If we are so rich, why do we have so many poor people? It’s because on top of the inevitable poverty, some of the poor are created by misguided government policy.That, at least, is the provocative thesis advanced by economist and former head of the government’s Central Policy Unit, Leo Goodstadt, in his 2013 book Poverty in the Midst of Affluence: How Hong Kong Mismanaged Its Prosperity.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post reviewing the impact of the 79 days of protest, Benny Tai Yiu-ting said that the campaign had, in fact, widened the support base of the pro-democracy camp. "Occupy has achieved the goal of social awakening far more than was intended," Tai said. "Occupy did not end with a loss - we have expanded the pro-democracy camp."
Three founders of the pro-democracy protest group Occupy Central with Love and Peace called on students to end their occupation of city streets, but student leaders vowed to press on. The middle-aged leaders of the Occupy movement raised the idea of using civil disobedience in the former British colony to push for greater democracy last year, but student protest groups have been at the forefront of the two-month-long street demonstrations - and student leaders on Tuesday quickly rejected the idea of abandoning their encampments.
Like the Occupy actions that briefly burned brightly and then extinguished, however, the Ferguson protests show little coordination or leadership that suggest a more-permanent architecture for change could grow from the earnest efforts here.
Security chief Lai Tung-kwok yesterday attempted to lift the lid on "hate and violence" by Occupy protesters with a video of clashes with police - but found himself on the receiving end of a backlash amid accusations that he left out inconvenient events.
In a third day of civil disobedience, local and national clergy members with up-stretched arms cross police lines and were arrested during a protest at the Ferguson Police Department. The planned act, which organizers called Moral Monday, featured a more-than-four-hour protest in which waves of clergy demanded to speak with Ferguson Police chief Tom Jackson and crossed police lines.
Plans are underway for martial law type scenarios as Missouri law enforcement has been holding meetings 2-3 times per week that include the military and FBI, according to people who have attended them. Missouri law enforcement has been seeking intelligence from police departments across the U.S. on what they call out-of-state agitators. In reality, they are attempting to squeeze the independent media in hopes of using a main stream media filter to keep Americans in the dark about what is truly transpiring on the ground as this manifest injustice occurs.
Thugs punched and kicked pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on Friday night, drawing blood as they tore down demonstrators tents and attempted to force them out. Student leaders called off talks with the government - offered the previous night - accusing officials of allowing violence to be used against them. It dashed the hopes of a resolution to a mass movement that has seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets of the city at its height.
Twenty-one workers demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested while conducting a sit-in outside a McDonald s in Times Square on Thursday morning as the fast-food movement for the first time embraced widespread civil disobedience to escalate its fight.
Dozens of arrests were reported on Monday, the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as protesters converged near the New York Stock Exchange and tried to block access to the exchange. Police officers and protesters squared off at various points on the blocks near the Stock Exchange. At various points protesters tried to block sidewalks leading to the Stock Exchange, but were dispersed by the police. Officers had set up barricades on several streets leading to the exchange and were asking identification from workers seeking to gain access.
After a quiet late winter, Occupy movements all over the Bay Area are lurching to life again with spring - but this time they are coming in two sharply divided forms. One contingent is open to violence if it feels provoked and is planning to demonstrate May 1 at the Port of Oakland and possibly try to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge. The other pledges nonviolence, plans to picket the meetings and homes of corporate titans - and resents what it sees as dilution of the Occupy message with media images of protesters breaking windows and trashing buildings.
Occupy D.C. activists, like those in some other cities, are adopting a new tactic. They call it sleepful protest. Over the weekend, Occupy D.C. activists established what they hoped would be a permanent camp outside a Bank of America branch near the White House. There was but one tent -- and it was purely symbolic, with protesters sleeping on the street instead. Activists say they're returning to Occupy s roots.
Fighting foreclosures and evictions, activists say, gives the disparate movement a unifying focus and embodies its anti-Wall Street message. It also has offered a way for Occupy -- up till now a largely white, middle-class movement -- to broaden its reach to minorities.
Seizing on the popularity of Occupy Wall Street, a broad coalition of liberal-left groups and organizations created the 99 Percent Spring, a movement aiming to recruit and train 100,000 Americans to learn the ways of non-violent direct action. The initiative includes support from MoveOn.org, AFL-CIO, Greenpeace, the Working Families Party, 350.org, Campaign for America's Future, United Students Against Sweatshops, CodePink, Global Exchange and Color of Change, among other groups.
