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San Jose Occupiers remain vigilant after arrests
On the backdrop of 7 reported extrajudicial killings by San Jose police this year, Occupy San Jose demonstrators were arrested for the fourth time within five days.
The police, acting on the discretion of City officials, made their raids in the early hours of Tuesday morning, waking-up the protesters from sleeping outside of City Hall.
The demonstrators, however, are determined to continue with their occupation. Since their belongings have been repeatedly confiscated by police, they are seeking donations in the form of boxes, markers, water, nonperishable foods, tents and sleeping bags. The organizers said that these donations can be dropped off at the curb of City Hall in downtown San Jose (on the corner of Fourth St. and E. Santa Clara St.) where there are demonstrating.
On Monday, one protester took matters into his own hands when he scaled the side of the City Hall Wing building, dropping a banner that reads: “10 Idling Vehicles, 14 Police Officers, 4 Peaceful Protesters, Is Your Money Being Spent Wisely San Jose?” He remained there on Tuesday.
“To me, it is obvious that the City does not want to have these protesters here,” Gus Gonzales, a demonstrator and San Jose resident, said. “The cops are not the bad guys. It’s the City that tells them what to do,” he added.
Also on Tuesday, a contingent of occupiers attended the San Jose City Council meeting, handing them a written statement with 25 signatories. The letter stated that the rights of the occupiers should be respected by the police, and called on the City Manager Debra Figone to retract false accusations that the protesters have conducted themselves in an uncivil manner.
It also complained that police and city officials have done nothing to protect the occupiers from outside harassment and even death threats.
“The occupiers are following all laws, remaining peaceful, respectful- anything and everything we can do just so that we may be allowed to exercise our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech,” the statement read.
Photo by Joanne Coppo of activist Cracker when he scaled the San Jose City Hall building.