Entries in Protests (17)


Police Sent to California Home of "Innocence of Muslims" Producer

Thinkstock/Getty Images(CERRITOS, Calif.) -- As outrage over the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims spreads across the Middle East, police were sent to the California home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the film's producer, who according to authorities is frightened for his life.

Sheriff's Deputies were sent to the Cerritos, Calif., home of Nakoula, 55, on Thursday to protect him and his family, a senior law enforcement official told ABC News.  According to a sheriff, the police were at Nakoula's home overnight Thursday but have now left, as media reports identifying him as the man behind Innocence of Muslims, and listing his address, have circulated.

According to California law enforcement officials, Nakoula, who is also known to authorities as Bacily Nakoula, was frightened for his life and "scared of retaliation" against his family.

Sheriffs from the Cerritos police station were sent to his home to keep Nakoula safe and to provide a uniformed presence to assist the members from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, official reports said.

A senior official said that they also had sent local law enforcement officers to the production company Media for Christ on Hamilton Avenue in Duartes, Calif., to keep watch on the facility, which authorities said was affiliated with making the film that has been a trigger for anti-U.S. violence and protest in several countries.

On Thursday, protesters rushed the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, while further demonstrations broke out outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

Two days earlier, protesters in Cairo scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag in an angry demonstration against the film that depicts the founder of Islam as a fraud and a womanizer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Protest Over California Shootings Turns Violent; Five Arrested

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- At least five people were arrested in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday night after clashes broke out between protesters and police, according to officials.

Between 100 and 200 demonstrators were gathered near City Hall to protest two police officer-involved shootings that occurred in the city over the weekend.

ABC News affiliate KABC-TV reports 100 officers from Anaheim and at least six other southern California police departments responded to the scene.  The station says pepper-spray projectiles and bean bag rounds were fired at the rowdy crowd.

Those arrested were detained for resisting arrest, fighting with other protesters, attacking police officers and lighting fires.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Secretary Sebelius Speaks at Catholic College Despite Protests

USHHS(WASHINGTON) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius barely got out two sentences Friday before a protester at the Georgetown University Public Policy Commencement sprung to his feet calling her a “murderer.”

The audience began booing the protester to drown out his cries, making the rest of his outburst inaudible.

Sebelius, however, barely missed a beat. After her initial surprise she continued her talk, saying “having spent my entire life in public service," drawing laughter from the audience, which was clearly on her side.

After he was escorted out, the same protester could be heard running up the hall outside the auditorium and attempting to reenter. All while screaming what sounded like “Judah,”  probably in reference to Genesis 38, where Judah orders a woman to be burned to death, despite the fact she was three months pregnant.

Debate from Sebelius stemmed from her speaking at a Catholic and Jesuit university after the March 14 “statement on religious freedom and HHS mandate” which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) strongly opposed.

In a statement from the university president, John DeGioia, said the invitation is not a “challenge” to the USCCB, as some interpreted it to be.

Clarifying that the invitation came prior to the January 20 announcement by the Obama administration of modifications to healthcare regulations, and that her “presence on our campus should not be viewed as an endorsement of her views” and that the university “disassociates itself from any positions that are in conflict with traditional church teachings.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, a conservative watchdog group, and their President Patrick J. Reilly, however, condemned the choice and urged the president to “withdraw the invitation” and called the move to invite her “scandalous and outrageous.”

They also sent an online petition with more than 25,000 signatures to DeGioia, which according to their blog “is part of CNS’ ongoing efforts to promote a renewal of Catholic identity in Catholic institutions of higher learning.”

The students selected the secretary in the “spirit” of her experience and career in public policy.

“We expect that her remarks will not be a political statement, but will reflect the experiences she has had throughout her life in public service,” a student letter to the president explained.

The faculty of the public policy institute also issued a letter to the president Thursday saying the university “cannot permit outside protests to dictate who will and will not be allowed to address out community” and that “speech should be answered by speech, not by efforts to shut down discussion and free exchange.”

The five or six protesters outside the commencement held signs stating “Abortion is Murder.”

Sebelius drew off her own experiences and offered the new graduates two key pieces of advice.

Her first “hope” was to “always hold on to your commitment to work for the common good.  If you let that focus guide you, you will never go off course,” she said.

While her second piece of advice was to not “wait.”

“Go ahead and do it yourself -- because if you don’t, it might never happen,” she said.

 Copyright 2012 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


Occupy Oakland Tries to Shut Down City

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Occupy Oakland’s goal is to bring the city’s commerce to a standstill. The group has called for a general strike, encouraging people to stay home from work and keep children out of school.

According to the Mercury News, the strike “will be the first of its kind in Oakland since 1946″ and could be “the biggest demonstration in the East Bay since the Vietnam War.”

Organizers are calling for marches, school closures and protests outside banks. The day is expected to culminate with a march to the Port of Oakland, the nation’s fifth-busiest port, at 7 p.m. local time.

Protesters hope to stop “the flow of capital” at the port.

