Occupy Tucson Evicted Yet Again.Many Arrests.
The Tucson Police Department has evicted Occupy Tucson from a third park as of noon today, that is if you don’t count the ill conceived poorly executed attempt at a previous location.
The police came to the De Anza Park yesterday morning with four officers at 09:30 and gave notice of a pending eviction saying that they had received numerous complaints. They were going to attempt trespassing charges this time is what I heard, but as yet we do not know how the approximately 20 protesters who were arrested between 10:00 and 12:00 are being charged.
Just following the ALEC/Shut Down the Corporations solidarity march late afternoon yesterday, two Occupy Tucson members who were attempting to leave after the event had ended were run up upon and roughly tackled by several TPD officers with no justifiable provocation then promptly arrested and hustled into a van and whisked away.
From the City of Tucson statutes Code :
Sec. 11-36. Sitting and lying down on public sidewalks in downtown and neighborhood commercial zones.
Sec. 11-36.1. Purpose and intent. Pursuant to Chapter IV, Sections 1(19) and (21) of the Charter, mayor and council find as follows:
(a) Public sidewalks in business districts are created and maintained for the primary purpose of enabling pedestrians to safely and efficiently move about from place to place, facilitating deliveries of goods and services, and providing potential customers with convenient access to goods and services.
Section 11-36.2. Prohibited conduct; exceptions.
(4) Who is exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, including free exercise of religion, speech and assembly; provided, however, that the person sitting or lying on the public sidewalk remains at least eight (8) feet from any doorway or business entrance, leaves open a five (5) foot path and does not otherwise block or impede pedestrian traffic.
This Occupy encampment was actually located on an unused city owned easement whose perimeter was the same sidewalks which surround De Anza Park.
For your further consideration is the unlikely coincidence that Occupy Tucson has been awaiting a ruling on a Motion to Dismiss on First Amendment grounds hearing held two weeks ago tomorrow in City Court where the presiding magistrate, Judge Dingeldine had said he would render his decision sometime last week.
It is beginning to look like Occupy Tucson needs private land upon which to build it’s next protest hub/”new” community model and lucky for us, we have a couple of prospects in that direction that have come up at perhaps just the right time.
Stay Strong and Take Care of One Another.
Looks like the total of today’s arrestees came to 24, one of whom, Lupe, a great guy, reliable Occupier, generous of time and spirit, and proud representative of the first nations, is one of the two who were also arrested last night. I hope he doesn’t get singled out for special attention solely based upon two arrests in two days; and remarkably the charges being filed are allegations of violation of the above cited city code; which is patently ridiculous, no such violation occurred.