News / USA

Judge Rules Against Occupy Wall Street

A New York City policeman keeps a demonstrator affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement from entering  Zuccotti Park Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011
A New York City policeman keeps a demonstrator affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement from entering Zuccotti Park Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011
Peter Fedynsky
The Occupy Wall Street protest began in New York in September as a loosely organized movement against corporate greed, economic inequality and high unemployment. The protest movement quickly gained momentum and spread to other cities throughout the United States and in other countries as well.

Here is a look at just a few of the many sites that have sprung up in the U.S.:

DENVER, COLORADO

Police estimate that the protest has cost the city more than $360,000 for the first half of October, to fund police and other personnel to deal with the protesters and ensure public safety and health. Police say they have arrested more than 80 people since mid-October.

HONOLULU, HAWAII


Demonstrators have been camped out in the Pacific island state and protested the recent APEC summit. During a dinner for world leaders such as President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao, Hawaiian musician Makana said he performed a ballad that included lyrics such as "The time has come for us to voice our rage,” and “We are the many, you are the few.”  He wore a jacket over a shirt that said "Occupy With Aloha."

LOS ANGELES & OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA


Hundreds of protesters are camped outside Los Angeles City Hall, complaining that the top 1 percent of the population is getting the income gains and the other 99 percent has been left out.  In the city of Oakland, police on Monday cleared out demonstrators who had set up camp at the City Hall plaza, and arrested more than 30 people.  Mayor Jean Quan issued a statement saying the effort took place "smoothly and peacefully."  She said that there was repeated violence, as well as a murder, at the encampment.  Quan said the encampment has been a tremendous drain on the city.  Earlier in the month, police used tear gas when a number of protesters temporarily shut down the Port of Oakland, one of the busiest seaports in the United States.  

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Protesters began camping out in early October.  On Sunday, Mayor Michael Nutter said the city is reviewing its relationship with the demonstrators, saying the movement has "changed" and there are serious health and safety issues related to the encampments.  Some protesters held a news conference Monday to reject that characterization.

PORTLAND, OREGON


Police on Sunday cleared protesters from a central park, but the demonstrators are vowing to continue their protests elsewhere in the city.  They initially defied a midnight deadline to leave the park, where hundreds of them had camped since October.  Thousands of supporters of the movement gathered Saturday night to help stop the police eviction.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

Last month, police cleared a park, ordering dozens of protesters to dismantle a tent city they established in mid-October and arresting several activists who refused.

WASHINGTON D.C.

Protesters have been camped out in a park near the White House since early October and have taken part in marches in the nation's capita

The Occupy Wall Street movement has suffered a legal setback that prevents protesters from using an encampment in a New York City park to spread its message.  The ruling distinguishes between free speech and the occupation of a park used by the general public.

Police maintained a heavy presence in Zuccotti Park throughout the day as city officials and protesters awaited the decision by New York Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman.  He denied a motion filed on behalf of demonstrators to allow them back into the park with tents and sleeping bags.  Stallman sided with city officials who voiced concerns about the tents, and also about health and safety concerns in the crowed encampment.

There was also a heavy police presence outside New York City Hall, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg said earlier that no right is absolute.

"There is no ambiguity here, the law here," he said. "The First Amendment [to the U.S. Constitution] protects speech.  It does not protect the use of tents and sleeping bags to take over a public space."

Police in riot gear raided the Occupy Wall Street encampment at one in the morning.  They arrested about 200 protesters,, many of them on charges of resisting the eviction.  Cleanup crews hauled away tents and sleeping bags.  Protesters claim authorities also disposed of the movement’s library of more than 5,000 books.  Police kept news reporters at a distance.  Mayor Bloomberg said the reason was "to protect the members of the press."

Where tents packed the park a day before, police ensured protesters would not reoccupy Zuccotti Park.  Some, however, taunted the police.

"What you all did last night was wrong.  Shame on every one of you!" said one.

Protesters are clearly disappointed, but many said the Occupy movement will continue.  During his seven weeks at the encampment, David Intrator beat drums and played the saxophone.  He says that movement does not necessarily depend on the occupation of a park.

"It’s kind of a mental thing," he said. "I think ultimately that has a great effect.  The occupation first starts here (points to head) in your understanding of what kind of society you would like, and how you’d like to be in that society.  And it all flows from that."

The Occupy movement began nearly two months ago and focused attention on corporations and the wealthiest one percent of Americans that protesters say have corrupted the country’s political system.  In recent days, authorities have also dispersed Occupy protests in other U.S. cities.

Judge Stallman’s decision is consistent with Mayor Bloomberg’s statement that protesters may return to the park to exercise their free speech rights, but they may not stay overnight.  


You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid