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

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs