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Occupation Notes

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In New York, Mother Nature has stepped where Mayor Bloomberg lacks the backbone.  Alex Kline reports in New York Magazine:

As high winds, low-30 temperatures, and sheets of snow ripped through downtown Manhattan, Occupy Wall Street was under siege on Saturday, this time from Mother Nature. Zuccotti Park was transformed into a tent city, with just over a hundred protestors huddled against only the fourth October snowstorm to hit New York in 135 years.

Other than the roaring wind, the park was quiet: no chants, no drum circles. The day's outdoor activities were canceled and the wall of sign wavers on Wall Street has been replaced by a single, stalwart placard: "Hell Snow, We Won't Go!"....

Adam, a 20-year-old occupier from New York, told me that the park's stone pathways were filling up with icy water. "It seeps in through the bottom of the tents," he said. "We don't know how much longer this is going to last." The crush of belongings and bodies has strained the park's drainage system. As tents heave under snowfall and water trickles down from the street, the park is turning into a colorful, ice-cold fishbowl.

This snowfall "shattered an October snow record," according to accuweather.com.

In Denver, the city government is less squeamish than New York's.  Jordan Steffen and Michael Booth report in the Denver Post:

In the most violent Saturday in more than a month of Occupy Denver demonstrations and marches, Denver police fired pepper spray and pepper balls at a crowd of protesters in Civic Center and arrested 20 people.

Two of the protesters were held for felony charges after police said an officer was knocked off his motorcycle and other officers were kicked, as they moved into the park to tear down illegal tents.

Even PC Portland is fed up, arresting 25 occupiers, while many others left before they could be handcuffed, the Oregonian reports.

In Richmond, the Tea Party wants a refund of the money it paid the city for its rallies, given that the city is allowing the occupiers to use the same space for free and for much longer, Wesley Hester reports in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  At least one councilman thinks they should get it.

I think all of the cities should be carefully documenting who is participating in these illegal occupations.  When it is over, they should bring civil actions and hold them all jointly liable for all expenses.  Even if the cities never collect much, saddling the people who engage in this collective tantrum with civil judgments should act as a deterrent to such squatting in the future.

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