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Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Pepper-Spraying of UC Davis Students, Lobbying Firm to Offer Advice on OWS & More

Shocking video continues to circulate of UC Davis students being pepper sprayed by riot police yesterday. I wrote about the police violence and the calls for the UC Davis chancellor to resign.

What is worth adding is the fact that students won. There is video showing riot police leaving the scene. Students remained. Some took down their tents. It does not appear the camp remained on the main quad area but police did not arrest everybody who gathered to bear witness to the brutality.

The brutality should not be what defines any occupation so here is why the UC Davis students feel they must “occupy”:

We’re protesting for the most basic of things, to declare our existence and relevance in the political order, to remind the country and ourselves that we own this place, that we own the problems of this place, and that we have the responsibility as citizens to engage and make things right.

Oh, the anarchy of young people taking responsibility for problems they didn’t create… Obviously the university needed to subdue this before it turned into a riot of discussions about what this country needs to do next to do better for its citizens…

Additionally, there is news of a memo from a lobbying firm being circulated. Huffington Post reports on this memo, which includes details on how to undermine the Occupy movement.

Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues. I’m headed to Occupy Maine. Post more updates here soon.


12:03 AM Peaceful and unusually calm. There are photos of police being circulated but it does not look like they are amassing around the new camp. Occupy Oakland is calling on people to come help defend the camp in case something happens.

10:45 PM Major action unfolding in Oakland —

@IntifadaTent posts this photo

Occupy Oakland is trying to establish a camp at 19th & Telegraph. Mayor Jean Quan has said this will not be permitted.

Thousands have been out marching for a November 19 day of action in Oakland.

6:20 PM Nicholas Kristof thinks Occupy Wall Street needs to keep occupying the agenda. It is a pretty good op-ed. The most valuable section is the following (and has nothing to do with what Kristof thinks the movement should do):

new study by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University polled Americans about what wealth distribution would be optimal. People across the board thought that the richest 20 percent of Americans should control about one-third of the nation’s wealth, and the poorest 20 percent about one-tenth.

In fact, the richest 20 percent of Americans own more than 80 percent of the country’s wealth. And the poorest 20 percent own one-tenth of 1 percent.

6:11 PM Nicolaus Mills for The Guardian puts the eviction of Occupy Wall Street into historical context comparing it to the attack on the Bonus Army in 1932. It is a fair comparison. But, the best part of Mills article is the final paragraph, which doesn’t have all that much to do with the history of the Bonus Army.

As the weather gets colder and the protesters figure out ways to get through the night without the sleeping bags and tents now banned from Zuccotti Park, it is the extraordinary care they have taken to welcome the mentally ill and the homeless drawn to their site that poses their greatest problem. Without either the power to tax or to build homeless shelters, Occupy Wall Street has taken upon itself to be more compassionate than the city.

5:59 PM Now, occupiers in Franklin School in Washington, DC, being arrested. (h/t TarheelDem)

5:53 PM Occupy San Jose in front of the mayor’s house after being kicked off public property – photo

5:41 PM National Lawyers Guild contends the rules Brookfield Properties has established for Liberty (Zuccotti) Park are illegal:

We believe that police are imposing limitations on the rights of the former occupiers of Liberty Park (aka Zuccotti Park) that exceed the Court’s Order as well as the concerns that the City expressed in the papers it submitted to the Court. While we would raise these matters in formal proceedings, it is possible that we can avoid additional burdens on the Court and the parties if we could all confer about these matters.

The letter goes on to cite the following as problematic: NYPD’s creation of a “frozen zone” around the park, limiting public access; NYPD and Brookfield Properties’ warrantless and unreasonable searches of people and property; police prevention protesters from lying down; police prohibition of sleeping bags from entering park; police prohibition of food from the park; police prohibition on musical instruments in the park; police prohibition on books into the park and the seizure or destruction of property without a written warrant or constitutionally significant notice and opportunity to be heard.

5:30 PM Couple thousand people at Occupy Oakland protests right now. Watch the live stream, which was just embedded in the blog.

5:29 PM Picture of lawn in front of Oakland City Hall that @Fara1 reports was flooded to keep Occupy Oakland away

5:27 PM City of Oakland prepares to obstruct Occupy Oakland from setting up another encampment tonight

5:19 PM Occupy Wall Street participants who tried to pick up property seized by NYPD during the eviction are finding their property was likely destroyed.

4:20 PM Chancellor Katehi creates task force to review pepper-spraying of UC Davis students

4:19 PM A group inspired by Occupy DC has taken over Franklin School, a four-story vacant building.

4:11 PM In the middle of the day, police have come to evict parts of Occupy SF (San Francisco). The police are at 101 Market & Justin Herman Plaza. Occupy SF is urging people in the area to come down and support. They especially need citizen journalists to come down and livestream the action.

4:09 PM Account from retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, who was working as a legal observer after the raids on Liberty Park last Tuesday:

I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady.’ And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith. “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.

4:06 PM More than 3,900 have signed a petition that calls for Chancellor Katehi of UC Davis to resign after she allowed riot police to pepper spray UC Davis students yesterday.

4:04 PM Chris Hayes’ report on the lobbying firm memo. It indicates concern that OWS might find common cause with citizens that have identified themselves as “Tea Partiers”:

…Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,” the memo says. “…This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season…

4:02 PM Thank you to all those who have been posting comments on this post and adding updates. I will now add some items.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."