This past weekend witnessed a dramatic increase of Occupy Wall Street type actions across this country and around the globe. Something like 1500 cities and towns across planet Earth had actions and events on Saturday, October 15th. There were over 100 in the United States. This weekend’s events were also supplemented by the Anti-Austerity and Anti-War demonstrations that coincided with many Occupy actions, as they did here in San Diego.
The Occupy Movement is growing so quickly that activists within can hardly stay up on its developments. So, we’ve put a little something together. This is not an all-inclusive summary but an attempt to hit the high-points.
California, the West Coast, and the Southwest
Starting on the West Coast and moving north and then eastward, we saw:
- Tijuana – Approximately 100 gathered in the banking district of the city.
- Los Angeles – 5,000 demonstrated
- San Franciso – 5,000 protesters swarmed downtown in a march from Union Square to City Hall.
- Oakland – Occupy Oakland had a 2,500 person demonstration to compliment the permanent encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
- Smaller off-shoot actions in Berkeley, Richmond, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Walnut Creek, San Mateo, and Reading
- Seattle – Occupy Seattle had 3,000 to 5,000 people at their march and rally; 250 slept over at Westlake Park, an Occupy camp that is in its second week.
- Vancouver – 4,000 massed and rallied; 20 tents on the lawn at a local art gallery.
Phoenix – 46 arrested; After a rally, demonstrators marched to Hance Park. About one hundred remained after the park closed. At midnight police began making arrests after a group sat down on the ground and refused to leave the park. 46 were arrested for criminal trespass.
- Tucson – 53 arrested after they remained in a local park after it closed.
- Alberquerque – Hundreds marched and police arrested 5 people.
- Other actions in New Mexico included Santa Fe, Los Cruces, and Taos.
- Des Moines, Iowa – 400 marched to downtown.
- Denver – 23 arrested after Governor gives order to break up Occupy Denver. At the height of Occupy Denver there were 70 tents, with a kitchen with free food, a library, a school, worship tent, a nurses tent and security detail. The tent city was in front of the Colorado state Capitol. On Friday morning, Oct. 14th, police in riot gear moved into the camp to remove the tents and other “debris.” The order to disperse had been given at 3 am, and arrests began at 6 am. 21 were arrested on suspicion of unlawful conduct on public land. Some who refused to leave were physically lifted by police, moved out of the area, and allowed to disperse. Those not willing to leave at that point, were read their Miranda Rights, placed into restraints with those white handcuffs and taken into custody. Cops in riot gear had stood toe-to-toe with yelling protesters. On Friday, the governor, the mayor of Denver and the state Attorny General had all demanded that protesters disperse by 11 pm or face arrest. The crowd was given about a half hour to get out at 2:40 am. Dump trucks were driven in to deal with all the “debris” – peoples’ property left after their arrests.
- Chicago – 175 were arrested in Congress Plaza at 1 am, Sunday, Oct. 16th, about 90 minutes after the first warning was given by police. It took police two hours to clear the Plaza and make the arrests. They will most likely be charged with a municipal violation with a fine. Others grabbed the belongings of those arrested and took them to a local church. Protesters had formed a human-chain and sat on the ground. Police approached each one and gave each the option of leaving or getting arrested. The arrests were mostly peaceful. Some sat in their tents while police dismantled them. After the arrests, about 60 protesters remained in the area. During the arrests, demonstrators yelled: “Shame on Rahm! Shame on Rahm!”
- Madison, Wisconsin – Several hundreds marched and rallied. A lot of talk and focus on the recall campaign against Gov. Walker.
- Milwaukee – Hundreds marched – some demonstrators placed yellow crime-scene tape on bank buildings.
- Dayton, Ohio – 200 rallied for Occupy Dayton.
- Detroit – Several hundreds marched in support of Occupy Wall Street.
East Coast and South
- Harrisburg, PA – 750 gathered on the State Capitol steps.
- Philadelphia – 500 demonstrated.
- Boston – Occupy Boston has a 2 week old encampment. On Saturday, the governor of Massachusetts visited the Occupy site at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Earlier in the week, 141 people had been arrested when the movement tried to move to a second site.
- Washington, DC – Hundreds demonstrated.
- New York City – Between 70 to 80 arrests were made yesterday, Sat, Oct. 15th, as thousands marched and rallied throughout the City. 42 were arrested for blocking sidewalks, while another 24 were arrested for refusing to leave a Citibank branch. 6,000 rallied at Times Square. In one action, hundreds of Puerto Ricans marched together as a contingent. There had been a recent victory at Zucotti Park, when police threatened to move in and allow the private park to be cleaned. But 3,000 people had showed up late in the evening in a display of solidarity. During the showdown, the park owners informed the demonstrators that they would not do the cleaning. So, organizers got hundreds of occupiers to clean the park themselves.
- Other demonstrations in Trenton, Orlando, Tallahassee.
- Miami – over 1,000 gathered at the Torch of Friendship in Bayside Park in Miami, Florida, on the 15th of October; the General Assembly voted to carry out Occupy Miami.
Up In Canada
- Toronto – 2-3000 demonstrated as Occupy Toronto began at noon near the Canadian banking center. Protesters set up a camp near St. James Park. (We already listed Vancouver at “West Coast”)
- Montreal – Hundreds rallied at Victoria Square.
- Ottawa, the capital – 500 – 600 marched and rallied, beginning Occupy Ottawa at a local park; it has a dozen plus tents, an information kiosk, a medic tent, and a donations booth.
- Calgary – 500 demonstrated.
The Rest of the World
In many cities, demonstrators are hunkering down for their second night.
- Auckland, New Zealand – 3,000 demonstrated in largest city;
- Sydney, Australia – 2,000 people including representatives of Aboriginal groups, protested outside Australian banks. 800 are involved in a camp in Occupy Sydney.
- Toyko – Hundreds marched;
- Taipei – A hundred demonstrated at the stock exchange.
- Hong Kong – 100 rallied at the Exchange Square.
- Portugal – Lisbon – 20,000 marched in the capital. Hundreds broke from the main march to do an occupy action on the marble stair case around the parliament building.
- Athens – 4,000 demonstrated;
- Paris – a 1000 gathered at City Hall. French trumpeters played the American folk song “This land is your land.”
- Rome – the Occupy Rome camp has been across the street from the Bank of Italy for days. Riots occurred in some of the only violence of the day around the world.
- Madrid – 2,000 marched to a central plaza.
- Germany – Thousands gathered in Berlin, Hamberg, Leipsig, Frankfurt, Munich.
- Zurich – hundreds demonstrated.
- London – 2 to 3,000 rallied outside St Paul’s Cathedral in an unsuccessful effort to occupy the London Stock Exchange.
- Mexico City – A few hundreds rallied.