‘Occupy’ Protest Takes Over City Hall Plaza
By Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News and ReportingTexas.com
The Occupy Wall Street protests have spread from New York City to Austin. About 150 Occupy Austin protesters pumped their fists and raised hand-drawn signs condemning Wall Street greed at this morning’s protest at City Hall.
Cars driving along Cesar Chavez St. honked in support.
David Van Os, a lawyer from Austin who spoke at the protest, called the occupy protests that have swept the nation inevitable and unstoppable.
“These ideas here of standing up against corporate greed and banker tyranny that have sparked this movement, these are spreading, they are not going to be stopped,” Van Os told KUT News. “There’s a magic in democracy, that when truth spreads, and involves enough people, it can’t be stopped.”
Organizers expected 1,000 participants to join Occupy Austin by the end of the day, organizer Lauren Welger said.
“It will grow throughout the day as more people are able to get off work,” Welger told KUT News.
Participants said they would stay in 24-hour shifts to maintain a presence in front of City Hall until their demands are met.
However, a city ordinance forbids camping out in front of City Hall. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that if protestors do camp out tonight, they could be arrested.
“We will first put them on notice to make sure they understand they are breaking the law, and then they’ll either voluntarily comply with the request to move along or we’ll take the appropriate enforcement action,” Acevedo told KUT News. “Depends on the circumstance. It could be anywhere from citation to a physical arrest.”