Entries in Occupy Wall Street (44)


Bomb-Making Chemicals, Assault Rifles Found in Doctor's Home, Prosecutor Says

ABC News(RIDGEWOOD, N.J.) -- Large amounts of chemicals commonly used to make bombs were found in the basement of a New Jersey doctor, along with assault rifles and a stun gun, prosecutors said Sunday.

Dr. Roberto Rivera, 60, who according to some reports was active in the Occupy Wall Street movement last year, was arrested following a Friday night raid on his Ridgewood, N.J., home.

Ridgewood police first showed up at the home around 6:15 p.m. after getting a report of potential hazardous and explosive material, according to a press release from Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli.

Inside the home, police found a "large amount" of a chemical typically used in bomb-making, the release said. The name of the chemical was not released.

Armed with a search warrant, the FBI and the Bergen County Bomb Squad then visited Rivera's home where they confiscated the bomb-making chemical and also found "several other precursor chemicals commonly used in the making of explosive devices," Molinelli said.

After the chemicals were retrieved, Molinelli said police searched the home and found various weapons, including assault rifles, other firearms and a stun gun.

Rivera faces six charges, including possession of a destructive device and recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage. His bail was set at $1 million cash.

It was not yet clear whether Rivera has hired a lawyer.

Bill Dobbs, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team, said he had no knowledge of any connection between Rivera and the movement, and said Occupy is firmly committed to non-violence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DNA Link Between 'Occupy' Protest and Student's Slaying in Doubt

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A DNA match between material on a slain jogger's CD player in 2004 and on a chain used by Occupy Wall Street to hold open a subway entrance last year now appears very likely the result of the same person having handled both pieces of evidence, not a link between the two events, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

It appeared both DNA samples may have been tainted at a police lab before they were tested by the medical examiner's office, sources told ABC News' New York affiliate, WABC-TV.  The material found on both the CD player and the chain may have come from a member of the NYPD who handled both items, sources said.

The initial disclosure that there was a DNA match suggested the possibility that a protester may have been linked to the sex assault.  That no longer appears to be the case.

The jogger, Sarah Fox, 21, was a student in the drama department of the renowned Julliard School.  She had taken a temporary leave from the school when she disappeared on May 19, 2004, after going out for a run in New York's Inwood Hill Park.

Her body was found naked six days later, surrounded by tulip petals.  She had been strangled.  Fox's CD player was later found in the area during a search for evidence.  No arrest was ever made.

Initial reports said DNA from the CD player was apparently linked to DNA from a chain used during Occupy Wall Street protests on March 28, 2012.

Protesters wearing masks, hoods and gloves chained open the emergency gates to at least three subway stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to Crime Stoppers.  The suspects posted signs that said, "Customers ride for free."  They also taped over the Metrocard readers so that they could not be used.

The DNA was found on the chain used at the Beverly Road subway station in East Flatbush.  Nobody was arrested for the subway protests.  The NYPD had released surveillance video of the suspects chaining the gates.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DNA Links Student's Slaying to 'Occupy' Protest

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- DNA found on a chain used by Occupy Wall Street protesters might lead New York police to new clues in the unsolved 2004 slaying of Julliard student Sarah Fox. DNA found on Fox's CD player has been linked to DNA found on a chain the protesters used during a subway protest in March, sources told ABC News and its New York station WABC.

Fox, 21, was a student in the drama department of the renowned Julliard School. She had taken a temporary leave from the school when she disappeared May 19, 2004, after going out for a run in New York's Inwood Hill Park.

Her body was found naked six days later, surrounded by tulip petals. She had been strangled. Fox's CD player was later found in the area during a search for evidence. No arrest was ever made.

Now, DNA from the CD player has apparently been linked to DNA from a chain used during Occupy Wall Street protests on March 28, 2012.

Protesters wearing masks, hoods and gloves chained open the emergency gates to at least three subway stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to Crime Stoppers. The suspects posted signs that said, "Customers ride for free." They also taped over the metro-card readers so that they could not be used.

The DNA was found on the chain used at the Beverly Road subway station in East Flatbush. Sources said the DNA has not been linked to a specific person, and might not even belong to the protestors who chained the gates open.

