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Occupy roundup: A deserted park and impending evictions

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:09 AM EST, Wed November 16, 2011
New York's Zuccotti Park is nearly empty at dawn on Wednesday.
New York's Zuccotti Park is nearly empty at dawn on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zuccotti Park wears a deserted look
  • Dallas protesters meet with the city to consider next steps
  • Police use pepper spray on protesters in Seattle
  • Toronto protesters win an injunction against a city eviction notice

(CNN) -- What started as the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York in September has spread across major cities worldwide as a call to action against unequal distribution of wealth.

Here is a roundup of some of the movement's recent developments.

NEW YORK

Zuccotti Park wore a deserted look early Wednesday morning, a day after police in riot gear cleared out protesters and the state supreme court ruled that demonstrators could return -- but cannot camp out.

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A smattering of people mingled in the park grounds under the watchful eyes of the New York Police Department, which maintained an overnight presence.

The park, police said, is open 24 hours and people can pass through it or sit in it if they wish. But they are prohibited from sleeping there.

For nearly two months, the Lower Manhattan property has been a home for the loosely defined group of protesters. The movement that began there spawned similar demonstrations in cities nationwide and around the world.

DALLAS

City attorneys will meet with representatives of Occupy Dallas Wednesday to consider next steps after a federal judge denied the group's request to prevent its eviction from City Hall property.

U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle's decision meant City Hall was effectively free to forcibly evict the encampment members. But Mayor Mike Rawlings issued a statement saying no action would be taken until Wednesday.

Early Wednesday morning, about 200 campers remained at the site, said protester Raymond Sanford.

"We're in good spirits. Most of us believe the First Amendment gives us the right to be here since the Constitution supersedes local ordinances. So I and many others are not leaving here, no matter what," Sanford told CNN.

SEATTLE

Police used pepper spray and arrested at least six people Tuesday night after confrontations with demonstrators who did not heed officers' calls to clear city streets.

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The group marched from Seattle Central Community College to downtown Belltown, blocking traffic, CNN affiliate KCPQ said.

Police told the protesters to get on the sidewalk.

"At one point, a 17-year-old female suspect swung a stick at an officer but failed to strike him," a police statement said, according to KCPQ. "As officers moved in to arrest the female suspect, the officers were hindered in their efforts. Officers deployed pepper spray to move subjects away from them so they could affect the arrest of the female suspect."

The protesters then staged a sit-in, blocking another intersection during rush hour. Police used pepper spray once again to disperse the demonstrators, CNN affiliate KING said.

"We condemn the outrageous behavior of the SPD in response to civil disobedience, a peaceful and time honored form of political protest," Occupy Seattle said in a statement. It said that among those hurt were an 84-year-old woman, a priest and a pregnant woman.

SAN FRANCISCO

Thousands of students and protesters gathered on the UC Berkeley campus Tuesday for a day-long general strike involving teach-ins, marches and a general assembly where the Occupy Cal group opted again to put up tents in Sproul Plaza, CNN affiliate KGO reported. Last week, police tore down the tents and arrested 40 people.

Tuesday afternoon, UC Berkeley's chancellor said that some tents might be allowed as a form of political expression, the station said.

TORONTO

Protesters in Toronto won an injunction against a city eviction notice issued Tuesday, allowing them to stay in St. James Park.

Judge David Brown granted the temporary stay, saying he needed more information before he could rule on the city's plans to remove protesters, CNN affiliate CBC said.

In Calgary, protesters have until Wednesday to clear out of Olympic Plaza, after police handed out eviction notices.

And the City of Victoria has sought an injunction to remove tents from the camp at Centennial Square. The case has been adjourned until Thursday to give demonstrators more time to prepare, CBC said.

LONDON

London authorities served notice Wednesday asking protesters to clear tents and belongings off the road that runs beside St. Paul's Cathedral.

The activists have 24 hours to obey the notice. If they do not move their belongings, the City of London Corporation, which runs the financial district, says it will then start proceedings in the High Court.

The Corporation had called a temporary halt to legal action two weeks ago while it pursued talks with the activists on how to limit the size of the camp and set an end date for the protest.

But after those talks "got nowhere," the body now believes legal action is necessary to ensure roadway safety and meet the needs of local businesses, policy chairman Stuart Fraser said Tuesday.

"Sadly, now they have rejected a reasonable offer to let them stay until the New Year, it's got to be the courts," he said in a statement, referring to the protesters.

Many of the tents set up by the Occupy activists around St Paul's are on what the corporation designates as a public road.

St. Paul's suspended its own legal action against the activists after a number of senior cathedral figures resigned over the threat to evict them. St. Paul's said Wednesday it recognized the authorities' right to take action, and that cathedral staff would continue to meet regularly with the protesters.

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