Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests:
Occupy Wall Street supporters in Denver are preparing to move from Civic Center Park to another city park to make way for a Veteran’s Day celebration. Protesters say they plan to march in front of downtown banks Saturday as part of a national movement to urge people to close their national bank accounts and transfer their money to local credit unions. Activists in Pueblo and Grand Junction are also planning to participate in the effort to withdraw their money from banks.
Members of Occupy Delaware are planning a weekend rally in Wilmington and are threatening to camp at the rally site indefinitely in defiance of state authorities. The state environmental department, which oversees H. Fletcher Brown Park, has offered the group a permit to rally there during normal park hours on Saturday and Sunday. Officials say camping isn’t possible because children from a nearby daycare center use the park twice a day for recreation. Officials instead are considering allowing Occupy Delaware to set up a long-term occupation at Brandywine Park, also in Wilmington.
Sarah Palin told Republican donors in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that Occupy Wall Street protesters want the same thing as the “fat cats” they’re upset with ? a government bailout. Palin criticized the protesters as believing they’re entitled to other people’s productivity and money and said they’ve drawn the wrong conclusions. Instead, the former Alaska governor said people should look to the tea party.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and a group of Occupy Atlanta protesters took over the lobby of SuntTrust Plaza in downtown Atlanta for about an hour on Friday afternoon. The group sang protest songs at the Atlanta-based bank’s downtown headquarters, which was shut down during the protest. After the protest, Jackson said that the movement should be about banks and financial conditions and not about clashes with mayors and police.
Casting the Wall Street protesters as misguided, Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann on Thursday said their frustrations should instead be directed at Washington politicians who protect their allies and put unfriendly companies out of business. Bachmann said politicians have far too much power and unfairly pick winners and losers. The Minnesota congresswoman, trying to recapture her once surging poll numbers, said she has watched lawmakers enact laws that intentionally shut businesses down.
Hennepin County says it is rejecting a request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota to rescind new restrictions on protesters. The ACLU-MN contends the restrictions violate the protesters’ First Amendment rights. The county says the government plaza occupied by protesters needs to be winterized, and she cites health and safety concerns. Under the new restrictions, protesters at the downtown Minneapolis plaza will have to consolidate their possessions and can’t leave them unattended or they’ll be taken. Signs will not be allowed to be taped to plaza property. And overnight sleeping won’t be allowed once significant snow falls or the temperature falls below 25 degrees.
Occupy St. Louis protesters camping out in a downtown park are bracing for a new problem ? cold weather. KMOX Radio (http://cbsloc.al/uIdsxI ) reports that many protesters living in tents in Kiener Plaza are using electric heaters to keep them warm. Highs earlier this week were in the mid-70s in St. Louis, but the weather took a colder turn on Thursday, with overnight lows in the 30s. Protester Brad Veltry says 30 to 40 people are committed to maintaining a presence there, even when freezing weather arrives.
Protesters in Las Cruces have avoided arrests after donations allowed them to purchase “camping” permits. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/uHDQSA) that the permits granted Thursday allow protesters to stay in the city’s Albert Johnson Park and prevented a potential clash with Las Cruces police. Before the permits were granted, a handful of protesters were given citations for camping without $12 permits. But City Manager Robert Garza said because of donations there would be no further action by police and city officials “for the foreseeable future.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the violence that erupted in Oakland won’t be repeated in New York. Bloomberg said Friday on his weekly WOR radio appearance that the city won’t tolerate some of the behavior at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, but officials also must “understand the laws and the implications.” The mayor says that anybody who thinks the city is doing nothing is wrong.
About 15 Occupy Wall Street protesters have demonstrated outside a New York City courthouse over the arrests of some of their cohorts. The demonstrators beat a drum and chanted “free our prisoners” outside the courthouse Friday. One of them, Jose Mediavilla says he and two other protesters were arrested near the activists’ encampment in Zuccotti Park under a state law that bars more than two people from wearing masks at protests. He says they donned the masks only briefly for a photograph. Police said at least 17 protesters were arrested in the area Thursday.
Musician David Crosby visited the protest in Zuccotti Park. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, walked along the edge of the park near a group of drummers before venturing in. Clad in a black jacket and multi-colored cap, he stayed a few minutes, but left after photographers congregated around him.
Two dozen demonstrators face trespassing and resisting arrest charges after police say they refused to leave a downtown park where members of the Occupy Asheville movement aimed to start an around-the-clock vigil. Asheville Police spokesman Lt. Wally Welch said Friday that 23 people were peacefully arrested and processed, while a woman in a wheelchair was issued a citation on the spot late Wednesday. Protesters argued their constitutional rights to gather and protest in a public place could not be restricted by the park’s 10 p.m. closing time.
Ten Occupy Tulsa protesters have been arrested during a protest at a public park. The Tulsa World reports (http://bit.ly/vRssXg ) that the protesters went into custody peacefully Thursday night at the Chapman Centennial Green park in downtown Tulsa as a crowds on the sidewalk sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Police Chief Chuck Jordan says he’s enforcing the park’s curfew. The arrests bring the total to 33 Occupy Tulsa protesters who have been arrested since Tuesday night.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says free speech may have been violated when an Occupy protester was barred from taking a sign into a Toledo City Council meeting. That man and a woman were arrested Tuesday because police said they got into a scuffle with officers outside council chambers. The man was carrying a large, hand-written sign stating the First Amendment. ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James Hardiman tells The Blade (http://bit.ly/rG7I1j ) the city council doesn’t seem to have a written rule on signs and doesn’t always keep out people who have them. Several council members contacted by the newspaper said if there is no policy, they’d like to see one because signs can be a distraction.
The University of Oregon says Occupy Eugene demonstrators have agreed to move off university property by Saturday night. A representative of the group said it will move to Washington-Jefferson Park over the weekend. The Register Guard reports (http://bit.ly/sI3ft7 ) the Occupy Wall Street supporters have previously camped on the downtown Park Blocks and then at Alton Baker Park.
A Providence city councilor is planning to introduce a resolution expressing support for Occupy Providence activists to remain indefinitely at a public park downtown where they have been camping for nearly three weeks. City Councilman Luis Aponte on Friday called the protesters’ encampment at Burnside Park a “lawful expression of their First Amendment rights.” The city has agreed to delay legal action at least until next week at the request of an Occupy Providence attorney. Activists ignored a Sunday deadline to vacate the park.
State child welfare officials say they have taken a 9-month-old boy from his homeless parents at an Occupy Dallas camp. Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales says the baby was taken into state custody Thursday and his parents were being interviewed. She declined to release more details until a judge signs off on the case. Cordell Cameron, a spokesman for the protest group, says the parents, who had joined demonstrators about a week ago, were “pretty devastated.” Cameron says the child was in a heated tent and “there was no abuse” but “obviously you can’t keep a baby out in freezing weather.”