By shifting its focus from Wall Street and targeting companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon.com, the Occupy movement could do more harm to American consumers than good. A new study shows these companies make consumers feel safe, satisfied, even happy. And they create jobs
Four protesters were arrested on Saturday, when an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street called 'Disrupt Dirty Power' staged a demonstration at the UN building in New York City. OccupyWallSt.org described the action's intent: During the warmest winter in modern memory, fossil fuel companies cooked up new plans to bake our planet once and for all. Defying public outrage and a presidential rebuff, they laid tar sands pipelines...
Occupy Wall Street returned to the public spotlight this week following the largest mass arrest of its supporters since the movement was evicted from its home base in November. Last weekend's events, including a female protester apparently having a seizure while handcuffed - combined with numerous accounts of excessive police force - have been described by many protesters as some of the most violent in Occupy history. A New York Daily News reporter on the scene said the New York City police was "out of control".
Several hundred Occupy Wall Street activists marched through Manhattan on Saturday to protest against what they say is police repression as they try to revive their movement. Several demonstrators were arrested along the route of the march in scuffles with New York police, who deployed in large numbers to keep activists on sidewalks.
A new social movement has arrived on the scene and it even has a sexy brand: "The 99% Spring." Combining the "99 percent" meme, made famous by the Occupy Wall Street movement, with the "Arab Spring" meme, made famous through the ongoing struggle for democratic rights in the Arab world, the organizers of the movement say they will attempt to carry the momentum created in these social movements forward in the coming weeks and months ahead.
The perfect storm seemed to be brewing over Chicago. With both the G-8 and NATO summits scheduled for mid-May, Occupy groups, anarchists and allies from around the world have been making plans to descend on the city, while Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department have been preparing to welcome them with strong arms.
An alliance of Occupy groups, environmental and food justice organizations have called for a global day of action on February 27 to resist corporate control of our food system and to work towards a healthy food supply for all.
Co-ordinated protests are planned in some 60 cities later this month against a right wing group which activists say has an unfair hand in writing state legislation that favours corporate interests. Working under the banner Shut Down the Corporations, activists plan to target corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) with nationwide protests on 29 February.
The Occupy movement has decided to fight fire with fire. Last week, John Paul Thornton of Decatur, Ala. filed to create a PAC for the Occupy Movement. "PAC" is an acronym for a political action committee, or an organization that campaigns for or against candidates, legislation, and ballot initiatives.
As many as 100 parents, students and activists are camping out at an elementary school on the city's West Side in an attempt to get the mayor's attention and prevent the school from being overhauled.
Occupy Our Food Supply is bringing together the Occupy, sustainable farming, food justice, buy local, slow food, and environmental movements for a global day of action on Feb. 27, 2012. Inspired by the theme of CREATE/RESIST, thousands will come together to creatively confront corporate control of our food supply and take action to build healthy, accessible food systems for all.
Though the starting point is the tactics employed by a current within Occupy Oakland during a January 28 day of protests that included an attempt to occupy a vacant building, the debate has resonated widely because Occupiers around the country face common questions: How can the movement build on its successes last fall during a slower period now? What kind of actions will take the struggle forward? What should the aim of our activities be?
Far from dissipating, groups around the country say they are preparing for a new phase of larger marches and strikes this spring that they hope will rebuild momentum and cast an even brighter glare on inequality and corporate greed. But this transition is filled with potential pitfalls and uncertainties: without the visible camps or clear goals, can Occupy become a lasting force for change? Will disruptive protests do more to galvanize or alienate the public?
A writer and Occupy Wall Street activist whose tweets have become the subject of a subpoena by a New York prosecutor is seeking to quash the order in court. A lawyer for Malcolm Harris, 23, who was arrested along with 700 protesters on the Brooklyn bridge last October, filed a motion on Monday against the subpoena, which demanded the release of all of his tweets over a three-month period.
The Alameda County Sheriff s Department in California has earned itself a reputation for heavy-handed responses to Occupy Oakland. Since Tuesday, allegations of abusive treatment by officers have escalated as arrestees detained during Saturday s mass Occupy actions in Oakland were released after up to three-day stints in holding cells at the department s Santa Rita Jail.
