The Occupy Movement – at Home and Abroad – a Compilation of Recent Actions

by on October 16, 2011 · 20 comments

in American Empire, California, Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Economy, Organizing, Popular

5,000 Occupy San Francisco demonstrators march to City Hall, Oct. 15, 2011.

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.

Occupy Long Beach via Facebook

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.
  • Occupy Phoenix via Facebook

    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.

 The Mid-West

  • 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.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar dave rice October 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Great synopsis of the rallies, Frank – of course tons left out, but this gives an idea of what/who is out there…

Interesting to see how harsh the Zonies were – large scale arrests in Tucson and Phoenix, sites of some of the smaller demonstrations? Did they cuff anyone who couldn’t verify legal residency?

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 17, 2011 at 10:54 am

Dave, yeah, tons left out – there are only so many hours in the night. Can you believe those Zonies? They’re harsher on them than we are.

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avatar lane tobias October 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

yes Frank! thank you for putting that together. it should be noted that Occupy London is growing daily, and could really be the ultimate springboard for the movement abroad.

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

Lane – thanks for the heads-up re London. When is the next OB Rag report from NYC?

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avatar nanook October 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm

occupy fort lauderdale, tampa, tallahassee, gainesville, and fort myers also went into effect on 10/15 in florida. miami is still the largest AFAIK.

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avatar Patty Jones October 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

AFAIK = As Far as is Known or As Far as I Know…

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avatar OB Jon October 17, 2011 at 12:34 am

This is awesome frank… Its so excing to see all these occupations coming together.

And With the SD efforts, i believe the OB rag really helped spread the word. Thank you for doing what you guys do!

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

OB Jon – much grass, dude. How about joining us at the OB Rag? We have monthly meetings and as you can see, cover a lot more than just OB news.

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avatar annagrace October 17, 2011 at 9:01 am

Friends checked in with me from all across the country where occupations were happening- 2,000 in Pittsburgh PA, 1,000 in Fort Myers FL and a group in Charlottesville Virginia. I think some of the figures you cite are under the actual numbers. Check out Occupy Madrid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC7lb877b9w I’m thinking more like 60,000.

Specific actions were incorporated into many of the demonstrations. One action was Moving your Money (from a commercial bank to a credit union/community bank) A group of protesters entered a Santa Cruz Bank of America to close their accounts en masse and were told “You can’t be a customer and a protester.” That’s a helluva line!

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 17, 2011 at 10:57 am

Thanks so much Annagrace. Keeping track of this exploding movement is a FT job and no is really working to be on top of it all.

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avatar annagrace October 17, 2011 at 9:11 am

I also read that this is the largest global movement in the history of the world!

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avatar Joe Gotcher October 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

It has been said that the “Occupiers” lack a clear message as to what our grievances are and what caused them. Here are a few ideas that might resonate. The Amalgamated Transit Uniojn has endorsed the Occupy movement and urges all members to participate in Occupy activities in their area. Why?
• Real wages and compensation for 99% of Americans have stagnated over the last 40
years.
• Average income for the middle 20% of Americans has risen 23% since 1973, while income for the top 20% has gone up 64%.
• Since 1973, the income of the top .1% has increased 181%, and the income of the richest .01% has increased 497% with incomes averaging over $6 million per year.
• The American workers’ productivity index increased by 209 points between 1970 and 009,while the median income index of Americans rose only 45 points during that
same period.
• Big banks and stockbrokers need be held responsible for their greed and corruption at
has deepened this wealth gap
• The Occupy Movement is speaking for the vast majority of Americans – the 99% ­who
are frustrated by the bankers and brokers – the 1% who have profited on the backs of
hard working people.
• Working Americans have sacrificed too much already. Transit riders have paid with record fare increases and service cuts. Transit workers like many Americans are facing
layoffs.
• The ATU applauds the Occupy Wall Street activists for their courage and strength to expose the greed and corruption on Wall Street The rich were not content with their
windfalls.
• The richest 1% has averaged tax cuts of 38%, while the middle 20% saw a tax
reduction of only 7%.
• When Warren Buffett pays a higher lower tax rate than his secretary something is wrong
with taxes in this country.
• The handouts we’ve been giving the rich and corporations are no longer sustainable. Workers have been shouldering the burden and now it’s time for shared sacrifice in this
country. And how have Americans fared during this period?
• It is now common for both spouses to work outside the home. Many have taken on part time jobs on top of full time employment, and personal debt has skyrocketed with people borrowing on credit cards, and from retirement funds and home equity.
• In addition, corporations are continuing to ship jobs overseas.
• Last year, despite the recession, the wealth of the richest 400 American families was greater than that of the lower 60% of American households combined.
• Unemployment remains over 9%, and more formerly middle-­?class families are
falling into poverty.
• During the real estate boom thousands of cash-­?strapped American families thought
they were finally buying into the American Dream when a mortgage industry gone wild
sold them home loans lenders knew they neither understood nor could afford.
• American citizens were subsequently forced to ransom the world economy with a
bailout of the very institutions that had caused this crisis.
• Corporate America and their minions in government have successfully resisted any attempt to restore the actual tax rates of the wealthiest in our country, thus forcing the
middle class to pay the bill for their plundering of the U.S. economy.
• The Occupy movement is about holding those responsible for this economic collapse.
Not one financial executive has been prosecuted for their financial misdeeds and corruption that brought our nation’s (and the world’s) economy to its knees and devastated the middle class.
• What is as stake is more than our livelihood and standard of living. What is at stake is
our ability to live with freedom and dignity without the threat of corporatist control.
• The Occupy Movement of the 99 percenters is the first widespread cry of the American people saying, “Enough!” It is our young people, our children, demanding that America wake up and see what’s happening to it, and indicting the culprits who
are continuing to exploit already financially beleaguered Americans for their own gain.
• They are saying the things the labor movement has been saying for over a century. We are fully behind this movement that portends so much for their and our families future.