No one was arrested for the subway protests. The NYPD had released surveillance video of the suspects chaining the gates.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'May Day' Protesters Rally From Coast to Coast

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Police detained at least six people in New York as Occupy demonstrators and labor and immigration activists participated in "May Day" protests across the country on Tuesday.

Protest organizers said they intended to show the "1 percent" what life without the "99 percent" would look like, as they encouraged workers and students to take a day off in solidarity against income inequality and "unjust" corporate practices.

ABC New York affiliate WABC reported that four protesters were detained during the march across Williamsburg Bridge, connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan, and at least two protesters were detained in midtown Manhattan.

An estimated 200 protesters are in Madison Square Park in New York City, while another 500 people are in Bryant Park. In Chicago, an estimated 1,000 people have gathered in a section of Union Park despite occasional rain, the Chicago Tribune reported.

As letters containing white powder, later determined to be non-toxic, arrived in mail rooms of Manhattan banks and New York's City Hall, a wide range of protesters gathered around the buildings of corporations and city centers across the country.

The FBI announced on Tuesday that that they arrested a group of anarchists who allegedly plotted to use explosives to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio, and attack this summer's Republican National Convention in Florida. The FBI's criminal complaint does not state the attacks were planned as part of the May Day protests.

Pete Dutro, an Occupy organizer from Brooklyn, N.Y., said the date of the nationwide strike is related to the Haymarket massacre in Chicago. Demonstrators were protesting on May 4, 1886 in favor of an eight-hour workday when a bomb was thrown, killing both police and workers. Some labor groups recognize May 1 as "International Workers' Day."

Andy Thayer, a Chicago Occupy member and the spokesperson for the Coalition Against NATO/G-8, called this year's strike "a national phenomenon" with immigration rights advocates partnering with the Occupy movement.

"There's a good buzz about it—the kind of display not been seen in many decades: a demonstration of solidarity on immigrant rights, but also about labor's winning back rights or winning rights anew," Thayer said.

Events are taking place at all hours of the day, from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York.

In New York, community groups, unions and Occupy Wall Street protesters converged at a number of locations starting at 8 a.m., including the Chase Building, New York Times Building, Sotheby's, and a U.S. post office. Protesters planned to march over the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan after meeting in Continental Army Plaza at 10:30 a.m.

Dutro said he has been coordinating with protesters in other cities, including Los Angeles. There, a strike at Los Angeles International Airport was scheduled for 6 a.m. in conjunction with some members of the Service Employees International Union and United Service Workers West.

Another protest event in Los Angeles, dubbed, "Let Them Eat Cupcakes," was planned for tony shopping area Rodeo Drive around 12 p.m.

In Chicago, gatherings included a protest at noon in Union Park, followed by a march downtown at 1 p.m.

When asked if the nationwide protests, which are aiming to disrupt the work day and commuting, risk alienating workers who are not participating in the day's events, Dutro said he would sympathize with their frustration.

But, "by complaining, I would say you further help others that maintain the status quo, and what is clear is the status quo is not working," he said. "Yes, they have families and have to work and all these other things. But in the greater scheme of things, if we don't solve these problems now there will be less and less work to go to."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


OWS Protesters March in New York Against NYPD’s ‘Brutality’

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street supporters marched in New York City on Saturday to protest what they called the NYPD’s “acts of brutality” against demonstrators and to demand the resignation of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly in the wake of what they say were violent crackdowns on activists.

Protesters marched from Zucotti Park to Union Square, chanting, “The people united will never be defeated!”

“Former commissioner Raymond Kelly, we, the people have decided you no longer have a job. Any acts of brutality you order as we act only serve as further evidence of your misconduct,” read a statement on the Occupy Wall Street website.

The statement claimed that last Saturday, police officers kicked, punched and beat OWS protesters during a peaceful “spring celebration.” The demonstrators called today’s march Let Freedom Spring, and said it was an effort to reclaim their right to celebrate spring without being the victims of police brutality.

“They have spied on us, they have assaulted us, they have kidnapped us from the streets without cause or charge. We, the 99% of people who will no longer be silent have chosen to make our voices heard,” OWS wrote of the NYPD.

“The government of every major city where occupations have sprouted … monitor and target electronic communications and persecute, smash, chase away, beat, gas torture and deny rights to protesters,” spokesman William Jesse told ABC News. “They beat thousands and thousands of Americans violently and illegally detain them while doing protected activities. Just like the beating and chasing of blacks in the ’50s, police are tools used in a system to oppress Americans.