Riot police fought running skirmishes with anti-Wall street protesters in Oakland on Saturday, firing tear gas and bean bag projectiles and arresting more than 200 people in clashes that injured three officers and at least one demonstrator.
Police have fired tear gas and flash grenades while arresting more than 300 people as anti-Wall Street protesters tried but failed to take over downtown buildings, including the city hall, in Oakland, California. Protesters from Occupy Oakland - the local offshoot of Occupy Wall Street - first targeted the Henry Kaiser convention center on Saturday, before proceeding to a YMCA building and then to the city hall, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.
One of the Occupy movement's longest-standing camps will soon no longer be a place to lay your head: Occupy DC protesters will be banned from camping in the two parks they have occupied since October as of noon on Monday. The National Park Service has alerted the demonstrators they must stop camping in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, both blocks away from the White House, reports Reuters. There are as many as 100 protesters currently living in McPherson Square.
Even as the Occupy movement recedes in size, if not in activism, in the global North, it has, to its own surprise, opened up a new front in Africa's most populous country, Nigeria - where tens of thousands have occupied and paralysed the economy in a protest against the lifting of oil subsidies.
Several hundred protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement converged on the West Lawn of the Capitol Tuesday to decry the influence of corporate money in politics and voice myriad other grievances.
Occupy Wall Street - the movement built on protesting corporate greed and income inequality - is running out of money. After raising more than $700,000 last fall, protesters who keep track of money for Occupy Wall Street reported this week that the group has about $170,000 in its bank account. Very few donations are coming in, they said.
Protesters surged into Zuccotti Park Tuesday night shortly after its owner, Brookfield Office Properties, quietly removed barriers that had been restricting access since police removed the encampment there in November. Some trappings of the previous encampment have already sprung up, but police enforcing the rules governing park behavior seem to have gotten even more strict in the absence of the physical barriers.
The protest movement of summer 2011 in Israel looked at first as if it constituted another link in the chain of militant uprisings which swept throughout the world in 2011. It seemed that the rage and indignation expressed by Israeli protesters were directed against the disastrous doings of capitalist neo-liberalism which, here as elsewhere, resulted in a vast enrichment of a very small elite - "The 1 percent" - concomitant with a drastic deterioration in living conditions and increased poverty among wide social strata.
With several attention-grabbing protests before Iowa's caucuses, Occupy Wall Street activists proved their movement did not end when its encampments in big cities dispersed. But they also showed the group hasn't matured into a political force, and it's not clear whether it will become a liberal counterweight to the tea party this election year.
Barkin clarified on Twitter that she was not shoved to the ground, just jostled by police officers as she tried to help a protestor being arrested. She also wrote, "I have never been afraid of a NY policeman until last nite.What I saw was random & senseless arrests and unnecessarily threatening behavior."
How many people had fun today? said David Goodner, a 30-year-old community organizer, to a bus full of Occupy the Caucus protesters on their way from Newt Gingrich's local campaign headquarters to President Obama's. The question was met with cheers, as the group considered the 18 arrests, including those of two local teenagers, that made today a sign of success.
Democrats were the target Thursday afternoon of Occupy the Caucuses demonstrators who attempted to highlight the role of corporate cash in politics by taping dollar bills over their mouths. Protesters blocked three entrances to Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines. Twelve people were arrested after they refused to leave. Earlier Thursday, five Occupy the Caucuses demonstrators were arrested at Ron Paul s offices in Ankeny.
A great battle is coming. The 2012 elections are our chance to turn the tide back toward real democracy, but we must begin immediately. Only by organizing for a democratic revolution now can we break the hold of corporate criminals over our elections and take real power in 2012, legitimately and nonviolently.
Local occupations around the country are linking up through frequent, massive conference calls, tightening what is now an extremely loose national network that operates under the Occupy banner into a more focused force. The effort, now known as InterOccupy, started out of Occupy Wall Street in New York in mid-October. It has since grown into an elaborate website with multiple weekly phone calls during which occupiers trade ideas, coordinate multistate actions, and plan for the future. Participants at about 150 occupations around the country (and a few internationally) have now participated in the calls, organizers tell me.
