texshelters

Posts Tagged ‘Police’

The Mainstream Media Ignores Illegal Arrests of Tucson Occupiers

In Current Events, Occupy Movement on April 7, 2012 at 21:28

Arrests at Occupy Tucson from azstarnet.com

On Friday, March 23, Paul Gattone, the lawyer representing many of the Occupy Tucson arrestees, held a press conference to protest the Tucson Police Department’s recent actions against the occupiers at Vente de Agosto park downtown. Despite the fact that five occupiers had been arrested two nights before the press conference, and two the night before, no mainstream media turned up.

One might think that seven arrests resulting from the police going after political activists would seem to warrant some news coverage, but the decision makers at the mainstream news outlets in Tucson decided not to cover either the arrest of the occupiers or the press conference denouncing the police actions.

Some of the extra-legal actions and abuse of authority by the Tucson Police Department that were highlighted in Mr. Gattone’s press release include:

1. Camping gear is now illegal, according to the TPD. The TPD even stated that it was illegal for one of the Occupiers to have his truck parked alongside the park because it had camping gear in it. No ordinance was, however, cited by TPD regarding laws against having camping gear in the back of one’s vehicle.

2. The police have repeatedly ignored the city park curfew of 10:30 p.m. to illegally arrest people whose crime appears to be holding signs. On the evening of Friday, March 23, 2012 at around 9:30 p.m., three individuals were arrested while walking within the four feet easement mandated by the police the night before. The victims were protesting with signs; no blankets or any other personal possessions were present. One individual was reportedly knocked to the ground and injured as the TPD arrested the three.

3. Among the illegal and irresponsible police actions are constantly-changing definitions of park and sidewalk boundaries and the subsequent entrapping and arresting of protestors.

4. The TPD has exercised selective enforcement, violated their own policies with regard to handling evidence, and refused to return personal property of protestors in deliberate indifference to the law. Many occupiers had their possessions confiscated without property receipts given to them as is mandated by city law. Moreover, for many of the protestors, the jackets, clothes, shoes and other necessities taken by the TPD and never returned constitute all of their worldly possessions. Regardless of what you think of Occupy Tucson, the police actions constitute illegal seizure of property.

The unlawful actions and abuses of Occupy Tucson by the TPD warrants investigation and reporting. However, the mainstream media is only interested in scratching the surface of a story and not taking a longer view of a new movement.

Thus, even when the local media reports on Occupy Tucson, they report various allegations about there, e.g., “being a split” in the movement, or about drugs being used, or fights, or anything that will get attention and ratings so they can sell more car commercials on the page or at the next news break. These stories are part fabrication, part conflation and none of these stories are backed up by interviews with actual occupiers.

Instead, the media relies on “official sources” and, in our case, that means the police, Chief Villasenor, and the city council; the media seldom actually talks to the people in movement. It is true that the mainstream media did give some coverage to the Occupy movement in its early days last fall, but now that coverage has disappeared. We have to ask why is it that they no longer seem to have any interest in covering the occupy movement. Is it because Occupy is no longer the new and novel sensation that it was in October? Is the decision to ignore the movement intentional, and why is Occupy Tucson no longer news worthy? Are they saving an extra column of space or five extra minutes to cover, for example, the new Arizona football coach even though the economic and political inequality Occupy Tucson focuses on effects everyone?

Whatever the reason, this lack of media coverage presents a problem for Occupy Tucson and all social movements because in the modern world of politics it often seems that if you aren’t covered in the mass media, you don’t exist. Thus, members of Occupy Tucson, even though we undertake actions of creative disobedience that result in a whole string of arrests, are then asked by members of the public whether we even exist because “they don’t hear anything about the Occupy movement anymore.” On the positive side, the experience of being frozen out of the mainstream media has reminded all of us at Occupy Tucson why it is that alternative media is so important.

Peace,
Occupy Tucson
Co-authored by Greg Evans, Paul Gattone, and Tex Shelters of Occupy Tucson with help others in OT


Some Liberal Commie Police Refuse to use Pepper Spray on Occupy Groups

In Current Events, Economics, Education on November 23, 2011 at 02:34

Police who don’t pepper spray protesters are too liberal.