“The USA is hosting as many human rights abuses by our local and fed gives. And it’s being ignored by mainstream media and police because Americans are quiet sheep,” Jesse said. “We need to continue rising.”

Protesters to Gather at United Nations Headquarters

At 5 p.m. on Saturday, protesters gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York in an effort to “expose how corporate influence has superseded strong action on climate and sustainable development in the international community,” Jesse said.

To demonstrate corporations’ hold on the United Nations’ environmental goals, protesters plan to put on a form of street theater by dressing up in business attire to represent the “1 percent” — the richest Americans — and participating in a “mockupation” of the UN.  Jesse said they are hoping to force the NYPD to take action against the “1 percent,” at least in appearance.

Jeremy Brecher, the author of 10 books on labor and social movements, will speak at the event, which OWS said will launch the global “Disrupt Dirty Power” campaign.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Occupy Protests Disrupt West Coast Port Operations

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Some major ports along the West Coast were affected Monday when protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement showed up uninvited to make life difficult for shippers and truckers in an event called "Occupy the Ports."

Occupy Wall Street said the point of the rallies at ports that included Seattle, Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Long Beach, Calif., was to once again shine a light on the economic woes that have beset the overwhelming majority of Americans they've dubbed the "99-percenters."  In fact, the demonstrations stretched down as far south as the Port of Houston where protesters clashed with police.

But those who certainly aren't in the group's demonized "1 percent" were just collateral damage to the protesters, whose actions spawned delays that hit truckers -- not CEOs -- in their wallets. Port workers vented their frustration with the protest, which halted or disrupted operations in some cases, costing workers a day's pay and fines for truckers who were liable for late deliveries.

Unions complained that they weren't notified first about the demonstrations and how much they'd cost the average port worker in a day's wage.

Occupy Wall Street was also showing its contempt for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which owns a stake in the largest cargo-terminal operator.  About 250 people in New York City tried to block the entrance to Goldman Sachs' headquarters on Wall Street as police only allowed those with identification to enter the building.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Occupy Boston Protesters Get Evicted, 46 Arrested

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- After months of camping out in Dewey Square, 150 Occupy Wall Street protesters in Boston were evicted Saturday morning.

After police told the remaining protesters that they would be given one chance to vacate the park or be detained, roughly 20 protesters locked arms and sat down, peacefully, ABC's Sean Kelly reported.

The 46 arrested during the less-than hour-long operation were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to reports. No injuries were reported.

Boston is the last city whose officials have moved to oust Occupy protesters as they demonstrate against corporate wealth, the nation's growing income gap and what they view as assorted other social, economic and political disparities and corruptions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UC-Davis Chancellor Resists Calls To Resign

ABC News(DAVIS, Calif.) -- University of California-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi says she won't resign despite outrage over her handling of campus officers' blasting pepper spray into the faces of students protesting Friday in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"I really feel confident at this point the university needs me," Katehi said Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America. "There are so many critical issues to be addressed and we really need to start the healing process and move forward."

Calls for Katehi's resignation have come fast and furious from both students and faculty since the incident, video of which shows as many as 20 students, all seated throughout the protest, hit at close range by pepper spray. Two of the protesters were taken to the hospital. Ten people were arrested, nine of them students.

The chancellor's office confirmed to ABC News that UC officials will announce Monday they have placed campus police chief Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave. Chief Spicuzza was on the scene when the pepper spray incident occurred.

The UC-Davis faculty association called for Katehi's resignation Saturday, writing in a letter there had been a "gross failure of leadership."

Admitting that the university she leads is at a "critical position," Katehi said she is willing to work with all sides.

"I'm working with the greater faculty body," she said. "I really want to work with members of our community, the staff and the faculty to take our institution out of this crisis."

Katehi has said she next plans to meet with demonstrators Monday at their general assembly.

Katehi's statements follow a weekend of damage-control for both her and the university as the incident reverberated across the nation. The school placed two of the campus police officers identified on video using the pepper spray on administrative leave.

Katehi held a teleconference Saturday and released a statement in which she said she takes "full responsibility for the incident."  She also announced she would form a task force to probe events surrounding the arrests, and then accelerated its timetable, setting a deadline from 90 days to 30 days for the task force to issue its report.

