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. saywhat

    " State & City govts armed with Ordinances aimed specifically against the Movement" says all.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      March 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. just eye

    Revolt will occur if they continue to abolish our right to free expression.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Superman

    @@@bombo now do not mis understand me . Its good to see your back! You and banasy are always good for a miday laugh keep the humor

    March 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Superman

    As for myself im burnt on the ows, its time to move on ows. It seems more of a stagnant movement , targeting one thing now,like before , if they were more organized it would probably be listened to , they dont have the money or the strength,or they would of been active all winter. Where were the computer messages? Were where the tv adds? Its weekening , at the same time they are being forsaken. Lets please move on. We all have a right to free speach and all that but hello! Its week, and now lets see what comes of it in the future.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jane simmons

    the most effective form of protest is to limit the amount of money you give the government.
    this tax season we can all play a decisive role in the occupy movement.
    Occupy the IRS !

    March 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      @jane simmons
      I loooove that idea but it can't work. When the irs runs out of employees to put liens on everyone's check, they'll simply just print more money. Saudi Arabia has said that if we want cheaper oil to stop printing money. China is already pushing for control as the lead in world currency market and they'll get it. When they do, the U.S. will be on lockdown. I don't think it's any coincidence that all of these federal laws are being passed at the same time the dollar is on the edge of a freefall. They're meant to take control of our companies here at home in case of ANY emergency. That means financial or otherwise.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    lol @ superman, oh no we dont have that right anymore, ask cnn, they deleted all my posts.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      Really? They erased all of YOUR comments, or are you just trying to make me feel good??

      March 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    lmao @ rev, DO YOU see ANY of my previous comments on here??? Yep they deleted em!

    March 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan


      March 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      I think it's just acting weird. My are coming out weird now too.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    obviously not me @ 6:3l

    March 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      OH NO. Have you been hacked??!?

      March 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Superman

    @@@poor CHRISSY,,,, its been funky on me today to so its not just you its suck# that you go thru all that work to write and than its all gone, oh well. Our freedom of speach is still here its more like this,,,,,,,,,,,,speak in your house, speak in your phone ,and speak in my ear but our right to speak out loud is shot out the window. Last year i was in down town long beach ca in support of same s#x marriage and you would not believe the things that were said against even the straight people that were in support of peoples freedom the durogatory remarks that were said towards the whole group was really i picture of the future and an example of how hard everybody is going to have to fight for there rights in the next five years. Thats including EVERYBODY,,,,, not not just the gay lesbian community either. If people weeken than it falls apart. But with this younger generation comming up and out of high schools right now they will be even stronger, and maybe the US government will take a powerfull slap in the face and wake up what do you think?

    March 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      I hate to do this but it's weak, weaken and speech. 🙂

      March 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    Lmao @ rev, nope and most of them are back now. But i was trolled!

    March 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    @ superman, thats THE exact reason why people NEED to stand behind the OWS!!

    March 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    They may not have everything down pat that they are protesting, mainly because they have no strong leadership, but if we dont, as you said one after another, we will see our rights stripped away!

    March 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    ok right now im in severe pain as i dislocated my shoulder the other day for the umpteenth time so im takin a pill and a nap. ttyl.

    March 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Tear gas Zucotti Park. Being a Democrat now days "is easier than work".

    March 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Oh, stop that.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    Glad to hear they're making a comeback! We can't take our consti.tutionally promised freedoms for granted, because while you're busy not paying attention... oops, there goes 1 right, there goes another & then there are suddenly strange & freedom trampling consti.tutional amendments added, such as " Corporate Personhood"! The OWS are trying to protect our personal & public freedoms, which are blatantly threatened by the Religious Right & corporate loving politicians! They stand for "the people", the working class & poor who's voice seems to be diminishing! This is an agenda I'll back!!

    March 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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