Occuyp Tents Officially Evicted in NY

Nov 16, 2011, 09:19 by R.E. Christian

The private New York park that was home to Occupy Wall Street protesters went from bustling to quiet overnight after police dismantled the protesters' camp.

Elsewhere in the United States and internationally, local officials and law enforcement agencies served eviction notices on other Occupy protesters in what has become a worldwide protest against the unequal distribution of wealth and other social ills.

In New York, a state Supreme Court judge ruled demonstrators could return to Zuccotti Park, but not camp there, CNN reported.

The New York Police Department maintained an overnight presence after police in riot gear early Tuesday moved in and removed tents and tarps. The park, police said, is open 24 hours and people can walk or sit if they wish, but they cannot sleep there.

Attorneys for the protesters said the police action Tuesday morning was unlawful, but Judge Michael Stallman ruled in favor of city officials and park owner Brookfield Properties, who both raised health and sanitation concerns. More than 200 people were arrested

The order does not prevent demonstrations in the park, but said protesters' First Amendment rights do not include remaining there "along with their tents, structures, generators and other installations to the exclusion of the owner's reasonable rights and duties to maintain" the area.

In Dallas, city attorneys and Occupy Dallas will meet to consider next steps after a federal judge denied the protesters' request to block eviction from City Hall property, CNN said.

Even though U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle's decision permits city officials to evict encampment members forcibly, Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement no action would be taken until Wednesday.

Police in Seattle used pepper spray and arrested six people Tuesday in clashes between police and demonstrators who did not leave city streets, KCPQ-TV, Tacoma, Wash., reported.

The group marched from Seattle Central Community College to downtown Belltown, blocking traffic. Police told protesters to use the sidewalk.

"At one point, a 17-year-old female suspect swung a stick at an officer but failed to strike him," KCPQ quoted police as saying in a statement. "As officers moved in to arrest the female suspect, the officers were hindered in their efforts. Officers deployed pepper spray to move subjects away from them so they could effect the arrest of the female suspect."

Protesters then held a sit-in, blocking an intersection during rush hour, KING-TV, Seattle, reported. Police used pepper spray to disperse demonstrators.

Thousands of students and protesters participated in a general strike Tuesday that included teach-ins, marches and an assembly on the campus of University of California, Berkeley, KGO-TV, San Francisco, reported. Occupy Cal protesters pitched tents in Sproul Plaza on campus, where police tore down tents and arrested 40 people.

In Canada, Occupy Toronto won an injunction against a city eviction notice, allowing them to stay in St. James Park, CBC reported. In granting the temporary stay, Judge David Brown said he needed more information before he could rule.

In Canada, protesters in Calgary, Alberta, have until Wednesday to leave Olympic Plaza, officials said.

The city of Victoria, British Columbia, sought an injunction to remove tents from the camp at Centennial Square. The matter will be heard Thursday.

In England, the City of London Corp., which runs London's financial district, said it will take legal action to ensure highway safety and meet the needs of local businesses, policy chairman Stuart Fraser said, adding that two weeks of talks had been futile.

"Sadly, now they have rejected a reasonable offer to let them stay until the New Year, it's got to be the courts," he said in a statement, referring to the protesters.

City officials across the United States said the demonstrations have cost them millions of dollars, The Washington Post said. Denver officials estimated the cost at $200,000 per week. Oakland reported spending more than $1 million just for police overtime. Businesses near Zuccotti Park say protesters cost them a combined $500,000 in profits.

Source: UPI