Occupy Oakland, Atlanta activists protest

Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Occupy Oakland activists Thursday erected at least one tent following a third night of marches in the California city triggered by clashes with riot police.

An Iraq War veteran, identified as Scott Olsen, 24, of Daly City, suffered a skull fracture when police lobbed teargas at the demonstrators earlier this week. The San Francisco Chronicle reported his condition had been upgraded to fair Thursday but was still unconscious and on a respirator as of Wednesday night.

The Oakland Tribune reported television footage showed a tent and a handful of people in the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall early Thursday after protesters knocked down a chain-link fence that had been erected to keep them out.

Meanwhile, Occupy Atlanta protesters gathered in Atlanta's downtown Centennial Olympic Park Wednesday evening, vowing to move to other locations, including college campuses, to carry out their protest against what the national Occupy movement sees as corporate greed, the influence of lobbyists on lawmakers and general U.S. social and economic inequities.

The protesters later moved to midtown Atlanta. The activists were evicted from their original downtown park encampment shortly after midnight Wednesday when the city revoked their permit to stay in the park. Fifty-three demonstrators were arrested for refusing to leave Woodruff Park.

The Occupy movement, which began in New York City Sept. 17, has spread to more than 100 other U.S. cities.

New York police arrested at least 10 demonstrators Wednesday night protesting in solidarity with the Oakland activists, the New York Daily News reported.

But officials in several cities appear to be losing patience with the protests and others likely will follow, The New York Times reported Thursday.

In San Francisco, officials told several hundred protesters they were violating the law by camping at a downtown site amid concerns about unsanitary conditions, including garbage and human waste.

Providence, R.I., Mayor Angel Taveras said he would seek a court order to have protesters moved from Burnside Park, which they have occupied since Oct. 15.

Chicago demonstrators outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Wednesday requested round-the-clock access to Grant Park and demanded the release of 300 protesters arrested in recent weeks.

"He's denying us our constitutional right to not only free speech, but peaceful continual assembly," protester Andy Manos, 32, said of the mayor.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who had given soaked protesters ponchos earlier this month, said the protest next to City Hall "cannot continue indefinitely," the Los Angeles Times reported. He cited concerns about the cleanliness of the camp and damage to the lawn and trees.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said police ought to enforce a law the forbids people to camp in city parks after 10:30 p.m. But Los Angeles police officials said they do not plan to move the protesters.

In reaction, the protesters issued a statement saying they had no intention of leaving, the Times reported.

"As for a time stamp on our departure, there is none," the protesters wrote. "Regarding the perceived lack of focus: Our actions are governed by a democratic process and we go through process to gain consensus.

"This can sometimes be lengthy, but we are determined that, as representatives of the 99%, all voices are heard and considered."

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