Mayors, Police Losing Patience With “Occupy” Demonstrations


A few days after seeming to accept the idea of Occupy Oakland protesters camping outside city hall by saying “democracy is messy,” Mayor Jean Quan ordered riot police to move in yesterday and scatter two city protest camps in the pre-dawn hours, says the Christian Science Monitor. In Atlanta, after originally giving protesters until Nov. 7 to clear out from a downtown park, Mayor Kasim Reed threatened to revoke that order on Monday. He said the relationship between the city and protesters had changed and campers are “on a clear path to escalation.”

While the original Occupy Wall Street protesters have won standoffs with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, other mayors are quickly losing patience with the protest movement, which drew inspiration from Middle East revolutions and anti-austerity protests in Europe as it spread to dozens of U.S. cities in recent weeks. Framing the confrontation as police overreach, protesters charged Atlanta’s Reed with “malfeasance.” One protest supporter, former City Councilor Derrick Boazman, called Atlanta police chief George Turner, who is black, a “Bull Connor” character in reference to the Birmingham, Al, police commissioner who cracked down on civil rights protesters.

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