Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Occupy Wall Street movement causes chaos from Baltimore to the West Coast. In downtown Seattle, police used pepper spray to break up a rowdy protest, injuring an 84-year-old woman and a pregnant woman. It’s one of many violent confrontations around the country as protesters take over public parks and busy streets.
Derek Valcourt spoke with the mayor about the future of the movement here in Baltimore.
From New York to Portland to Denver, police have been cracking down on Occupy campsites. The crackdown comes after mayors from 18 cities took part in a conference call to discuss challenges with Occupy protests turning public spaces into small tent cities.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was on the call.
“This is an international and national movement. This is their tactic. We are trying to get the movement to move on, literally, to something differently than encampments,” Quan said.
A spokesperson for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declined to say whether she was one of the mayors on that conference call but the mayor has expressed concerns about this encampment, which has now been here for more than six weeks.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, the mayor acknowledged protesters are ignoring rules prohibiting camping at the Inner Harbor site but she would not specify how the city plans to deal with the Occupy encampment.
“I’ve asked that the tents be removed and we are going to deal with it at a time of our choosing,” she said.
“Probably the time is coming that they are going to take some action. I actually talked to the mayor last night and thanked her for keeping out of this so far and she told me it won’t be forever and the tents have got to go,” said Jenny Gaeng.
Occupy Wall Street protests are also planned in Spain, Belgium and Germany.