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm

This just in about Occupy Long Beach:

A brand-new encampment calling itself Occupy Long Beach is now in the same dilemma Occupy L.A. was facing about two weeks ago. For obvious reasons, municipal law in both cities says nobody can camp in a public park after 10 p.m. —

So police are forcing protesters to move their tents onto the sidewalk for the night.

KNX news radio is reporting that two LBC protesters were arrested, and two more cited, for refusing to move their tents off the Lincoln Park lawn last night. Long Beach police confirm. According to the Los Angeles Times, the arrestees were 30-year-old Long Beach resident Jason James and “an unidentified minor.”

Occupy Long Beach was birthed only two days before, on Saturday.

Go here for more: http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/10/occupy_long_beach_arrests.php

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avatar annagrace October 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm

And now we can Occupy the Boardroom. A progressive site has been set up for the 99% to relate their personal story and have that story relayed to the bankers. http://tiny.cc/0hloq

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avatar raksd October 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Here’s a link to the home page: Occupy the Board Room
More links there with more info on the 1% and on other projects …

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avatar Josie McCoy October 17, 2011 at 11:24 pm

annagrace quoted “One action was Moving your Money (from a commercial bank to a credit union/community bank)”… this is the most effective Occupy “Action” ONE (non participants) can do to make a statement in this movement. Ironically having your money locally vested in a local bank or credit union is a strong move. However I’ve heard some whine “Oh it’s too much of a hassle to reconfigure my auto pays, etc.” No. You make time and make YOUR statement.

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avatar Patty Jones October 17, 2011 at 11:29 pm

^bump!

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avatar Mike James October 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

Shout out to my cousin Jenny in Northern California. She and over 250 others attended Occupy Nevada County in Grass Valley, a town of 12,000. The video shows the diversity of the protesters.

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avatar Hgk October 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

You forgot Hartford! Fighting against the corporate greed of all the insurance companies here in the insurance capitol of America

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avatar Judith Starker October 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hello OB, as Obecians spending 1/2 our time in Nevada we thoroughly enjoy keeping in touch with San Diego and leftist politics through the OB Rag.
We are also happy to see liberal politics alive and growing in Las Vegas. We went to the initial Occupy Las Vegas rally and march in front of New York,New York Casino. The signs were great, the march was calm and orderly and the police were respectful helping the march cross traffic. The officers on horse back were friendly and there was no visible animosity. As of Saturday, October 22, the Occupy Las Vegas group has a month long home in a central location on Paradise Road (ha, ha) a prime location leading out from McCarren Airport in a parking lot. We visited there yesterday to drop off supplies and there were tents set up and organization was well underway. I’m proud that Vegas has joined the struggle. Still an OB girl, but less disenchanted to be away. Judi

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