Monday, December 22, 2014

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City officials clear out Occupy Albany from Academy Park

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Albany/HV: City officials clear out Occupy Albany from Academy Park
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- The 7 a.m. deadline came and went. The occupiers were still here. But at about 2 p.m., the City of Albany's Department of General Services and the Albany Police Department swooped in to clear out Academy Park.

Protesters were loud as ever as police officers tried to keep them at bay while DGS workers packed up occupiers' belongings, stuffed them into recycling bins and hauled them away.

That set off a number of impromptu protests. Some occupiers openly berated police officers, calling them cowards.

Others screamed, "How could you do this to the homeless?" That, belying a chief criticism of the movement that it's becoming somewhat of a housing community.

Protesters said they feel betrayed as they allege city officials assured them they would not just swoop in and clear them out. But that was not the case.

Occupy Albany attorney Mark Mischler said, "At 3:30 or 4 o'clock last evening we were giving assurance that there would not be drastic action taken. Quite clearly by the size of the papers that were submitted to the court this morning, they were engaging in a very deliberate deception of us and of the public."

"People have been living here," yelled one woman to police. "You are taking their home and all of their possessions."

The city has yet to make a formal announcement about this. They are expected to hold a press conference shortly.

The occupiers planned to have a protest around 5:30 p.m. What happens at that point? We'll just have to wait and see. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP