., city officials invoke "health and safety" issues as justification for the crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators. The scenarios are always presented in the same language, as if the official statements have all been prefabricated and coordinated for political purposes.

Meanwhile, as Naomi Wolf points out in her article in the UK Guardian, 18 US cities are apparently getting their orders from the Department of Homeland Security and their overseers in the federal government. According to Wolf, this chain of command goes all the way up through the US Congress to the White House and President Barack Obama.

Now in Seattle, San Francisico, Los Angeles and Philadelpia the script is repeating itself. In the "city of angels", where the city council has endorsed Occupy LA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says, "Their time is running out." He wants the occupiers to remove their camp of over 400 tents from City Hall.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has told Occupy SF they must leave Justin Herman Plaza.
People living at that camp are reportedly very nervous because they expect a police raid at any time. On October 16th the San Francisco Police Department dismantled their original encampment, and earlier this week the police confiscated tents near 101 Market Street.

In the past few weeks Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has visited the Occupy Philly camp on Dilworth Plaza at City Hall, expressing his support for their movement. Now Nutter says the occupiers have got to go. On Nov. 25th he gave a press conference where he stated, "you must remove all of your possessions and yourself from that location within the next 48 hours." The protesters have been given until 5PM Sunday to pack up and leave. The mayor says they have been ordered to leave the area in order to make way for a $50 million renovation project.

Occupy Seattle has been camped at Seattle Central Community College for a month. Invited by a student group and endorsed by many of the teachers, OS has been grateful to be at a location where police have stopped harassing them.

Now college president Paul Kilpatrick has decided to push the occupiers off the campus. When the group first arrived, he admitted that there is currently no prohibition on camping at a state funded college. But on Nov. 23rd, Kilpatrick called an emergency meeting of the board of trustees. He urged them to pass a new campus rule - "no camping".

Occupy Seattle is challenging this rule change in the courts. On Nov. 28th both sides will be filing legal documents at the state capitol in Olympia. The OS legal team is requesting that the judge issue a restraining order to keep SCCC from evicting the demonstrators. They are claiming that the emergency rule is counter to state law.

It should be mentioned that no vandalism of public property has been committed, no windows have been broken, no violence against public officials has occurred at any of these encampments. The cities are alleging that the problem is that "homeless" people are living at the camps, and some of them have drug addictions and/or mental illness.

Of course the occupiers respond by explaining that government social services and healthcare have been cut for these folks so they are being fed and housed by volunteers from the occupy movement. In effect they maintain that they are providing a basic public service to the community.

In Seattle activists claim they are feeding 400 people per day for free while the city and the college complain about the cost of policing the camp. There is a major disconnect here between the reality of the situation and the sensational news coverage which has portrayed Occupy Seattle and other Occupy Wall Street groups as "unsanitary" and potentially dangerous.

It should be noted here that OS has provided for it's own portable bathrooms, food and other supplies. They have never asked for financial support from the college or from the City of Seattle. In fact, they claim that the use of security and police has been overzealous and unnecessary. The protests have been peaceful and the camp is policing itself to the best of its ability. Donations from labor unions, non-profits and private individuals and businesses have sustained the camp with no other outside means of support.

In the next few days law enforcement will be moving in on these camps and physically removing people from the premises. It remains to be seen whether the police will use violence again to clear these areas. Many of the protesters say they will not leave these camps voluntarily. How the arrests are made could determine how the activists respond. Will it be an orderly exit or another series of physical confrontations?

One thing is certain - the powers that be have decided to put an end to this movement once and for all. I doubt, however, that they will be successful in this endeavor. If anything, police actions could actually bring more people out to join the protests.


Do you think police will use violence to shut down the Occupy Wall Street camps?

89%35 votes
10%4 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  And Obama is a time traveler CIA agent. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, gramofsam1, VClib, FG
    Meanwhile, as Naomi Wolf points out in her article in the UK Guardian, 18 US cities are apparently getting their orders from the Department of Homeland Security and their overseers in the federal government. According to Wolf, this chain of command goes all the way up through the US Congress to the White House and President Barack Obama.

    Is there new proof of this or are people still relying on the same loony toons Examiner source?
  •  Obama? I don't think so (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, FG, BeeDeeS

    I find it hard to believe that President Obama would sic the dogs (cops) on Occupiers.  

    When my husband became president of a small liberal arts college, the maintenance crews spent all summer cleaning the dorms and repainting, repairing, etc. for the arrival in the fall of students.  Comments were made that it was such a shame that with the onslaught of students, they would have to do it all over again the next summer.  What got lost in that mentality was that a college exists for students, and it is that same mentality that is being displayed by Mayors, Police, University administrators across the country.

    •  Students pay dearly for their rooms and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have the right to have a fresh coat of paint applied. It's a normal thing to do at the end of a yearly lease whether it's a dorm or an apartment or whatever.

      Your landlord paints and makes general repairs to the property to the property to keep it in decent condition (which is tax deductible btw... whereas renovation due to deterioration from neglect is NOT tax deductible).  

      And, yes, Naomi skipped several layers before she zoomed straight up to Obama. She had a lot of salient points in there, so I wish she hadn't taken a short cut there since it diminished the effective veracity of the article.

      Bridge Closed: Republican Tax CUTS At Work

      You just gonna stand there and bleed
      Or you gonna do something about it?

      by bronte17 on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 08:40:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could you provide a better link? (0+ / 0-)

    to the naomi wolf post.  I mean facebook ... come on.  

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 05:18:11 AM PST

  •  Philadelphia (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, VClib, FG, mallyroyal

    It's a long-planned project that was always going to be ready to start now -- $50M, 800-1000 union construction jobs.  Occupy will be moving across the street to another public plaza, but on a 9a-7p permit only, no camping.

