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Faced with evictions, occupy movement protesters look to new tactics

Disrupted by police, Occupy movements in several major cities now mobilize largely during daytime hours or through marches designed around specific issues. Some are aligning with local community groups, churches, and unions.

Boston police officers remove an Occupy Boston protester from Dewey Square in Boston before dawn Saturday. More than 40 people were peacefully arrested as the park was cleared. The city had set a Thursday midnight deadline for protesters to leave or face eviction.

Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe/AP

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As the Occupy movement heads into the cold winter months, the movement is counting on ingenuity, good luck and – in one case – the federal courts to keep it mobilized outside financial districts and city halls across the United States.

The greatest challenge to date are the evictions by city governments that complain that overnight camping in city parks violates curfew laws and threatens public health and safety. Occupy movements in several major cities – Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles – were disrupted by police action and now mobilize largely during daytime hours or through marches designed around specific issues special to each city.

Protesters in all these cities argue the evictions violate free speech rights and that the use of curfew laws is hollow considering they are rarely enforced, especially before the Occupy movement became a mobilized presence on the streets.

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The latest eviction happened early Friday morning in Boston where police arrested over 40 people at Dewey Square, where protesters had camped for 10 weeks. Showing up at 5 a.m., police removed about 150 protesters. The removal took about an hour and is described by people on both sides as largely peaceful with many leaving voluntarily.


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