As clouds gather over the Occupy movement, with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowing to prevent Oakland-style violence, protesters told RT that momentum is growing for the cause and they are determined to stay.
A peaceful protest descended into fresh violence in the Californian city of Oakland, as police moved in to break up an Occupy rally there. At least 100 demonstrators were arrested.
The tough police action has also left another US army veteran badly injured, the second such incident in just over a week.
In Washington, DC, police arrested three Occupy protesters. RT’s Lucy Kafanov says it came as police actions have sparked fury after a driver who injured three protesters was allowed to leave the scene.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the Oakland-style violence will not be repeated in his city, though adding that some of the behavior seen at Zuccotti Park will not be tolerated.
That has left protesters fearing that New York police could be preparing to shut down the camps, as RT’s Marina Portnaya reports.
Mayor Bloomberg accuses the activist of endangering the entire community, saying that they are failing to report crimes that are taking place at the protest site.
At least seven people have been arrested in Zuccotti Park on non-protest-related charges, such as rape and attempted rape, since early October.
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The activists say they try to police minor infractions, but when it comes to serious crimes or violence they say they do make reports to the police.
There also have been reports that some police officers encouraged criminals and homeless people to come down to Zuccotti Park in an effort to stir up some trouble. The NYPD has denied those accusations.
“My experience has been that I’ve been safe here and that I feel safe here. I do think the mayor is probably gearing up to make another attempt to remove us from the park,” believes OWS activist Elizabeth Helpern.
“Simply because somebody walked into the park doesn’t mean that they are part of the movement. Certainly because someone is disruptive does not mean they reflect what we are doing or that we promote what they are doing,” protester Mark Bray explained.
Princeton professor and activist Dr. Cornel West, who has been a huge supporter of the Occupy movement, has also visited Zuccotti Park. Referring to Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks he said, “I just think he’s wrong.”
“I think they are trying to come up with rationalization when it is not a convincing reason,” he told RT.
Most of the activists RT’s Marina Portnaya spoke to said they feel as safe as they have felt since day one of this Occupy Wall Street movement. They say the momentum is growing larger and louder and they are there to stay.