What the Occupy movement is doing for Americans is demonstrating how there are far and few spaces where Americans can voice their grievances with the government without permit. More importantly, the movement is demonstrating that the one place that people can gather – parks – carry their own restrictions. Park curfews have become a flashpoint for occupations all over the nation.
About 130 occupiers from Occupy Chicago were arrested early in the morning on October 23 by Chicago police for violating a curfew in Grant Park. The occupiers were trying to setup a permanent base again and were blocked from setting up a camp again. (Full report and video of the arrests here.)
Occupy San Jose was raided last night at 3 am PST. The police woke occupiers who were sleeping in tents up and arrested them for being in the park. Their tents were confiscated. They did this very early in the morning on Saturday too.
Occupy Cincinnati participants have been arrested for “criminal trespassing” for being in Piatt Park past the 3 am curfew. They had an encampment weeks ago but the city is no longer willing to allow the occupiers to have a permanent site.
Members of Occupy Orange County were arrested in Santa Ana after refusing to take down their tents. And, the city of Oakland has decided to no longer allow Occupy Oakland to have a tent city in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (which they renamed Oscar Grant Park). The city now claims the encampment is a “violation of the law.”
The vitality of the Occupy movement depends on finding ways to establish a permanent base and win the right to remain in public space. The ability of occupations to rally supporters to take on the city and face down police is critical to sustaining this movement. And, there is a battle over framing that must be won in order to succeed. The occupiers need to make it clear they are not “trespassing” or violating curfew like some vagrant or group of hoodlums. They are asserting what they believe is the people’s right to be in the space twenty four hours a day to assemble, demonstrate and dissent against government that has become entirely subservient to corporate and special interests.
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10:25 PM Critical piece of writing by Douglas Holtz-Eakin in Foreign Affairs magazine but rests on a flawed premise: that the occupiers want to destroy capitalism. There are very few occupiers in this movement that are purely anti-capitalist or that stand tall on hold signs that say smash capitalism. They just are tired of a capitalist economy that serves Wall Street and the richest 1%.
10:21 PM Sean Lennon & Rufus Wainwright visit Liberty Park for a jam session. Lennon dedicates a song to Ben Bernanke.
10:17 PM Video of Occupy Melbourne being evicted (featuring Jamie Kilstein)
10:11 PM Occupy Chicago reports on what it has been like for occupiers in jail:
They still haven’t released the nurses who were arrested last night…Most of those of us who were in jail were not even allowed a phone call even though we asked for one repeatedly…Two of the people who did get a phonecall report that the bondsmen were playing videogames instead of working on our paperwork…We were given no food until noon today after yelling for hours they gave us a bologna sandwich…An epileptic girl needed her meds. We yelled for an hour before anyone came and then they ignored for another hour…This protester asked different police officers 86 times politely to make a phone call. Ignored all night…One of the holding cells with about 30 men had no working sink. Their requests were ignored for 5 to 6 hours…None of the men were given toilet paper for the past twenty hours
National Nurses United plans to picket Rahm Emanuel’s office tomorrow at 10 am.
5:20 PM Background on Occupy 38 Greene Street in lower Manhattan.
5:19 PM Occupy San Jose ambushed by SJPD
5:18 PM Barbara Ehrenheich on being homeless in America and Occupy Wall Street