 

These students post a threat http://www.guardian.co.uk

There are communists running our police departments across America and we must put a stop to them before the Occupy Movement really gets out of control.

Take a look at this video at UC Davis.

If you take a close look, you can see a large police officer in his riot gear, standing over the protesters who are sitting crouched and bent over and obviously posing a threat to the police by being submissive. He and other officers needed to spray those threatening college kids. Those students have been breaking the law by trespassing on college campus grounds. Do they think the universities are there for students? What gives them the right to protest tuition increases? Where is it written that they can ask their grievances to be addressed? Frankly, we should pepper spray anyone who dares to speak out of turn when they should be silent. It is a valid use of force.

Every teacher in America that doesn’t have a can of pepper spray in their desk drawer next to their 9 mm is a liberal coward. Besides, pepper spray is a food product, essentially.

Bus drivers across America should have pepper spray to deal with unruly passengers and to spice up their chinese take out. Parents should have pepper spray given to them when they have a child just in case. The point is, there are many socialist police departments out there that have yet to use pepper spray on their local Occupy Movement, and we need to black list them and call them out for the coward they are.

Other things that police can do to prove they are real Americans include:

More rubber bullets and concussion grenades, especially when protesters try to help an injured person. 

Water board protesters. Since it’s not torture (it’s just enhanced interrogation) no problem.

Blast in a cavalcade of worst songs ever to the occupiers including “MacArthur Park” by  Richard Harris, “(You’re) Having My Baby” by Paul Anka, “We Built This City” by Starship, Uptown Girl by Billy Joel, and many many more!

Collaborate with other mayors to crack down on free speech. Call in the Police Executive Research Forum or PERF. PERF those protesters!

Whatever you do, side with the 1%. While they may take money from your 401k for their yachts, poison our water supply for profit, privatize your kids school and ask tuition while lowering standards, sell you out to the banks, bring back child labor and get rid of the eight hour day and minimum wage, it’s better than having to listen to a bunch of hippies and getting upset with our nations economic and political problems that they unpatriotically discuss.

Yours,
Tex Shelters

Occupy Tucson Rousted From Park Despite Agreement with Permit Holders

In Current Events on November 4, 2011 at 21:13

from tucsonsentinel.com

In yet another example of police protecting property and the law of the 1% above the Constitution, people, and common sense, Occupy Tucson has been evicted from Armory Park to nearby Viente de Agosto Park, around 12:30 AM on Nov 4th.

To move the 20 overnight occupants of the park, the police department used 60 police officers. Was this use of taxpayers money and overwhelming force really necessary to move the peaceful group? Although Occupy Tucson was evicted, the police did let other members come and help the overnight residents move their tents to the nearby location.

The police didn’t use tear gas, concussion grenades or other use of force as they have in Oakland, Tulsa and other cities, and they didn’t arrest those present with few exceptions. However, the move was unnecessary. Occupy Tucson had already come to an agreement with the permit holders for their Nov. 5th Little Angels celebration to move their tents out of the way of the celebration and to monitor the event to keep it safe and fun. The police either didn’t talk to the permit holders or care about the cooperation between the groups. A spokesperson for the Little Angels event assured me that a letter was sent to the police about our agreement and cooperation for the Nov. 5th event. The letter appeared to make no difference in their decision to evict the group.

It is also unclear whether the police were “just following orders” of the city manager, mayor and council, but in Albany, the police refused orders to arrest protesters.

While the new location is strategically located, it lacks the public facilities, power, toilets and size provided by Armory Park. And who knows what excuse the police will use to evict the group from the new location. It is clear that unless the city manager, mayor, or city council steps in to support the group, the harassment may continue unabated with more citations being issued.

Contact the mayor and city council of Tucson to let the occupiers practice their First Amendment rights peacefully and secure from police state interference.

Mayor Bob Walkup, mayor1@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-4201

Ward 1 Council Member Regina Romero, ward1@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-4040

Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham, ward2@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-4687

Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich, ward3@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-4711

Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott, ward4@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-3199

Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres, ward5@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-4231

Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik, ward6@tucsonaz.gov, (520) 791-4601

Peace,
Tex Shelters