  •  While speech and assembly are mentioned (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, Cassiodorus, nogo postal, BeeDeeS

    in the First Amendment, that's because these expressions of human properties are the most likely to be restricted by agents of government who do not want to be corrected or instructed by the populace. Also, speech and assembly were the most innocuous rights to address. In an age when keeping some humans as slaves was legal, just the mention of other humans properties (mobility, aggregation, reproduction, relocation, occupation) would have been impolitic.  Indeed, the human propensity to wander the surface of the earth and sail the oceans blue, whether it be to migrate with the seasons or search out new resources to exploit, is the most irksome to humans whose sustenance and survival depends on keeping people in place and working for them. So, in the grand scheme of things, what occupiers say or write on posters is much less challenging to the ruling elites than their insistence on the right to perambulate and sit themselves down when and where it pleases them. Occupying a geographic space and occupying themselves with their own business represents a serious challenge to the belief that the first commandment is obedience and its corollary, "no free lunch"--i.e. humans have to work (do what they're told), if they want to eat.
    After all, the ultimate objective of private property is to insure that access to resources is restricted to all who don't comply with social strictures.  The owners of private property may not realize, but their self-interest is being relied on to exclude the undeserving from the resources they need to survive.
    This is not to say that private property should be abolished.  Only that humans' ulterior motives are often not what they seem. The exclusive use of natural resources would not be a problem, if the fruits thereof were equitably shared.

    Anyway, the occupiers' claim to public space is much more of a threat to the ruling elites, regardless of whether they march, walk, roam, stand or sit.  Taking up space is more significant than speech, which is gone with the wind. "We will not be moved," is to take a stand, which ironically, is as confrontational as roaming where one wants.
    Mobility is the quintessential human right.  That we share it with other organic species does not change that.  Nor does it change that the quintessential human expression of power is to keep things in place. To roam the earth is to disobey.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 05:37:37 AM PST

    •  thank you hannah! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, BeeDeeS

      This is how I feel but my posts have been pretty simplistic..Yours does get to the crux..or even cross roads.
      What Gandhi demonstrated was how moving off the accepted script can work.
      Dr. King did the same..
      In the decades that followed the 1% co-opted the script. We continued on a script that was written for us..
      Occupy Wall Street led other places to go off script.
      This was very uncomfortable for the 1%. Initially it was uncomfortable for many.
      But for those of us that have taken the time to have even limited participation in our local movement know why this is a greater threat to the 1%.
        I would venture to say that the majority of those here writing.."I support what they are trying to do but", have not really participated in a "mic Check" ..Maybe walked by a Tent State but didn't stop..
      Don't yet understand that the script big media is using is outdated and even they don't get it yet...

      "There's something going on but you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?"

  •  Conflicted....on the one hand, I support OWS (0+ / 0-)

    and the public visibility of the encampments to stand as testament to this broken economy, inequality and unacceptable under/unemployment.

    However, with winter coming in and the fact the public will grow tired of the camps in public places, maybe it's time to declare victory and set up somewhere inside public visibility.  

    Time for stage two in the occupy movement to sustain it throughout the winter. Then in the spring, flash camps could be set up. Permanent occupation of downtown areas which cost the city a lot may not be the wisest course.

    •  These are peaceful assemblies and do not (0+ / 0-)

      require the storm trooper-riot setup-militarized heavy artillery that is rolled out and used.

      The cost to the city (aka the taxpayer) is not a legitimate cost since the cities absolutely do not have a legitimate reason to react in the manner they are reacting.

      It is a horrible squandering of money... yet the cop grant writers are looking for ever more creative ways to hit us up for even more money next year.

      The request for increased funding should be denied. Let the cops go about their normal business dealing with crime and leave the peaceful sitters alone.

      Bridge Closed: Republican Tax CUTS At Work

      You just gonna stand there and bleed
      Or you gonna do something about it?

      by bronte17 on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 08:47:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not a fact, not even close to true "the public" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are camps taking care of hundreds of homeless people, maybe dozens or less in some places.  This is what a failed social safety net looks like.

      The presence of the camps, and the ongoing protests, marches are a daily reminder that problems are deepening, not getting addressed. It is also a constant reminder that the city administrations are overwhelmed and unable to improve things because the 1% are squeezing the options, using all their leverage to leave political choices reduced to cutting and savaging the net as a standard response.

      As an Occupy camp grows in one spot, and schools, hospitals, services get cut  all around,  the politicians face an unpleasant comparison with their activity every day.  Driving away the messenger, or a growing resistance is a misguided form of self preservation for them.

      It costs a city little to nothing, except police overtime which  each city more or less lives with regardless of an Occupy camp or not.  The Overtime paid for Occupy is a waste of effort because it accomplishes little to nothing. Let the self run camps cooperate for the obvious things and turn over miscreants.  Then the Occupy camp is a model of civic action rather than a drain on the community having to chase away homeless  and engage in confrontation where it isn't required.

      I agree the wintertime is a hard test for the campers' perseverance, and some creative work to set up for winter would be welcome.  Eventually this movement represents the real rebirth of the cities which have been savaged and run down in nearly every part of thr country in the greed for suburbia and pushing the expensive dream of a privileged upper middle class lifestyle.   Truth is while cities become dumping grounds for the losers in the economic Darwinian struggle, there is the myth of a Nirvana  for an elite.  Mayors cracking down lose the opportunity to win allies for a defense of the desireable and sustainable lifestyle of the city which they cannot win by themselves, or combining exclusively with a wealthy few who run the city presently.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

      by BeeDeeS on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 02:11:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It must the position of the Occupy movement (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, BeeDeeS

    that out of parks means into the halls of power.  

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 09:17:20 AM PST

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