Solidarity events are also scheduled to take place by Occupy movements in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

The Oakland event comes a little more than a week after violence erupted when police tried to clear protesters from the plaza outside City Hall. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has allowed the protesters to “occupy’ the plaza again and said in a statement she hopes Wednesday’s protests are peaceful and bring attention to the movement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread Nationwide

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Occupy Wall Street is sparking spinoffs, with protests taking place Thursday in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

In Los Angeles, protesters occupied a Bank of America building and were arrested.

The demonstrators have also taken to picketing the residence of a bank executive, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As part of Occupy Philadelphia, hundreds of people gathered at City Hall, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The chant, "We are the 99 percent," became the rallying cry of the demonstration, according to the paper.

It is a refrain that has been made popular by Occupy Wall Street and the blog the organization started that uses photos to portray the struggles of Americans.

The chant was carried to Washington, D.C. Thursday, where an anti-war protest that had been planned for months morphed into a catch-all protest inspired in part by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.

President Obama addressed the protests during a press conference at the White House Thursday morning.

"It expresses the frustrations that the American people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street," Obama said. "And yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place."

Back in New York, the ground zero of the movement, Occupy Wall Street was regrouping after holding its largest protest on Wednesday.

The demonstration drew thousands and was peaceful until the evening, when protesters tried to march toward the New York Stock Exchange.

"They tried to storm the barricades," a senior police official told ABC News' New York affiliate, WABC.

Police blocked the crowd and used pepper spray and batons to control them.

"That was a very small group of people and those do not reflect what has been consistently a very peaceful movement," one demonstrator told ABC News.

At least 24 arrests were made and some protesters are claiming the use of force was inappropriate.

Occupy Wall Street tweeted: "Videos starting 2 go up of cops beating #occupywallstreet peaceful protesters tonight. WARNING- graphic video."

City officials acknowledged they have been and continue to examine some of the behavior caught on camera Wednesday night showing officers forcefully swinging nightclubs.

"This is a city that values people's right to protest," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "But you don't have a right to charge police officers....We will enforce the law...there is a line you can't cross."

On Saturday, about 700 demonstrators were arrested after blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge.

While some on the ground welcome the concept of a showdown with the "1 percent," organizers, who claim to represent "the 99 percent" of Americans they say are being trampled on by the financial elite, say they remain committed to "non-violent" protest.

In the wake of the most recent arrests there has been a notable increase in the police presence around Zuccotti Park in New York.

The movement, which began on Sept. 17, has grown from a few hundred people in lower Manhattan to thousands across the country. While there is no official message or list of demands, the frustration being expressed over increasing economic inequality and perceived corporate greed is resonating.

There are now similar groups in at least five other states and major cities like Baltimore, Seattle, Nashville and Boston.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Violence Mars Union Rally with Wall Street Protesters

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Unions on Wednesday helped the group Occupy Wall Street occupy lower Manhattan.

But what began as a peaceful rally turned ugly as the night wore on. A small group of protesters tried to rush a police barricade, leading to 20 and 30 arrests. Some people were hit with batons and pepper-sprayed.

The incident marred an otherwise significant day for Occupy Wall Street, a movement that began three weeks ago with just a few dozen people camping out in a small area to protest corporate greed and high unemployment.

Their protests garnered the attention of various unions who share some of the same beliefs, namely, that the banks and the wealthy have gotten all the breaks and remained powerful during the long economic downturn while practically everyone else has been hurt.

What really caught the eye of more organized movements was the march on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday that led to more than 700 arrests.

Members of the Transit Workers Union, the Chinatown Tenants Union, and others marched Wednesday to Zuccotti Park where Occupy Wall Street has been camping out to show their solidarity. There were several thousand people at the rally.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Protesters: 'We're Americans'

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- They are hundreds strong, but the protesters calling themselves Occupy Wall Street claim to speak for millions.

"It's about democracy; it's about everyone here has a chance to speak and be heard," said Justin Brown of Brooklyn, who joined the protest a week ago.

Their causes include everything from global warming to gas prices to corporate greed, and the Occupy Wall Street website says organizers took their inspiration in part from the so-called Arab Spring demonstrations that have tried to bring democracy across the Arab world.

But while their message might be a tad muddled, all are united by their anger over what they say is a broken system, a system that serves the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the rest.

Protester Brendan Burke insists he and the others are fighting for more than 99 percent of the American population.

"Everyone has this problem," he said.  "White, black.  Rich or poor.  Where you live.  Everyone has a financial inequity oppressing them."

Few had heard of Occupy Wall Street two weeks ago when protesters moved into a park in the heart of New York's financial district.  But after 15 straight days, they are now getting the backing of prominent celebrities like documentary film maker Michael Moore and Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon.

They're also now backed by powerful labor unions with hundreds of thousands of members and millions of dollars behind them.

Sympathetic protests are popping up in other cities, including Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Providence, R.I., Albuquerque, N.M., and Spokane, Wash., with many demonstrations taking place Saturday.

The protests have been mostly peaceful.  That is, until Saturday, when 700 were arrested after a march on the Brooklyn Bridge spilled over from the pedestrian walkway onto the roadway, blocking traffic for several hours.  Most of the demonstrators who were arrested were given summonses and released.

