Occupy Under Pressure
After a judge refused to issue a restraining order last night, police shut down and cleaned out Occupy St. Louis. Two dozen protesters were arrested.
At least 100 other protesters stood on a sidewalk and chanted things at police like “Shame on you!,” ”Who do you serve?” and “Our passion for freedom is stronger than your prison.”
City officials offered some compromises such as 24-hour access to sidewalks for protests near the park. Mary Ellen Ponder, a special assistant to Mayor Slay, suggested development of a “speaker’s corner” that would be available constantly for anyone. The city also offered use of another downtown park, albeit one not quite so visible, though overnight camping would be prohibited there, too.
In Oregon, police backed down from an overnight eviction deadline when Occupy Portland swelled to thousands. But Mayor Sam Adams says that's not the end of it.
Fewer than a dozen tents remained at two downtown parks where protesters have camped since early October as part of the nationwide Occupy Wall street movement against alleged economic injustice.
City officials said they planned to put up fences around the two Portland parks to close them to protesters on Sunday afternoon.
Occupy Denver protesters were also cleared Saturday night.
A city garbage truck pulled up as some protesters continued to chant anti-police slogans: "You look stupid in your helmets and with your clubs. . . . This a peaceful assembly — no weapons allowed." Any property that looks like it belongs to someone, such as furniture, backpacks or sleeping bags, will be logged by police and will eventually become available for people to claim, Jackson said. Trash will be discarded.
"This isn't safe and, it's not sanitary," Jackson said as he pointed to a pile of blankets and boxes with a stream of stale food and sticky liquid running underneath it.
From now on, officers will strictly enforce the ordinance and remove any items that block the sidewalk. People are still allowed to sleep on the sidewalk but they are "not allowed to set up homestead," Jackson said.