This fall American police were confronted with something they hadn't seen in 40 years: prolonged, simultaneous political protests across the country. In most cities, police showed restraint. But there have been exceptions - sometimes involving copious amounts of pepper spray. Those flashpoints have become a cause for concern.
Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich is considering a lawsuit against Occupy L.A. protesters to reimburse the city for damage caused during the occupation of the City Hall lawn. "The city is contemplating any and all of its options," said William Carter, Trutanich's chief deputy. The two-month encampment cost the city at least $2.35 million, not counting repairs to the lawn and fountain outside City Hall, according to a report issued Friday.
Most major Occupy encampments have been dispersed, but they live on in a flurry of lawsuits in which protesters are asserting their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly and challenging authorities mass arrests and use of force to break up tent cities
In between facing off with riot police over tent cities and disrupting port traffic along the West Coast, Occupy protesters have managed to rake in some serious cash. But as protesters nationwide are evicted and cold weather sets in, recently released data from Occupy Wall Street in New York shows donations there have begun to dwindle. That could suggest public support is waning without the visible reminder of a public campsite to keep people engaged.
With demonstrators suspecting governmental assistance in the crackdowns clobbering Occupy Wall Street encampments, the CIA is trying to distance itself from divulging any incriminating evidence regarding their role in the raids.
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill going through Congress that would put America behind its own Chinese firewall. With this bill, government can order Internet service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users. Websites like Reddit, Tumblr, and even Youtube, are fair targets to be shutdown.
Last week , after Occupy protesters attempted (with some success) to blockade West Coast ports without the consent of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU), some Occupy activists claimed that the lack of union support for the shutdown was evidence that labor leaders are sout of touch with the rank-and-file.
The police may soon be watching you in your garden picking your vegetables or your bottom. As police plans for increasing unmanned aerial surveillance take shape, there is a new twist. Private citizens can now buy their own surveillance drones to watch the police. This week in New York, Occupy Wall Street protesters have a new toy to help them expose potentially dubious actions of the New York police department. In response to constant police surveillance, police violence and thousands of arrests, Occupy Wall Street protesters and legal observers have been turning their cameras back on the police.
A review of this year's summer riots has called for a new debate on the use of rubber and plastic bullets. In the review, chief inspector of constabulary Sir Denis O'Connor emphasises that the police already has powers to use live ammunition in certain circumstances, such as when arsonists are setting fire to occupied buildings. Why, some might say, not use that power more frequently in the future?
During a recent demonstration in Washington, D.C., several hundred progressives gathered on K Street were protesting the same outrage but had heated arguments over how to protest. Their differences were emblematic of a key conflict facing Occupy Wall Street today. In its short three-month existence, the Occupy movement has received support and participation from prominent progressives, civil rights leaders, labor unions and other activists, perhaps more than the original protesters expected. But shared goals don't necessarily mean shared methods.
A UC Riverside researcher says the Occupy Wall Street movement has expanded to nearly 30 percent of the state's municipalities in the past few months, based on a survey of Facebook pages. Sociology professor Christopher Chase-Dunn said he and graduate student Michaela Curran-Strange reviewed Occupy pages on Facebook between Dec. 1 and 8 and found that out of the state's 482 municipalities, 143 had such pages affiliated with them, including Occupy organizations in Riverside, San Bernardino, Redlands and other Inland cities.
Seven Occupy protesters were indicted on felony charges by a grand jury in Houston on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office says, in connection with their demonstration at the local port as part of a national day of action by the movement.
For every violent overreaction by authorities at Occupy Wall Street, or Occupy Oakland, there have been many Occupy camps that were met with understanding and respect for the protesters' First Amendment rights. It appears that understanding and respect have a shelf life of two months. The city of Denver ignored peaceful negotiations with the protesters there and instead resorted to what turned out to be a fiery raid.
For those saying that Occupy Wall Street hasn't had a concrete effect, take a look at this. It's not much, but it's a little something. The leaders of the House Financial Services Committee announced yesterday that they will be holding hearings on the SEC's practice of concluding settlements with Wall Street defendants without forcing the accused to admit to wrongdoing.
