The big drama this morning in the occupation movement is that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered all the protesters to leave Zuccotti Park, with a deadline of 2 minutes from now. They’ll be allowed back, but without their sleeping bags and tarps. The New York City General Assembly calls it an “emergency situation” and asks that whoever can make it down to the Park to join them right now do so.
An article from Occupy Wall St. says that the group will be deploying “all possible strategies” to nonviolently resist the emptying of the park, and has linked to a manual, Blockading For Beginners, that includes tactics such as using bicycle locks to create blockades and to secure people to an area they do not want to leave. The manual advises:
“Practise locking on together beforehand using all the stuff you intend to be wearing/carrying all the equipment you intend to use. Time yourselves, experiment with different formations, work out who you’re going to be working with on the day.
Sites are full of convenient large immovable things that you can turn against them. Using their own big heavy lorries/ equipment/ buildings as the basis for your blockade is far easier than trying to import your own large heavy stuff. If at all possible keep it simple. Always have spare D-locks aavailable. You never know what unexpected opportunities may turn up once things begin (police cars park in some strange places). Be flexiable, be prepared.”
In the LiveStream of the protest, the police have arrived, but no one appears to have locked themselves to anything. People are talking about a rumor that the police will not actually arrest them or force them to leave the square.
Elsewhere in the occupy movement, some members of Occupy Austin were arrested when they refused to leave the site of the protest during a cleanup yesterday. Occupy Denver was cleared out starting at 3:00 this morning. Are police sharing techniques from city to city?
Occupy Detroit is planning to start its occupation today, starting with a march on Woodward Avenue. The march will begin at 4:00 this afternoon. The web site OccupyDetroit.com remains a generic placeholder, though. The same is true with the site for Occupy Pocatello, which features nonsense filler text, reading “Umbrella Rides The Wind Quisque ullamcorper enim vel tellus rhoncus et fermentum diam congue. Phasellus eu turpis lorem, id gravida nunc. In bibendum nulla vel quam pretium…”. Occupy Pocatello has been holding protests for some time, though, and links to Occupy Idaho Falls, which just had its first General Assembly.
Occupy Tucson is among the many local groups planning on starting an occupation protest on Saturday. Occupy Philadephia is having yoga at 9:00 this morning, and a march at 4:00 this afternoon…
…and on and on, across the country, there are occupation protests almost everywhere. Some well organized, some rambling, some shut down, some just popping up.
And back in Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park, a protester chants “Power to the people”, a jazz band plays, and it appears that, in fact, the clearing of the park has been delayed.