Photo: Laura Goldman
It’s time for us to check in with occupations in major cities across the country. Demonstrations launched in New Orleans, Portland, and Austin (to name a few) yesterday.And as a sign that this whole movement is gaining momentum, most of these new protests are starting with hundreds, sometimes thousands of protesters showing up on day one.
According to our sources at Occupy Wall Street, people from other cities approached them about how their camp is organised, so you see the same things being done across the country. You see the human microphone, and you see the same chants.
Of course, we’ll also check in with cities that have been going for a bit, like San Francisco and Washington DC. And we’ll let you know which cities will be seeing occupations in the coming days.
On Wednesday two dozen protesters were arrested for illegally putting up tents in Westlake Park. Most have been arraigned and released without bail.
Now the Mayor is going to allow protesters to camp out in City Hall Park, which has bathrooms, during the night.
But they'll still march in Westlake, and according to Fox News, they'll be getting a boost from the city's unions when they do. We'll see what happens when they march to protest the Afghan War this afternoon.
Check out a local news station's coverage of the arrests here:
Occupy Portland started yesterday with 10,000 marchers. 600 of them stayed over night. They're occupying Chapman Square, which is annoying Seattle marathon runners. The Mayor is trying to find a solution to that problem, but the protesters say they are confident that they can all share the space.
Yesterday, the Stop The Machine protest was held in DC. Its an anti-war protest, and while the Occupy DC protesters expressed their solidarity with (and some attended) Occupy Wall Street, they want to keep it clear that they are a separate movement.
They also have a sense of humour. They made this video pretending to be The 1% riding the DC metro. They play a pretty awesome song at the end too.
Houston started their occupation yesterday in front of City Hall. They were only about 60 strong.
But they were singing spirituals:
Here's a video of the protesters doing the 'This is what democracy looks like' chant on their first day.
They're protesting inside City Hall:
Around 1:00 AM Friday morning, San Francisco police busted up an Occupy San Diego camp outside of the city's Federal Reserve building. They drove up with trucks, and started loading up the protesters' supplies.
A city Supervisor (like a Councilman), John Avalos, had tried to negotiate between the police and protesters before the raid. But soon after he left, the two groups started clashing. When he heard of the police's actions he said: 'This is not the San Francisco I know, I stand with Occupy SF.'
The Mayor said that while the protesters' right to demonstrate had to be respected, streets also had to remain clear and safe for pedestrians as well.
There are now barricades around federal buildings, but the Department of Public Works is allowing the protesters to claim any belongings that were taken in the raid.
Here's a video of the October 5th protests, over 1000 people there:
Occupy Chicago had to move to 500 Michigan (they were outside the Chicago Fed) because their numbers have grown so much.
Until recently, theirs was the example for the country of how police and protesters can coexist without a problem. But Wednesday police tried to get protesters to move their belongings.
Occupy Austin started out yesterday with 1300 demonstrators in front of City Hall and no problems from police, says The Statesman.
And in true Austin fashion, the protest turned into a concert where bands played anything from The Beatles to Twisted Sister.
This video was taken from the protest around 5 PM:
Occupy Philadelphia kicked off yesterday with 600 protesters in Dilworth Plaza (across from the Ritz Hotel, fittingly).
Philadelphia Mayor Nutter has given the protesters permission to make camp, so as yet, they haven't had any problems.
Occupy Denver has been going for 11 days and has about 131 demonstrators staying on site in Lincoln Park around the clock. They plan to have a big demonstration tomorrow at noon.
Here's a video of a march they had earlier this month:
Occupy L.A. drew around 1000 protesters when they started demonstrating in front of City Hall this weekend, and they're planning another big rally on Saturday. This week, 7 city council members signed a resolution supporting the protesters. And the council also passed legislation that would force the city to divest from banks that did not help slow foreclosures by October 28th.
- San Diego, 4:30 PM PST
- Atlanta 6:00 PM EST
- Phoenix at 12 PM MST
- London 4:30 PM GMT