After more than a month of protesting that has spread across the country, New York’s Occupy Wall Street is facing logistical challenges. With a heavy snowfall and cold front predicted, firefighters and police have removed all gasoline generators from the park.
Cold front expected
As the weather turns to winter, the outdoor Occupy Wall Street and affiliated protests are facing tough choices. In Denver, a cold front and storm dumped between two and four inches of snow in various areas of the city. Two protestors from Occupy Denver were taken to the hospital for hypothermia in the aftermath of the storm. Forecasts are calling for near-zero weather in New York City over the weekend, with the possibility of a few inches of snow. Protestors are currently discussing possibilities for handling this cold front.
Fire department confiscates generators
In a generally peaceful confrontation in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of New York City, 40 firefighters and police officers confiscated 5 or 6 generators and several gas cans from the protestors. Firefighters report that six generators were removed, as well as fuel cans. Protestors report that five generators, including one that runs on biodiesel, were confiscated as well as several gas cans, mostly empty or full of vegetable oil. Mayor Bloomberg reported that the confiscation was because gasoline-operated generators were a safety issue.
“Our first two concerns are the First Amendment and safety, and this was about safety.”
Protestors claim that this move is an attempt to make the protest camp less internet-accessible and less safe.
Crackdowns around the country
The New York City crackdown on protestors is proving one of the least-violent and calmest of the movement. Stories of the crackdown in Oakland and injured Iraq veteran Scott Olson are proving a new rallying point for protestors. Olson was injured by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters shot by Oakland police and is listed in fair condition in the Highland Hospital. In Nashville, Tennessee, authorities are requiring protestors to gain permits, have restricted gathering times, and are making arrests for breaking curfew. Arrests have also been made in San Diego and Houston.
NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/occupy_wall_street/2011/10/28/2011-10-28_occupy_wall_street_protesters_stripped_of_their_power_literally_by_fire_departme.html
BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15498098
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