Earlier Friday, Occupy Harrisburg protesters delayed the start of a hearing on a plan to redraw the boundaries of Pennsylvania's legislative districts by chanting and clapping for about 40 minutes. Just as the Legislative Reapportionment Commission prepared to open the hearing, about two dozen activists began a loud call-and-response chant that drowned out the chairman's attempts to restore order. They took turns shouting slogans such as "We are the 99 percent!" and "This is what democracy looks like!" The protesters left after hearing reports that the city was trying to shut down their base at the foot of the Capitol steps.
A group of Occupy Nashville protesters disrupted a discussion with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about his memoir, "Known and Unknown," and were ejected by security. The group says in a press release that an anonymous donor purchased four $125-a-plate dinners that allowed protesters to enter the Thursday night event, which was sponsored by the conservative Washington think tank the Heritage Foundation at a downtown Nashville hotel. They mingled with the crowd before standing up, one by one, and accusing Rumsfeld of being a war criminal. They also suggested Rumsfeld should go outside and submit to a citizen's arrest. Heritage spokesman Matthew Streit confirmed that four protesters caused what he called a "brief interruption" of the discussion.
Police say five people have been arrested after chaining themselves to a tree and refusing to leave during an Occupy Austin protest. Police Chief Art Acevedo says a sixth person chained to the tree Thursday night agreed to leave peacefully and was not detained. Austin officials have asked protesters to move from a public plaza several nights a week, so the area can be cleaned. Police say several who hooked themselves to a tree declined to move around 11 p.m. Thursday and were arrested on criminal trespass charges. No injuries have been reported.
An 84-year-old woman who was pepper sprayed this week at an Occupy Seattle protest says the national attention she received can help the movement's cause. Dorli Rainey addressed a crowd of about 100 people Friday afternoon who had marched to police headquarters downtown. Rainey was at an Occupy Seattle event Tuesday evening when police used pepper spray on the protesters. A picture of Rainey taken immediately after she was hit by the chemical irritant was published worldwide. Police say the group Rainey was in was blocking traffic and ignored orders to disperse.
Protesters facing a legal battle over the right to stay camped outside St. Paul's Cathedral said Friday they have taken over a building owned by the UBS bank in east London. Occupy London, whose protest against capitalist excess was inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street movement, said on its website it took over the abandoned office block in the neighborhood of Hackney overnight in a "public repossession." It is the first time the group has successfully occupied a building. UBS, which confirmed it owns the empty building, said it is aware of the situation and is taking the appropriate legal action.
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