Cities Attempt to Dismantle Occupy Camps

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In spite of a judge's ruling banning their tents and sleeping bags, several hundred Occupy Wall Street demonstrators returned to Zuccotti Park Tuesday night, after being removed by New York City police officers in a pre-dawn raid. After a day of legal wrangling, a state Supreme Court judge told protesters the city's concerns over health and safety justified banning overnight camping. First Amendment battles between city governments and protesters are taking place in courtrooms around the country — and sometimes, on the ground between police and protesters as well.

Bob Hennelly, reporter for Takeaway co-producer WNYC, has been following the legal fights between protesters and cities around the country.  Norm Stamper was Seattle's police chief in 1999 when World Trade Organization protesters clashed with police. He gives perspective on policing a group of demonstrators.


Norm Stamper

Comments [7]

Angel from Miami, FL

This is like a small play written to show how unfriendly regimes work in other countries. You have the rulers and their strong-arms. Then there's the rebels or malcontents who attempt to effect change. And then there's everyone else who range from those not wanting to get involved to those who defend the status quo even as it crushes them along with masses.

Nov. 17 2011 11:35 AM
Jill from Pittsburgh, PA

Peg - if you read any other accounts, the "protesters" were given ample notice to clear their property from the area - many just refused, linked arms, and sang "We shall overcome". That is how much THEY cared for their own property. I have a feeling that they didn't think that the cops would take their stuff.

PS - much of the "personal property" was given in the form of hand-outs by well-meaning people who donated to the cause.

Nov. 16 2011 06:08 PM

20/20 hindsight: on the first night of the first protest, the police should have moved in and arrested anyone trying to camp. I fail to see how sleeping in a public place constitutes protected speech.

Nov. 16 2011 09:22 AM
Jason Engel from virginia

who do i want running my world, dirty, confused anarchists or single minded bankers? no contest. give me the dirty confused anarchists!

Nov. 16 2011 08:36 AM

Apparently the OWS protester who relieved himself on a police car was not available for comment and if he was this program would ignore it along with the cursing and provocations the NYPD has endured and resisted. The squalid park would be the city as a whole if it were not for the thin blue line the police represent.
After weeks of law breaking suddenly the activists are now appealing to the courts like they appeal to the police when their fellow protesters abuse and assault each other in the park. What happened to the women only safety tent to prevent assaults that went unreported here?
This kind of protest and journalism is infantile and unserious.

Nov. 16 2011 08:34 AM

I'm outraged at the complete lack of respect for the properties of the protesters. How dare the Mayor, Police and Sanitation department steal and destroy millions of dollars of necessary and useful personal property? Certainly everyone's belongings could have been transported to a secure location.

Shame on the unions who choose to bite the hands that support them - they are COWARDS!!!!

Nov. 16 2011 08:23 AM
Marissa Solomon-Garcia from Staten Island, N.Y.

What I learned about the first amendment this week: (Corporate) money is a more protected form of free speech (Citizens United) than the people's right to assemble (OWS)

Nov. 16 2011 07:43 AM

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