Discussion

World Wide density of Sustained Occupy-
related demonstrations lasting more
than a day with over 200
demonstrators by country.
Sep. 17, 2011-Nov. 14, 2011.

Source: guardian.co.uk

• Over 100 Sustained Demonstrations
sites with over 200 people •

• Between 6-20 Sustained Demonstration
sites with over 200 people •

• Less than 5 Sustained Demonstration
sites with over 200 people •

• No information •

While a number of large protest happened on
Oct. 15 around the world, evidence was
not found to prove a sustained
occupation demonstration lasting more than
a day with over 200 people.

Occupy
Media Attention Wanes
  • Jan. 1: Occupy protesters join the end of Rose Parade with their own "float," eliciting a mixed response from parade attendees.
  • Jan 10: After amassing money during 2011, Occupy Wall Street seeks an accountant to help it deal with it's money- though currently it is not believed that the group will have to pay taxes.
  • Jan. 17: A report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that despite amassing over $700 thousand, the occupy movement is down to $170 thousand, and struggling to raise donations.
  • Jan. 1: Occupy Wall Street protesters attempt to retake Zuccotti Park, but are instead faced with arrest.
  • Jan. 25: In a report by the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Boarders, the US falls 27 places, down to 47, in it's index given the US's handling of Occupy Protest.
  • Jan. 27: Police threaten Occupy DC Protesters, informing them that they are no longer allowed to have an encampment at either of the two sites they have protested.
  • Jan. 29: Over 400 people are arrested in Oakland- the biggest actions since November. Protesters broke into City Hall and a YMCA.

Due to a significant reduction in donations, Occupy has significantly less money in its coffers. While there continue to be attempts to reclaim encampment sites, they are largely unccessful. The most notable encampments which remain in tact seem to be Occupy DC and Occupy London Stock Exchange, both of which recieve letters threatening eviction if they do not voluntarily clear their encampments. In Oakland, California, the movement has become increasingly more militaristic, and by the end of the month, it vandalizes City Hall and breaks into a YMCA.

 

Demonstrations continue, but media starts to back off
  • Dec. 4-7: Occupy DC protesters, are arrested after refusing to leave their encampment- the arrest lead to mass demonstrations.
  • Dec. 8: Police storm an occupation site in San Francisco, leading to about 70 arrest.
  • December 10: After holding their ground on an eviction deadline, Boston police dismantle the Occupation site in Boston - leading to 46 arrest.
  • Dec. 12: West Coast ports are partially shut down after Occupy protesters descend on them - disrupting business for the day.
  • Dec. 20: Amid fires, few are arrested during the clearing of the Occupy encampment in Denver.
  • Dec. 20: A report by the LA Times estimates at least $2.35 million cost to the city as a result of Occupy protests, mostly in the form of police overtime.
  • Dec. 26: Senate Candidate, Elizabeth Warren, becomes the first major political candidate to align herself with Occupy.

With Zuccotti Park cleared, the movement struggles with visibility. During this month, the New York City occupation adopts offices to take care of business.

While demonstrations continue, they have significantly less attention from conventional media. The decreased media attention means the movement gets less attention from the general public and consequently fewer sympathizers willing to join their demonstrations. As a consequence of lower participation, and decreased media attention, municipalities find it easier to clear occupy encampments without backlash from communities.

Largest demonstrations across the country, Zuccotti Occupiers evicted.
  • Nov. 2: General Strike in Oakland, CA, which causes a shutdown of the nation’s 5th largest sea port. While the protest remain largely peaceful, violence breaks out after midnight.
  • Nov. 12: 179 right wing protesters are arrested after a planned attack on Occupy protesters is discovered by London Police.
  • Nov. 14: Police clear protesters in Oakland, 50 are arrested.
  • Nov. 15: Zuccotti Park is cleared out in the early hours of the morning. Media access is extremely limited, leading to cries of media censorship by protesters. The encampment is cleared, and cleanup crews power wash the park. New York City Mayor, Bloomberg, calls the occupation of the park "intolerable."
  • Nov. 17: A judge in Boston temporarily blocks the eviction on Occupy Boston protesters.
  • Nov. 17: "Day of Action" is held, leading to mass demonstrations across the country, and about 200 arrest in New York City alone.
  • Nov. 23-30: Across the country, occupy sites are evicted by local authorities. In Los Angeles, after a few tense days, 200 people are arrested and cleared from the Occupation site. The LA occupation left behind 30 tons of trash according to the Los Angeles Times.

As a response to the Oakland encampment clearing and subsequent violent interactions with police, Oakland protestors shut down the port of Oakland and hold the first successful general strike in the United States since 1946, which coincidentally was also in Oakland as a result of a labor dispute. 

As the movement garners media attention, and popular support, local governments start to evict Occupy protesters- which inadvertently fuel the movement’s numbers as sympathizers who stayed out of demonstrations, join in solidarity. The impact of social media becomes evident during the clearing of Zuccotti Park on November 15, where most conventional media were kept away from the park or arrested; social media blogs and news feeds continuously stream video and updates, calling for people to join in solidarity. The raiding and eviction galvanize sympathizers, leading to large crowds on November 17, during the "National Day of Action."

