OWS Camps Evicted In Austin and Washington D.C.

City governments used the element of surprise and sometimes force to evict members of Occupy Austin and Occupy Washington D.C. from their public encampments over the past 48 hours.

Occupy Austin Ousted With 30 Minute Warning

Occupy Austin had been demonstrating on the plaza in front of Austin City Hall for 120 days (here’s what it looked like on Day 1).

Apparently, City Manager Marc Ott suddenly decided to change the rules regarding who could utilize the public Mezzanine and Amphitheater located outside the building, and for how long.

According to an Occupy Austin press release, several people appeared at the Occupy Austin welcome booth at around 9:30 pm on Friday with paperwork said to be ‘from City Hall’. The paperwork detailed a series of new restrictions for City Hall grounds that are set to go into effect on February 2nd, 2012 (so why wasn’t the notice delivered on the 2nd?).

The new rules prohibit any non-city usage of the plaza between 10pm and 6am unless there is a city meeting going on, and also ban “sleeping, camping and the use or storage of sleeping equipment” at all times.

Occupy Austin Evicted

Occupy Austin alleges that at 10:45pm, over 50 Austin Police officers exited a bus and surrounded the encampment. Many Occupiers who were not able to collect their belongings in the previous hour were arrested. One such woman with a history of medical issues had a seizure during the arrest. No immediate medical attention was given to her and eyewitnesses reported that “they continued to man handle her” after the seizure began. More images of Occupy Austin eviction available here.

Occupy DC Enjoys Media-Friendly Raid

Occupy DC

Occupy DC protesters have been camped at McPherson Square for several months, much to the chagrin of the National Park Service members charged with maintaining the area.

When police in riot gear showed up in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning, they were careful to say that “they were not evicting the protesters or closing the park, but  instead stepping up enforcement of an existing ban on camping.”  Under the current rules, protesters are allowed to conduct a 24 -hour vigil in the federal park but not camp out overnight.

Apparently the tarpaulin tent protesters erected near the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in the square made police suspicious that people might be sleeping during their legal “24 hour vigil.” Protesters said they had expected the raid, but some were surprised at the magnitude of the response, which included dozens of officers, fire hoses and a paddy wagon.

“It’s pretty excessive if all they wanted us to do was take down the tarp,” said Ricky Lehner, a protester, told the Washington Post. Reports stated that police arrested four people in the early morning, and later arrested two more.

Both Occupy Austin and Occupy DC still have many demonstrations planned throughout the month of February, and neither have indicated that these evictions will be anything more than temporary setbacks.

Related Reading:

Indiana Unions Plan To Occupy The Super Bowl

Occupy Wall Street Joins Farmers’ Fight Against Monsanto

Occupy Oakland’s Attempt To Reclaim Empty Property Turns Violent

Top Image Credit: Flickr – meadow03


Lee Witton
5 years ago

Ah...Nancy, that little kitten hiding from you? I salute those 99% who are out protesting peacefully. InfilTRAITORS no, but peaceful yes. The organizers are not giving up, thank goodness, so don't get all twitter-pated; you'll scare the kitty!

Nancy L.
Nancy L5 years ago

Peaceful demonstration does not including camping out and never leaving. That's not legal. You can't move in and stay. It's called vagrancy.

I'm sure the occupiers are the same ones who are bitching about being out of work. Ya, so how's that job hunt coming?

Maybe some of the occupiers money problems would be solved if they spent their time looking for the jobs they supposedly need instead of occupying space and accomplishing nothing.

Lee Witton
5 years ago

Bertha - you and those who think as you do, drink the grape stuff and live in a state of blissful ignorance. Most of the true occupiers are peaceful protesters who stand for what all middle class and poor of this country SHOULD stand for; justice. Most with a brain understand there are infiltrators, which are plants to disrupt so that officials in OWS areas can go in and use batons, pepper sprays, rubber bullets, beatings, bulldozers, and any other means to deter protesters from carrying on with the movement. The OWS need to come up with more effective ways of ferreting out the infil'TRAITORS, and they will. The politicians damned sure don't want these activities to go through to the election because it is drawing very negative attention to the top 1% and powerful corporations who are throwing money at Republicans. As you see, you are a minority here and you certainly have a right to express your opinion, as do we all. I don't know how you can consider yourself patriotic because you certainly don't stand with the majority who are fed up with corporate corruption.

Doris Turner
Doris T5 years ago

Sure hope every single one of the Occupy Movement votes this year.

Bertha Smith
Bertha Smith5 years ago

Amie K,
You people who approve of those pigs "Occupy" show that you have taken the wrong turn, big time!!!!

Martin Stride
Martin Stride5 years ago

The behaviour of American authorities, changing "rules" without notice, evicting in the night without notice, using blatant violence, maintaining a blanket media ban on their operations, all looks rather symptomatic of a repressive, dictatorial state than what's supposed to be a democracy.

While the latest round of millionaires are busy buying their way into power, real America's firing away from the limelight. It seems these people will do whatever they have to do in order to get and maintain power.

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley5 years ago

This reminds me of the movements of the sixties--equal rights for women, minoritys, and anti-war. It was horrible, in parts, but overall beautiful. The cops were quite active then--I think they must be part-robot, so have no mind of their own!
The Occupy Movement is a fight to reclaim what is ours by right--we are the 99%--"they" may beat us back on one front, but we'll just come back stronger on two more...until America becomes ours again.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Disturbing that Bill Maher has just spoken against Occupy.

Lynn C.
Lynn C5 years ago

What's happening is we're getting a true picture of what democracy looks like in America.

John K.
John K5 years ago

Looks like we can all just say good bye to the constitutional rights of freedom of assembly, speech, and the press. Cops are used as fascist thugs in riot gear to remove peaceably assembled, non violent citizens! Where are the courts, civil rights lawyers, and the rule of law?? The local ruling elites change the rules in secret then trample on their citizens rights!! Why are our representatives not living up to their oaths to "protect and defend" the constitution? Looks like we now live by the rule of gold, as in "he who has the gold rules."