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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid