Occupy movement plans a comeback
Occupy Wall Street organizers, from left, Hussein Amin, Haywood Carey and Pete Dutro have been strategizing over the winter.
March 19th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

Occupy movement plans a comeback

The attempt to re-occupy Zuccotti Park and subsequent arrests of dozens of protesters in New York over the weekend was the start of what Occupy organizers said will be a comeback for the movement this spring and summer. But some city and state governments, armed with new ordinances specifically aimed at the Occupy movement, are ready to prevent demonstrators from re-establishing encampments.

Police in New York put 74 people in handcuffs Saturday night as protesters tried to establish a foothold in the birthplace of Occupy Wall Street, a public plaza in the heart of the financial district. The move followed a week during which protesters tried to occupy several Bank of America branches in New York and more than 100 people demonstrated outside a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

“Clearly the Occupy movement as we’ve known it - that is sort of occupying public spaces around government structures - is facing a stronger legal challenge,” said Gene Policinski, executive director of the Washington-based First Amendment Center, a self-described nonpartisan think tank that educates people about issues surrounding the First Amendment.

Cities around the country are making it more difficult for Occupy demonstrators to set up shop on public land. In Atlanta, the City Council is clarifying rules for local parks by banning things such as tents and plywood. Idaho and Tennessee state legislatures banned camping on public property not designated as a camp site.

A large turnout is also expected at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, in August and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Some of the protesters' tactics may not be tolerated, Policinski said, and protesters could be arrested in groups of 400 to 500 and detained for up to two days while police "say they’re sorting out who is actively involved and who is not."

Policinski said that such mass arrests could result in the bulk of Occupy demonstrators winding up in custody while the conventions go on unscathed.

In Charlotte, city officials are prepared to allow protesters to march and hold rallies around the Democratic convention, but camping overnight on public land is out of the question.

“We did not have a prohibition on camping on city property before the Occupy movement came along,” city attorney Bob Hagemann said. “In late January, after a public input process, our City Council passed a couple of ordinances, one of which did prohibit camping.” Soon after, tents and other structures were removed from a local plaza, and the Occupy movement ended its 24-hour presence in the city.

Tampa officials will take a similar approach around the Republican convention.  Occupy organizers are not deterred.

“You’re seeing a lot of folks who are both planning for enormous mass actions and also smaller, little affinity actions,” said Haywood Carey, one of the principal organizers of Occupy Wall Street.

Pete Dutro, who sits on the Occupy Wall Street Finance Committee, said the movement spent the winter strategizing.

“There has been a lot of coordination between the different occupations. There have been a lot of conference calls and Skype calls,” he said.

Amin Hussein, who has been involved in organizing Occupy protests in New York since Day One, said activists have a better sense of where the movement is heading in the coming months.

“We spent a lot of time getting to know each other better and building a sense of community. We’re able to communicate better, and there’s an element of trust and coordination,” Hussein said.

They have less money to work with than they did at the height of the movement though. At a recent Occupy Wall Street general assembly in New York, it was announced that the group has less than $45,000 in its general fund.

But Carey said money is not a factor.

“We were doing what we did before we had money. We’re going to continue doing (it) whether or not we have money," he said.

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soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. they stand 4

    They stand for having the Federal Reserve/Central Banks audited for the first time ever. That's what they stand for. Not gay rights or freedom of speach. They stand against Wall Street banks ripping US off, knowing that a simple public audit of the Fed would prove it.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DiaaKris

    Good, they're almost out of money. And WHAT did they accomplish with the last half mil? ALL they did was get their pictures in the paper. Period.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peikovianyi

    Until then, they can hide out in South America.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Superman

    @@@chrissy if you stop trying to play tackle football with the young guns then all would be good talk to CHRISSY later

    March 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. revnowwhilewecan

    I think I'm going to dive further into this movement. Tho not to organized yet, they seem to be on the right track with standing on wall street which has been the root of all evil in this country since its inception. Besides, which movement had great leadership or money when it first started out? Surley not our Revolutionary War which started long before 1776 and with less support from the people. I feel this is the start of something good but sadly I don't think it will take off until we're paying $9.00 a gallon as the dollar starts to freefall.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    Audit the government. Wall street the greatest ponzi scam ever.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. WatAnon

    Sorry hipsters, clock ran out. Now fade away back to your coffee shops, where ideas still matter more than accomplishments.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar The Chorizo Chimp Of Chihuahua

    These hipsters don't have the cajones to compete with the Summer of '68.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Peikovianyi

    It was great when they sang "Man of Constant Sorrow". They look like they could be some politician's "brain trust".

    March 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tesla

    you know what's great? the whole "get a job" mindset of the anti-OWS people. it is really tough to get a job out there right now.

    take my friend, for example. he was a manager at a little local pizza place, but he got laid off when the place shut down. he didn't know what he was going to do in this economy, so he sat and pouted and asked for a handout.

    no... wait, i'm sorry... he started putting in applications and got hired as a quality control official in an industrial workshop in about a week. that's what he did. huh... guess the "get a job" mindset isn't that inaccurate... but then... why do people say there's no work? could it be that the brave occupiers are simply not trying?

    March 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Monica McLaughlin

    OWS needs to stop the embezzlement, mismanagement and theft of donations. While the NYC-GA and the Finance/Accounting Working Group managed to burn through approximately $1 million dollars over a 4-month period — and at this point it is all water over the fall — checks and balances must be put into place to ensure that it does not continue to happen.

    Those who have been and continue to remain in charge of finances — those who fought transparency and accountability for 5 months now — must step aside and allow others to rotate into the finance positions. If they do not, these individuals need to step forward and identify themselves as leaders of the OWS movement to those within the movement. They do not seem to have a problem identifying themselves time and again as such in the mainstream media.

    Those people in the Finance/Accounting WG who are not employed in a job that pays money and who do not sleep on church benches who also refuse to show bank statements and donor statement should explain to the OWS great unwashed how it is they live in one of the world’s most expensive cities without a means of income.

    This is what happens in the real world. It is called accountability. CFOs of a corporations and non profits do not get to keep the books closed.

    Unless this happens, what is the future of OWS? Where is our credibility?

    March 22, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    I'm so glad to hear this. They made such a difference in my life the last time.

    April 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
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