Many of the larger Occupy movements have been raided over the last several days, including Portland, Oakland, and the original Occupy Wall Street movement early this morning. I, like many other people, found the timing of the raids to be strangely coincidental.
During an interview with the BBC recently, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan admitted that she recently was on a conference call with mayors of other cities, who were facing similar issues as Oakland because of Occupy protests.
During the interview, Quan stated;
“I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . . .”
Mayor Quan had already made an attempt to evict protesters in her city from Frank Ogawa Plaza, but after protesters tore down the barricades placed around the park and began setting up tents, Mayor Quan began receiving criticism from around the world for her handling of the protesters. She’s also received a large amount of criticism, after Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen received serious injuries to his head and skull when a police officer threw a tear gas canister which hit him in the face.
Last week a man was killed near the Occupy Oakland encampment. Even though the tragic murder was unrelated to the Occupy movement, Mayor Quan has used it as an excuse to evict the protesters despite the fact that Oakland has one of the highest murder rates in the country, and Mayor Quan doesn’t make it a habit of shutting down entire neighborhoods because a murder happens nearby.
Very early this morning the Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park was broken up by police in riot gear. Thanks to the legal team for the Occupy Wall Street movement they were able to get a restraining order, demanding that their camping equipment be returned and that they be allowed to return to the park. Currently, Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD are refusing to obey the court order. Later in the day the state Supreme Court ruled that the protesters may return, but without their tents and camping gear.