More than 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Saturday while trying to take over a new public space in TriBeCa for their movement. Elsewhere, about 200 marchers made their way up Seventh Avenue under a heavy police presence. The arrests came during an all-day protest in city-owned Duarte Square to mark the three months since the movement started. The protesters want to set up camp in an adjacent fenced-in lot owned by Trinity Church.
More than 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters reportedly were arrested Saturday as they tried to make a vacant lot adjacent to New York's Duarte Square into their new Zuccotti Park. At least one report says this could be the movement's last hurrah before spring. Hundreds of Occupy protesters were on the march Saturday. They were stopped by police after using a wooden ladder to climb over a chain-link fence into a lot owned by Trinity Church, Reuters reports
Occupy Wall Street went down last month. Then came Philadelphia and Baltimore. As officials shut down Occupy encampments across the country, protesters streamed into the District, eager to join the movement in the nation s capital, which has so far enjoyed protection from supportive local and national police.
We analyzed retweet data from Twitter between September 15th, 2011 and November 29th, 2011. We looked for all retweets that mentioned occupy and related terms (even #occupyklout). The chart below shows the number of retweets per day over the 75-day period. The peaks in activity correspond, unsurprisingly, to important events in the timeline of the movement.
Over the past few weeks, cities have continued to remove Occupy Wall Street protesters from their encampments. Occupy has responded to these ejections by changing its focus from public spaces toward private property: foreclosed homes. This shift may end up leaving Occupy even stronger than it was before the ejections began. It answers critics who have accused Occupy of lacking a political program and will help the movement build stronger ties with working-class Americans. To understand why, it helps to view Occupy in the context of earlier social movements that employed similar tactics.
Occupy Wall Street has taken in more than $665,000 in donations since it launched Sept. 17. Here s the bad news for Occupy: Donations have fallen off a cliff, from a high of around $20,000 per day to a current low of just $98 on Dec. 13. The good news: The movement still has hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, an impressive sum for an entity that has existed for a mere three months.
New Yorkers apparently aren t thrilled that Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved a middle-of-the-night raid on Occupy Wall Street s Zuccoti Park encampment, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. New York City voters disapprove 51%-42% of the way Bloomberg handled the protesters. Respondents approve 50%-46% of the way the New York Police Department a handled the protests, according to the poll, and a little more than half " 52% "of respondents approve of the way the protests were conducted.
Travis Holloway, a poet, political philosopher and activist at Occupy Wall Street, believes this movement has the potential to go beyond mere words and slogans (though, he writes in a recent piece, these help), and like the civil rights movement, to effect real change. Along with suggestions from a wide range of activists, here are "Ten Things" to keep the Occupy movement going and build a foundation for long-term change.
Occupiers would like to think that the us is the same from song to song. That s not really clear. The Occupy the Ports protests temporarily shut down some commerce from San Diego to Oakland to Seattle, shaming facilities owned by SSA Marine, which is owned by Goldman Sachs. "The 1 percent are depriving port truck drivers and other workers of decent pay," said Occupy Long Beach in a statement, "even while the port of LA/LB is the largest in the U.S. and a huge engine of profits for the 1 percent." Unionized workers got some unexpected days off. They didn t get paid for them.
It s clear that the primary issue afflicting Occupy right now is the lack of an occupation. In the month since the New York Police Department violently forced the occupiers out of Zuccotti, the people whose residence was Liberty Plaza Park have nowhere to go. Some of them had previously been homeless. Others left their homes to join the movement. But deprived of the food station, the medical tent, the things that once fulfilled their needs for basic survival, they have rapidly lost faith in Occupy Wall Street s much-vaunted democratic process to provide the supportive community that once existed here.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) are getting a chilly reception at top colleges, including Harvard University and Princeton University, as campus offshoots of Occupy Wall Street target investment-bank recruiting events. Goldman Sachs canceled visits to Harvard and Brown University last week following a November incident where Occupy Harvard protesters attempted to enter a recruitment session. Students at Yale University, Princeton and Cornell University have also rallied at campus events by investment firms.