A report by the AP reveals that by the months end, the fiscal impact of the movement across the country is in excess of $13 million, mostly in police overtime.

Large crowds and Solidarity Occupations across the country.
  • Oct. 1: Mass arrest on Brooklyn Bridge after protesters refuse to leave.
  • Oct. 5: Redstate.com editor-in-chief, Erik Erikson starts a counter demonstration online.
  • Oct. 15: Global Day of Action- Cities around the world hold demonstrations, which span a range of demands - 70 end up hurt in Rome's rally.
  • Oct. 16: Occupy Wall St amasses $230,000 in donations according to the movements website.
  • Oct. 21: Occupy protest in London cause St. Paul's Cathedral to shut its doors for the first time since the Second World War.
  • Oct. 25: Raid of Occupy Oakland by local law enforcement in the early hours of the morning- other mayors across the country begin threatening to shut down protest. By Nov. 27, Occupy Oakland protesters return to city hall.
  • Oct 31: Due to the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstrations, Cathedral Dean Graeme Knowles resigns saying his position was becoming untenable.

The month begins with a mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, which serves as a catalyst for a national movement as it galvanizes supporters causing occupy encampments to spring up across the country. The mass arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge brings an exponential increase of conventional media coverage.

During the month, the Occupy Wall St. website calls for a Global Day of Action— on October 15. While demonstrations happen around the world, it seems that some of the international protests pre-date the Occupy movement, and in most cases, the issues used to rally protesters are extremely diverse, and call for a wide range of demands.

Local governments begin to get weary of the prolonged presence of the encampments citing crime, health and safety hazards. While some municipalities threaten to evict, few actually do. Oakland seems to be the first major city to see a clearing of an encampment site, but it is riddled with controversy as it is done with a disproportionately large number of local authorities during the early hours of the morning while protestors were sleeping- leading to violent clashes with local authorities for the next few nights.

The movement's donations explode; by the middle of the month, it has nearly a quarter of a million dollars, overseen by a 21 year old art student with no financial background.

Organized Labor across the country endorses the movement which fuels the movement with people and organizational structure.

A poll conducted in October of New Yorkers showed that more than two thirds back the movement.

Demonstrations begin
  • Sep. 17: First General Assmebly assembles at Zuccotti Park.
  • Sep. 24: Protesters in NY hit with pepper stray, and starts gathering larger crowds.

The name Occupy Wall St is born out of an Adbusters summer publication which called for the "occupation" of Wall St. Adbusters is an anticonsumerist magazine based out of Canada.  

With the movement in its infancy, there is very little conventional media attention- despite the fact that about 5,000 have people are demonstrating with no plans to leave. However, on social media websites like Reddit, the movement garners a lot of attention from activist and people who want to bring attention to a plethora of demands, most notably disparity in income distribution and accountability of corporations and banks. The movement begins to gather donations, and establishes its own news-media. The occupy media is run by volunteers with computers and cell phone cameras which post live updates of everything from general assembly gatherings, demonstrations and increasingly encounters with local authorities. The use of live updates via social media becomes an organizing tool to rally sympathizers and to capture the attention of conventional media.  

General Assembly
  • The forum at which demonstrators adopt resolutions via consensus.
Spoke Council
  • Adopted by the NY General Assembly on October 28th, which passed with 94% of votes, it is a group of people which overlooks and decides how to run the day to day activities of the NY Occupation – it is meant to improve efficiency of the consensus building.
Zuccotti Park
  • Renamed Liberty Square by protestors at the first General Assembly, Zuccotti Park is a park in Lower Manhattan privately owned and managed by Brookfield Office properties. On November 15th, the park was emptied by NYPD, with about 200 arrest.
99 Percent
  • Refers to individuals who are in the bottom 99 percentile of the income ladder, whose income is disproportionately less than those in the top 1 percent.
Human Microphone/People’s Microphone
  • A method devised to communicate messages in large crowds in which the speaker’s message is repeated by the crowd. This method of communication was developed as a response to not having permission from the city of New York to install an amplification system.
Occupy Oakland
  • Demonstrations in Oakland have received a lot of attention because of confrontations with police – including the injury of Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen . Demonstrations in Oakland swelled after some 200 police officers in riot gear stormed Frank Ogawa Plaza in the early hours of October 25th. As a result of the raid, extensive media coverage and continuous confrontations with authorities, demonstrators called for a general strike of the city of Oakland on November 2nd, which shut down the port of Oakland. While Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has publicly stated her sadness for injuries relating to police confrontations, her office clarified that a letter being circulated which states she supports the demonstrators and the general strike are “bogus” and were instead fabricated by the website oaklandmayor.com, which is an exact replica of her website.
  • Jan. 24: Occupy protesters show up to Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum is being held; they build igloos to protest.
Occupy London Stock Exchange
  • Major international Occupy encampment, notable because of it's location, outside of St. Paul's Cathedral. The protests caused clergy leadership to resign and the cathedral to close it's doors for the first time since World War II.

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