After the UC-Davis Occupy was disassembled Friday, students resumed their protest Saturday with an evening rally on the roughly 31,000-student campus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Videos Show 'Occupy' Protesters Pepper Sprayed, Beaten

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(DAVIS, Calif.) -- Police and protesters have frequently gone toe-to-toe at Occupy camps across the country, however three recent videos that show protesters, including a veteran being roughed up and students being pepper sprayed, are causing many to question whether police have overstepped their bounds.

In the last two days, incidents between police and demonstrators at the University of California at Davis, Portland, Ore., and Oakland, Calif., have surfaced, bringing a renewed attention to the question.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi announced she had formed a task force to probe Friday's pepper spraying incident on campus, which was captured on camera by several onlookers.

"The use of pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this," Katehi wrote in a statement posted on the school's website.

Several videos shot from different vantage points show Occupy UC Davis students being doused with pepper spray while trying to protect their encampment, which Katehi had ordered them to remove, citing a no camping ordinance on university grounds.

Police across the country said they've had to put up with being antagonized by protesters, too.

"You see people pushing officers; you see people hitting our horses; you see people flipping officers off," Portland, Ore., police spokesman Lt. Robert King told ABC affiliate KATU-TV.

King was responding to a viral video of Elizabeth Evon Nichols, 20, who was pepper sprayed, doused with water and then arrested for disorderly conduct after ignoring police orders to disperse at an Occupy Portland protest on Thursday.

And as Scott Olsen, the Marine who suffered a skull fracture at Occupy Oakland continues to recover, word broke that a second veteran had been seriously injured in a scuffle with police.

A Nov. 2 video of Kayan Sabeghi, 32, being clubbed surfaced Friday after the videographer realized that the veteran he had heard about was the one in his video.

Sabeghi, who was arrested, was taken to the hospital after he said he spent 14 hours in the Alameda County Jail with a ruptured spleen, ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco reported. was unable to reach anyone at the Oakland Police Department for comment. KGO-TV also sent a video of the incident to police, but had not heard back as of Saturday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Rolls into 'Action' Across US; Hundreds Arrested

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two months to the day that a small band of protesters first set up camp in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, the Occupy Wall Street movement on Thursday staged a national "day of action" to remind the richest Americans and corporations that it's time to share the wealth.

Demonstrations were held in cities throughout the country, most notably in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, where protesters took to the streets to disrupt business as usual in the country's three busiest metropolises.

One of the planned main events in New York City was the actual occupation of Wall Street just as people were beginning to arrive at work at 7 a.m.  The marchers attempted to stop Wall Street workers from getting to their jobs while cops cleared streets in the narrow area of Manhattan.

Despite some heated confrontations between protesters and police in riot gear, the Financial District remained open and the opening bell rang as usual at 9:30 a.m.

Occupy Wall Street protesters continued their day-long activities through the city's boroughs, at one point converging on 16 main subway hubs to spread their message to New Yorkers, many of whom were sympathetic to their cause.

Others weren't as supportive, yelling at the protesters to "Get a job."

The final act of Thursday's two-month commemoration of the movement was a march on the Brooklyn Bridge as thousands of members of unions and community groups joined in.  Their demonstration proceeded without incident as a heavy police presence insured that protesters would not block traffic.

Police reported over 250 arrests from all the locations, while several cops were sent to the hospital with injuries that included officers who were apparently sprayed in the eyes with vinegar.

In Chicago, hundreds of protesters braved the sharp winds and cold to hold one of their biggest rallies since they began their protests weeks ago.  Their target was to shut down the LaSalle Street Bridge just north of downtown, but before they got down there, police diverted traffic.  About 50 people wound up getting arrested when they refused to get off the bridge.

On the West Coast, the events in Los Angeles involved the largest contingent of Occupy Los Angeles supporters with a gathering of about 1,000 people.  Some of their attempts at civil disobedience included blocking a bridge near the downtown financial district and setting up tents in the middle of one busy street.

They also managed to slow traffic on freeways surrounding Los Angeles with arrests for the day totalling around 76.  Overall, however, police said the protests were peaceful.

There were other demonstrations in solidarity with the "day of action" in Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, Denver and Portland, Oregon., which supports the Occupy Wall Street movement, claims there were some 460 protests across the country Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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