We've heard a lot about the fears of Occupy Wall Street protesters that their movement will be co-opted by unions or other groups. Now, with Occupy Oakland once again planning to picket and shut down Oakland's port and calling for coordinated actions at other ports on the west coast, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is turning that concern back on them:
The longest-standing occupation camp in the country folded early this morning when Boston cops pounced in the wee hours, arresting at least three dozen protesters on trespassing charges. Half of the 300-strong group of on-site and off-site occupiers had struck camp voluntarily 24 hours before when a Boston Superior Court judge lifted a restraining order on the police from closing down the 10-week-old campsite that formed days after protesters in New York had occupied Zuccotti Park off Wall Street.
Despite union opposition, West Coast protesters from Seattle to San Diego plan to close ports on Monday. -- On Dec. 12, Occupy movements from Seattle to San Diego say they will shut down their local ports, temporarily stopping the flow of capital on the West Coast. Organizers say they aim to disrupt the business of the "1 percent " - in this case, the corporations that own shipping terminals and do business at the ports.
Protesters in 20 cities across the nation moved from the nation s parks to to properties under threat of foreclosure, joining hands to prevent good people from being put out on the streets. The stories coming out of these protests are frighteningly similar, residents making every effort to work with the banks, either being denied a chance for a loan modification or given the runaround to the point of utter confusion.
The global capitalism system is like a giant octopus with many heads and tentacles reaching everywhere. Single state players matter less and less. In order to tackle the tremendous global strength of this nexus of finance and repressive power enforced by what is becoming a global police state, the global occupy movement, short of becoming radicalized and violent, must consider the best tools at its disposal: a coordinated global strike and street protests across the world.
This Saturday, December 10, people all around the world will stand up together to demand the rights we were promised in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed and approved by most of the world s governments and the basis for many of our constitutions. The struggle for our rights as human beings underlies everything we have demanded in every square and every demonstration in this historic year of global change. From East to West, North to South: on the 10th of December we will take to the streets and squares together to demand the fundamental principles that were promised and are inherent to Human Beings.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg criticized a prominent New York City congressman on Thursday for asking the Justice Department to investigate reports of police misconduct at the Occupy Wall Street protests in Lower Manhattan.
Occupy Wall Street is still going strong as the latest offshoot Occupy Our Homes is already making waves. December 6th is day of protest over the many crimes in fraudclosure and Bank of America, who has committed widespread fraud in the housing market, is rightly scared:
With some of its urban encampments closed by police and others under siege, the Occupy movement says it's opening a new front in its battle against big banks by moving poor people into empty, bank-owned foreclosed homes.
In October, the Alameda County Sheriff s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion was Urban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote "mutual response," collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations.
Keith Olbermann asked Scott Olsen if the degree of the militarization of the police at Occupy protests shocked him. Olsen answered, "I don t know. On one hand, it shocks me a lot. On the other hand, it doesn t because our nation s peace officers have been militarized over the past ten years to combat terrorism, but they re combating anybody with an opinion."
Jackson Browne became the latest famous musician to show his support for the Occupy Wall Street movement when he played an acoustic set on Tuesday afternoon at the initiative's epicenter in New York City's Zuccotti Park. Among the tunes the veteran singer/songwriter and political activist sang was a new protest song that Browne informed the crowd "was just finished [Monday] night."
Outside a Manhattan fundraiser attended by President Barack Obama last night, the New York City Police Department deployed a new and legally questionable tactic against Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and the press. Starting at around 9:00 p.m., police barricaded a group of about 50 protesters into a small area on 7th Avenue and 53rd Street. These kinds of designated "free speech zones" have become routine at protests of high-level political events. But here's the twist: Protesters in the NYPD's free speech zone were trapped there. Not only could nobody enter after a certain point, but for about an hour and a half, nobody could leave.
As police crack down on the Occupy Wall Street movement, journalists covering the story continue facing arrest, harassment, and restrictions on movement during midnight raids. Such heavy-handed tactics over the past couple months have increased tensions between the police and the press across the country, from New York City's "free speech zones" to Los Angeles' "First Amendment area."
Los Angeles police are being praised for their planning, outreach and judicious use of force in ousting the Occupy L.A. encampment Wednesday morning, but a few protesters are reporting more physical confrontations with some of the 1,400 officers. In a KCAL 9 video, now posted on YouTube, Tyson Heder, 25, was taking pictures of the eviction, when a police officer shoved him away. The video showed Heder then standing up, yelling at the officer, then being forced to the ground by several policemen.