Police have evicted protestors with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Along with similar evictions in Portland and Oakland, one big question is if the movement can maintain its momentum.
The encampment is gone, but the movement lives on. What nobody knows is just how long it can survive without a literal place to call home….after protesters were hauled out of the park during a police raid early Tuesday, some organizers believe the loss of their camp is actually a blessing in disguise.
“This is much bigger than a square plaza in downtown Manhattan,” said Han Shan, an organizer who was working with churches to find places for protesters to sleep Tuesday night. “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”
One of the most important ideals of the US is freedom of speech, and it creates a bit of a dilemma for authorities who want to maintain a clean and comfortable place for their constiuents.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he ordered the sweep because health and safety conditions had become “intolerable” in the crowded plaza. The raid was conducted in the middle of the night “to reduce the risk of confrontation” and “to minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhood,” he said.
By early Tuesday evening, some protesters were being allowed back into the park two by two. But they could each take only a small bag after a judge ruled Tuesday afternoon that their free speech rights do not extend to pitching a tent and setting up camp for months at a time.
As an American living overseas, I have been happy to see the protests and how many people are drawn to join. The US economy is driven by profits for already rich owners of large corporations–financial, oil, military, and a few others. I am glad that many people seem to understand what is going on.