The Occupy movement has been in the news a lot the last few days. The latest developments include the evictions of protesters around the country, even in New York and Oakland where it was strongest. My own exposure to the protests came when my lady and I were in downtown Athens, Ga., a few days ago. We had a tasty Southern breakfast at the Mayflower, a nice little restaurant just off the campus of the University of Georgia. Afterwards, we took a stroll.
Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta was once again the scene of protests and arrests Saturday night as Occupy Atlanta demonstrators clashed with police. Nineteen protestors were arrested, many for refusing to stay on sidewalks and blocking city streets, after demonstrators began an impromptu march down Peachtree Street. Occupy Atlanta demonstrators vowed to once again camp out in Woodruff Park despite a warning from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed that anyone remaining in the park after it closed at 11 p.m. would be arrested. However, protestors began exiting the park shortly after the deadline as dozens of police officers on motorcycles and horses—some in riot gear, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution—encircled the park preparing to make arrests. A handful of protestors remained in the park and were arrested, a symbolic move by the protestors one Occupy Atlanta spokesperson told Atlanta’s WSB-TV.
The protests in Lower Manhattan have been going on for more than a month. Other protests have steadily built in recent weeks, with large numbers of people turning out in cities from Boston to Los Angeles. Though predominantly young, protesters include older and middle-aged people as well. Some have jobs, others are unemployed and they represent just about every race and ethnicity. The messages and wants of the protesters are just as varied.