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Latest developments in the Occupy protests

By The Associated Press
November 2, 2011

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Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests taking place in cities across the world:

CALIFORNIA

Thousands of Wall Street protesters marched in the streets of Oakland on Wednesday as they geared up with labor unions to picket banks, take over foreclosed homes and vacant buildings and disrupt operations at the nation's fifth-busiest port.

Demonstrators as well as city and business leaders expressed optimism that the widely anticipated "general strike" would be a peaceful event for a city that became a rallying point last week after an Iraq War veteran was injured in clashes between protesters and police.

Oakland school officials said about 360 teachers didn't show up for work, roughly 18 percent of the district's teaching staff.

Embattled Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement that she supported the goals of the protest movement but the city has a duty to ensure public safety.

About three dozen adults with toddlers and school-age children formed a "children's brigade, gathering at Oakland Public Library for a stroller march to the protest in downtown Oakland. Demonstrators handed out signs written as if in a children's crayon that read "Generation 99% Occupying Our Future," which the marchers attached to their baby backpacks and strollers.

In San Diego, protesters urged people to close their accounts at major banks and transfer their money to credit unions.

More than 60 people from Occupy San Diego marched to a Bank of America branch Wednesday and staged a brief demonstration. As Lorena Gonzalez of the San Diego and Imperial County Labor Council closed her savings account, protesters outside chanted: "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out."

COLORADO

About two dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters in Denver weathered a snowstorm by huddling around a barbecue grill and boiling water for coffee. Denver police stopped by Wednesday to check on their safety.

IOWA

Iowa City approved a request from anti-Wall Street protesters for larger tents.

The protesters said they received a donated 10-person tent designed to withstand artic weather. The City Council decided to allow two such tents, subject to approval by the fire department.

Protesters have been in College Green Park since Oct. 7 as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

MARYLAND

City officials say they're cutting power to outlets in the downtown Baltimore park where Wall Street protesters have been living for the last month.

Mayoral spokesman Ian Brennan said Wednesday the city is taking this step to alleviate a public safety hazard at McKeldin Square near the Inner Harbor. He said a city official visited earlier this week and found fire and electricity hazards.

MASSACHUSETTS

Members of the Occupy Boston movement, students from area colleges and union workers marched through downtown Boston to protest the nation's burgeoning student debt crisis.

The protest started at Occupy Boston's Dewey Square tent city Wednesday and stopped outside Bank of America offices and the downtown Harvard Club before moving to the Statehouse.

Protesters said higher education has gotten too costly, in part because of onerous, high-interest loans. They say total student debt in the U.S. increases by $1 million every six minutes and will reach $1 trillion this year, potentially undermining the economy.

Some called for complete forgiveness of student debt; others said government should more heavily subsidize state colleges and universities.

MINNESOTA

Protesters who have occupied a government plaza in Minneapolis for nearly a month will face new restrictions.

Hennepin County officials said Wednesday they will begin winterizing the plaza. They said protesters will have to consolidate their possessions and can't leave them unattended anymore or they'll be taken. The number of portable toilets is being cut from seven to three, and starting Friday no more signs will be allowed.

NEW YORK

About 100 military veterans marched in uniform Wednesday from the Vietnam Veterans Plaza near Wall Street through Manhattan, joining the Occupy Wall Street protest.

They were fired up by what they called brutality against a Marine veteran in Oakland, Calif., whose skull was fractured.

Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas, who went toe to toe recently with officers policing activists in Times Square, said soldiers who risked their lives have the right to protest an economy that gives them a slimmer chance of finding jobs than most Americans.

OHIO

Two Occupy protesters arrested in Ohio are accused of assault and resisting arrest when police say they charged officers outside a Toledo City Council meeting. WTVG-TV reported that police said the pair tried to charge police when officers told the protesters they couldn't enter the meeting with a handwritten sign of the First Amendment. Council rules don't allow signs.

OREGON

The Occupy protest movement wound down in Ashland. Occupiers managed to maintain a 24-hour presence in The Plaza in downtown Ashland for 22 straight days, but voted over the weekend to cut back until they build stronger support within the community.

PENNSYLVANIA

Police arrested about a dozen protesters in Philadelphia who were sitting peacefully inside the lobby of the headquarters of cable giant Comcast. Officers moved in after they refused to leave. The protesters were handcuffed and led into police vans as supporters cheered.

Occupy Erie complained that electricity was shut off in the city-owned gazebo where protesters have set up camp, but local officials say that happens every year as part of "winterizing" the park.

City officials have ordered the protesters to stop sleeping in the gazebo because that's against a city ordinance.

Without power, protesters at the gazebo were without working space heaters and electricity for laptop computers.

WISCONSIN

A photographer from a Milwaukee newspaper is one of three people arrested at a rally connected to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Milwaukee police say the three ignored officers' repeated commands to clear the street.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said its photographer was wearing her press credential, carrying photo equipment and "clearly" not part of the protest. The paper said the arrest violated the First Amendment.

The Milwaukee city attorney is expected to review the cases.

ENGLAND

A lawyer for protesters camped outside London's St. Paul's Cathedral said Wednesday that authorities have offered to let the tent city stay until next year, as the leader of the world's Anglicans backed a so-called Robin Hood tax on financial transactions as one way to alleviate the global economic crisis.

The loosely organized demonstration against capitalist excess, inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street movement, has wrong-footed both city and church officials since it began last month, defying pleas to leave and the threat of legal action.

Authorities have suspended legal bids to remove the tents. On Wednesday John Cooper, a lawyer for the protesters, said that local government had offered the protesters a deal "to stay on site until the new year," then leave on an agreed date.