Evictions force Occupy protesters to change tactics, target Congress, foreclosures
Occupy Wall Street protesters, facing pressure from city governments around the country to close their public encampments, are trying other tactics to keep raising awareness about what they say is the undue influence of money and corporations on politics.
On Tuesday, protesters in Oakland, San Jose, New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles and 15 other cities held marches to protest bank foreclosures on homes. The San Jose Mercury News reported that protesters rallied around the home of Darlene Bowland, an elderly woman with cancer who was recently evicted from her home where she had lived for decades. Atlanta protesters blew whistles to distract from an auction of foreclosed homes, the paper reports. Among the protesters' demands is that banks cease evicting people until after the holidays.
In Washington D.C. on Tuesday, some protesters targeted the offices of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, sitting outside of their offices as part of their "Take Back the Capitol" week. According to Washington Post reporter Tim Craig's Twitter feed, protesters on Wednesday converged on K Street, shutting down the street to traffic. K Street is known for being home to offices for Washington's lobbyists. The Service Employees International Union helped organize Wednesday's protest.
Early Wednesday morning, police arrested 70 protesters in Occupy San Francisco in a largely peaceful raid to rid the public plaza of the encampment. Protesters had resisted the city's offer to let them relocate to an abandoned school campus, and businesses reportedly threatened to sue the city over the protesters' presence in the park, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Encampments have been cleared in New York City, Los Angeles, and Oakland, and other cities in recent weeks as city officials complained about crime and the costs to local businesses. In Oakland, police in riot gear used tear gas and flash grenades to clear the camp.
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