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Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: National Mall’s Union Square to Be Controlled by Capitol Police

10:46 PM Foreclosed home in Oakland that had been occupied is raided. Police cleared the home, arrested at least twelve people and then proceeded to board up the property. It is possible the home had been occupied since December 6.

10:25 PM While Nancy Pelosi is in her posh hotel suite in Hawaii for the holidays, Occupy Hawaiian Island plans to pay her a visit (along with jet setting 1%ers).

10:20 PM A man showed up to Legislative Plaza, Occupy Nashville’s home base, went off on some rant about the military, threatened to burn the plaza to the ground and then proceeded to light sleeping bags on fire.

7:37 PM Occupy Harrisburg is not going anywhere.

6:28 PM Three arrested at rally in front of Iowa Democratic Party headquarters

5:55 PM The Davis Enterprise, a newspaper local to UC Davis, names the pepper-spraying of UC Davis students the #1 story of the year.

5:40 PM The conservative echo chamber is working overtime to bring down Ron Paul, as he continues to poll high in Iowa. The Weekly Standard runs this post “Ron Paul Praises Occupy Wall Street.” It includes a “transcript” of remarks from Paul. He compares Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party.

…There’s a lot of people unhappy, and they’re not so happy with the two-party system because we have had people go in and out of office, congress changes, the presidency changes, they run on one thing, they do something else. Nothing ever changes…

…They would like to see changes. And if the conditions get much worse, the demonstrations on the streets could get much worse, too. And that’s what we have to be aware of. But fortunately we still live in a free enough society where they can speak out. If they violate property rights, if anybody violates property rights, they do it at risk. Because that means they’re practicing civil disobedience and they might have to suffer the consequences.  But there are sometimes people [who] believe civil disobedience in order to make a point on what’s wrong with our laws that’s, they have to understand, that’s the risk they take. But basically I think it’s healthy on both sides, both the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement.

5:00 PM Free Press’ Josh Stearns wins Storify’s Story of the Year. Cited here multiple times, this exemplary Storify tracked, confirmed and verified reports of journalist arrests at Occupy protests. You can read more about the story and why Stearns felt compelled to use Storify to track the arrests here.

4:57 PM The first Occupy Wall Street feature documentary: 99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film

4:55 PM Judge rules Twitter must comply with “secret” subpoena for user data that Boston Police claim they need for a criminal investigation.

3:05 PM Fear alert: Pasadena police chief Phillip Sanchez, ahead of the Rose Parade, says he isn’t worried about Occupy’s plans for an “orchestrated protest” but rather he is worried about an Occupy “lone wolf.”

“If they are a lone wolf acting independently they are difficult to deal with,” Sanchez said. “Any individual looking to act is more difficult to deal with.” In other words, one of the protesters could have plans to commit terrorism or violence.

This, of course, is a fear for law enforcement at any public event or gathering these days, especially in a post-9/11 world. Such a concern should not be something viewed as a result of the Occupy movement, something Sanchez does not bother to make clear.

2:00 PM On the Twitter user affiliated with Occupy Boston, who goes by “Guido Fawkes”: the account was subpoenaed secretly but Twitter has a policy of notifying users when law enforcement and governmental requests are made for their personal information. So, this means the secret subpoena did not stay secret for long. More here at CNET.

1:50 PM Occupy Providence agrees to leave and go home if the city opens a daytime homeless shelter. The city’s public safety commissioner takes issue.

1:45 PM FDL’s David Dayen posts a kind of round up on action in Iowa. Occupiers have been ramping up activity as the Iowa Caucus looms.

Original Post

The Washington Post reports Union Square, an area known for holding demonstrations, will no longer be controlled by the National Park Service. The Capitol Police would now control the Square and be in control of awarding permits for rallies or events.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Washington-based Partnership for Civil Justice, which the Post says “advocates for protest groups,” is extremely troubled by this development.

The Park Service rules and obligations on First Amendment activities have been forged by 40 years of very intense litigation…The Capitol Police .?.?. permitting system, I would have to say in my own experience .?.?. is perhaps among the most arbitrary and restrictive…If they’re going to be expanding their jurisdiction out into areas that have been used historically by people, they are inviting litigation.

The decision to transfer is allegedly a result of “security-driven issues.” The Senate’s chief law enforcement officer, Terrance W. Gainer, scoffed at the idea that this would have any bearing on protests. But, if Verheyden-Hilliard experience suggests what lies ahead for those trying to exercise their First Amendment rights in Union Square from this point forward, there could be problems.

An Occupy Congress action is scheduled for January 17, 2012, outside Capitol Hill. It has been reported, also by the Post, that a permit application was submitted to the Park Service. So, it would seem the Capitol Police will now have power over this demonstration when it happens on January 17. (Whether they would be in charge of approving a permit or not for this event is unclear).

Firedoglake’s premier live blog resumes now. All times are EST. Email with any news tips, questions or updates.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

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