OWS: Protester crackdowns are spreading



A police officer attempts to control the scene after being surrounded while making an arrest at an "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration in response to an early morning police raid which displaced Occupy Oakland's tent city in Oakland, California October 25, 2011.


Stephen Lam

Officials in cities across the world are telling Occupy protesters that it’s time to pack up their camps and go. And if they don’t, a growing number of mayors are calling in the police to forcibly remove them.

A Seattle college is tolerating Occupy Seattle protestors who are camping on their property, despite an open letter they issued late October that said they are not welcome. OWS protestors voted October 24 to move locations to Seattle Central Community College, but the school said making their property a campsite is "prohibited to all individuals and groups."

SCCC has cited potenial injuries, damages and disruption to campus activities as reasons for barring the protestors. The protests have cost the city more than $100,000 in police and administrative overtime, The Seattle Times reports.

In Oakland, Calif., police cleared the Occupy Oakland encampment outside City Hall early Tuesday morning, and protesters attempting to reclaim the space clashed with police later that day. More than 100 protesters were arrested, the Los Angeles Times reports. Wednesday night saw more tension between protesters and police, some of whom wore riot gear, the New York Times reports.

This isn't the only part of California that seems to be cracking down, either. In San Francisco, city officials warned hundreds of protesters they were violating the law by camping at a downtown site after voicing concerns about unhealthy conditions in the camp, including garbage, vermin and human waste, the New York Times reports. Los Angeles' Mayor Antonio R. Villarigosa warned today Occupiers couldn't remain outside of City Hall indefinitely, even though the City Council passed a resolution in support of the protesters earlier this month.

More from GlobalPost: Occupy Oakland: Police tear gas protesters (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

In Atlanta, 53 were arrested when police ejected the Occupy Atlanta protesters from downtown Woodruff Park on Tuesday night.

Mayor Kasim Reed, who at first gave the protesters special permission to live in the park, said he decided to remove them as their encampment grew increasingly unsafe with the proliferation of propane heaters and an illegal generator, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

More from GlobalPost: Atlanta mayor to revoke Occupy Atlanta's park permit

Reed has received mixed reviews for his handling of the situation. Reed "bent over backwards for quite a while" to balance the rights of the protesters with the needs of the city, Kerwin Swint, a political scientist at Kennesaw State University, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "To some extent, he may sympathize with some of their goals," Swint said. "And yet, he can't turn over the city to them. I think he's been fair.”

In Baltimore, the city said only two people in a single tent would be allowed to stay overnight in McKeldin Square by the Inner Harbor, down from roughly 200 campers, Reuters reports.

In London, Mayor Boris Johnson said that he and the City of London Corporation would meet this week to decide whether to take legal action against protesters camped out at the London Stock Exchange to force them to leave, according to the Guardian.

More from GlobalPost: Occupy London protestors urged to leave St. Paul's

Even New York, the birthplace of Occupy Wall Street and the stage of many interactions between protesters and police officers, a crackdown may be soon. The Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department warned Wednesday it will take legal action against OWS protesters who injure any members, CNN reports. More than 20 NYPD officers have been injured in Occupy-related incidents, CNN reports. And on Wednesday night, about 10 people were arrested near Union Square as a crowd tried to show their support to fellow protesters in Oakland, the New York Daily News reports.

In Chicago, protesters have been arrested two weekends in a row for trying to camp out in Grant Park after dusk. On Wednesday they gathered in front of the mayor's office requesting 24-hour access to Grant Park and the charges against arrested protesters to be dropped, the NY Times reports.

How long before the original Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York are ejected?