Taking a page out of other cities' books, police in Dallas launched a 1:00 a.m. raid on the local Occupy Wall Street protest Thursday morning, removing tents and arresting about 20 people. The camp, which was relatively small compared to some other cities, was cleared out in less than an hour with little resistance.
About 100 people had been camped out in City Hall Park a few days before, but police showed up around midnight local time and announced that protesters would have to leave or face arrest. Most went voluntarily and only about 20 or 30 remained when police in riot gear moved in, going tent to tent to seek out and remove stragglers.
City Councilwoman Angela Hunt called the heavy police response "vast overkill," but added later that cops were "very respectful & professional. Protesters responded peacefully." Hunt also said they she and rest of the council only learned of the raid minutes before it happened. and that the 20 minute notice was hardly sufficient.
The eviction is the latest in what appears to be a coordinated effort to put an end to the encampments all across the country this week. New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and Portland were are scenes of confrontation between protesters and police since Monday. Thursday marks the 2-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and several large events are planned by organizers. The biggest of them will be an attempt to shut down the New York Stock Exchange in advance of this morning's opening bell.