Police confront occupations in NYC, San Diego, Nashville, Raleigh
Protesters in the Occupy movement around the country faced arrests and evictions Thursday as thousands held vigils for injured Marine veteran Scott Olsen.
At least 1,000 gathered in Oakland at the site where Olsen had his skull fractured just two days earlier. Olsen’s family said he was awake, lucid and awaiting surgery.
“He’s able to understand what’s going on,” Highland General Hospital spokesman Warren Lyons explained at a news conference. “He’s able to write and hear but has a little difficulty with his speech.”
Following their vigil, protesters in Las Vegas invited police officers to a potluck dinner.
“We renewed our vow of nonviolence,” organizer Sebring Frehner told The Associated Press.
The relationship between demonstrators and police was not as friendly in other parts of the country.
Law enforcement in riot gear evicted Occupy San Diego protesters from Civic Center Plaza at around 2 a.m. Friday morning. It wasn’t immediately clear how many were arrested in the operation. A solidarity march was planned from the plaza to the Wells Fargo Building later in the morning.
At least 29 protesters were arrested in Nashville after new city rules banned “overnight occupation.” A 10 p.m. curfew is now being enforced at the War Memorial Courtyard and the Legislative Plaza that protesters were occupying.
In London, religious and government authorities are seeking a court order to remove several hundred demonstrators occupying St. Paul’s Cathedral, a process that could take weeks or months.
Back in New York, authorities conducted a surprise raid of protesters in Zuccotti Park Friday morning, seizing generators and bio-diesel fuel. No arrests were reported.
The NYPD’s Sergeant’s Benevolent Association threatened to sue protesters if they harm police officers.
“In light of the growing violence attendant to the ‘Occupy’ movements across the country, particularly as evidenced by the recent events in Oakland, I am compelled to place these so-called ‘occupiers’ on notice that physical assaults on police officers will not be tolerated,” president Ed Mullins warned.