While they may have a ways to go before attaining Tea Party-like influence, Occupy Wall Street backers say they hope their message will continue to gain momentum -- and will ultimately be heard in the 2012 elections.

In fact, some Tea Party members have been down to Lower Manhattan to lend their support.  Both groups are fed up with the status quo.

Still, the protesters insist they are not all Democrats nor Republicans.

"We're Americans," said Justin Brown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests Spread Across the Country

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Occupy Wall Street movement, growing to more than 1,500 people in its second week, called for a march in lower Manhattan Saturday at 3 p.m. to “show that it is time that the 99% are heard.”

“We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent,” read a post on the Occupy Wall Street website.

The  protests started on Sept. 17. On Friday, about 1,500 demonstrators took their protest to the New York Police Department headquarters.

The demonstrators, who are speaking out against corporate greed and social inequality, say they have been unnecessarily roughed up by police.

The turnout may have been so high because a rumor circulated that the band Radiohead would perform at the event. The band did not appear.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the demonstrations on the WOR 710 radio show Friday, according to multiple media reports.

“The protesters are protesting against people who make $40,000 to $50,000 a year who are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the bottom line,” Bloomberg said.

When asked how the NYPD would handle protests, Bloomberg said that while people have the right to protest, others also have the right “to walk down the street unmolested.”

The protests have spread across the country, with events popping up in Boston and Chicago in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

A march and rally was held in Boston Friday called “Take Back Boston” run by the Right to the City alliance, a national organization that “seeks to create regional and national impacts in the fields of housing, human rights, urban land, community development, civic engagement, criminal justice, environmental justice, and more,” according to its website.

Police estimated about 3,000 people attended the events Friday.

“We are targeting Wall Street, in particular the big banks and corporations,” Rachel Laforest, the executive director of the Right to the City Alliance told ABC News. “The goal is to create a national narrative and have it be known how the states are taking state revenues that are being funneled to banks and corporations and then you layer on top of that the fact that they’re not obligated to pay their fair share of taxes, and so that’s billions and billions of dollars that could be put toward job creation and creating solutions to the housing crisis.”

Saturday's events in Boston will continue with a “Take Back the Block” festival. At least 1,500 have registered for the festival.

Along with New York and Boston, an Occupy Chicago movement has emerged, with nearly 100 people gathering in front of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. The protests have been peaceful and no arrests have been reported.

Occupy Los Angeles protests which have also been small in numbers, has called for a march Saturday at 10 a.m. from Pershing Square downtown to City Hall.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Troy Davis Execution Incites Outrage, Protests

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks to the media while leading a group of demonstrators calling for Georgia state officials to halt the scheduled execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia, on September 21, 2011. ERIK S. LESSER/AFP/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Hip hop stars used Twitter on Wednesday to urge their fans to protest and the NAACP has scheduled a news conference in an effort halt this evening's execution of convicted Georgia cop killer Troy Davis.

Davis' attorneys have launched a series of last-ditch efforts just hours before he is scheduled to receive a lethal injection for the 1989 murder of Savannah cop Mark MacPhail.

A Georgia board of pardons and paroles Wednesday rejected Davis' offer to take a lie detector test, and his attorney Brian Kammer submitted a petition to the county where the jail is located to block the execution, although it is unclear whether the jail has any jurisdiction.

Davis, 42, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. He has refused the option of a final meal. His lawyers said he will spend his remaining hours with friends, family, and supporters instead.

He has spent 22 years on death row and in recent years support for his plea of innocence has grown as several witnesses recanted their testimony that he fired the shot that killed MacPhail. His impending execution has brought those efforts to a head.

In the 24 hours before his scheduled death, a flurry of messages on Twitter using the hashtags #TroyDavis and #TooMuchDoubt showed thousands of supporters of Davis who were intent on flooding the Jackson District Attorney's office, Georgia Judge Penny Freezeman's office, and the U.S. Attorney General's office with phone calls and emails to beg for a stay on the execution.

Some users accused Twitter of blocking the topic from trending on Tuesday, though a representative from Twitter told ABC News there was no such action taken. The hashtags were trending Wednesday in cities around the U.S. as well as Germany, the U.K., Sweden, and France. Many Tweets called the case a symbol of a return to Jim Crow laws and racial inequalities in the justice system.

Big Boi, a member of the group Outkast, tweeted to his followers to go to the Georgia state prison in Jackson to protest the decision. The Roots' Questlove tweeted a similar message.

A press conference held by the NAACP and the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will call for intervention to save Davis. The NAACP has not made it clear whether they will appeal to President Obama for help.

Amnesty International, which has been fighting on behalf of Davis, encouraged supporters to attend a vigil at the church across the street from the prison and a protest and asked participants to wear a black armband and write on it, "Not in my name!"

Others who have voiced support for Davis include former president Jimmy Carter, the pope and a former FBI director.

Davis's execution has been stayed four times for appeals since his conviction in 1989, and the Supreme Court gave him a rare chance to prove his innocence last year, but rejected his plea.

A Georgia board of pardons and paroles rejected Davis's plea for clemency on Tuesday.

The parole board said Wednesday that it will not reconsider its decision and the execution will go forward.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio