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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons

Calling Deputies "Puppets"--Cause For Arrest? Updates from the War Zone
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 15th, 2011 9:44 AM
This is a response to the Sentinel's latest excuse for local reporting ("Santa Cruz officials not expected to dismantle Occupy camp Wednesday" at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_19334731). It was originally part of the comments to that Sentinel story. I added several paragraphs and I'm reprinting here as an update. Illness and other obligations have been taking their toll on me, but I'm still getting reports by phone and doing interviews which I'll be playing Thursday night 6-8 PM.
PROPERTY SEIZURES CONTINUE AT PROTEST
After seizing survival tents and protest signs last night (a fact ignored by the First Amendment-challenged Sentinel), Sheriff Wowak's deputies have returned again tonight--according to occupysantacruz twitter--and warned of further officially-orchestrated mayhem to come. In response to the sheriff's "no lodging" (=no occupation) written notices of last night, protesters countered with this notice at midnight a few hours ago when the sheriffs returned with their armed threats: http://twitpic.com/7eeyej .

While City bureaucrats simultaneously talk "negotiation" and drag Occupy Santa Cruz into court on bogus Public Nuisance charges, looks like the deputies may be coordinating their efforts with the attacks on Oakland, Portland, and now NYC (Occupy Wall Street) itself. This assault is a violent move to remove those who so visibly and persistently have said "no" to the economic train wreck the wealthy and powerful are creating. All the while covering their protest-removal with the usual "drugs", "homeless", "poopoo", and "lawlessness" media shitstorm.

A TALE OF TWO COUNCILMEN
At the same time (late Monday morning) that Vice-Mayor Don Lane was meeting with a large group of OSC interesting in hearing his legitimate concerns and expressing theirs, Deputy Chief Steve Clark and other cops were roaming the campground noting down tent details and urging campers to leave with scarestories about a raid "even before Wednesday" (Wednesday is the day of the Injunction hearing).

Lane, Dannettee Shoemaker (head of Parks and Rec), and another city notable took an hour or two to chat with protesters facing Injunction-by-day and Citations-by-night. They also chatted wtih the press and scheduled another meeting--making no promises to do anything. It's unclear but perhaps Lane's only "accomplishment" was to assure people (whether accurately or not is unclear) that yes, OSC can put portapotties down by the campsite. The same tiresome excuses about not opening the perfectly usable park bathroom, of course.

This was in stark contrast to the response of (for example) Berkeley's Councilman Kris Worthington who issued a strong statement supporting specific action and denouncing police abuse. I append this letter below as a separate document, but one worth reading. Admittedly there are strong protests scheduled in Berkeley after the UCPD riot last week, but the contrast between Worthington and Lane is noteworthy. Worthington makes strong statements and commits himself to aggressive action; Lane can't even commit himself to opposing the Injunction (which he concealed on the very day it was being discussed and didn't deny voting for).

Anybody actually seen any verification of the alleged "health" concerns that are being used to smear the protest?

NY JUDGE SAYS NO! TO POLICE RAID
Judge Lucy Billings of the New York State Supreme Court just issued an emergency TRO against the NYPD for their unlawful seizure and destruction of property as well as the unlawful destruction of people peaceably assembled in the midnight raid against Liberty Square (Occupy Wall Street) in NYC. Occupy Santa Cruz supporters need to do the same here given the continuous threats, seizure of tents, false "lodging" tickets, and--most recently--the seizure and failure to return actual protest signs by deputies apparently acting as political enforcers.


OSC activists also reported this morning that deputies in plainclothes roughed up and falsely arrested Austin, a community member, accusing him of tampering with a sheriff's car. Several minutes earlier, a deputy reportedly called in the city cops to complain that deputies were being called "puppets". How could anyone could possibly think this of deputies who've been doing midnight spoiling raids, giving out unconstitutional citations and seizing property and sign?

According to camper Chris. UCSC students Austin and Joe were accosted by another deputy who leveled a false charge against them of ""interfering with a vehicle". Two witnesses reportedly saw Austin slammed against the deputy's car, then arrested along with one of the witnesses. A second deputy in a second car also then reportedly arrived and refused to give his badge number or name. He finally did so after activists stood in front of his car and refused to let him go until he followed proper procedure. Hmm, is Santa Cruz finally beginning to stand up to police state behavior that was previously passed as "business as usual"?

Reportedly two appearances by SCPD officers on the scene were unavailing in persuading deputies to maintain a professional attitude.

You won't be reading about this anytime soon in the Sentinel. But check out indybay.org/santacruz and occupysantacruz facebook or twitter to catch the latest. Or bring down a thermos of coffee and some warm clothing and check things out for yourself. The more eyes, voices, and cameras the better.

Tomorrow at 8:15 AM is the next step in the City's ratcheting up the pressure on the OSC campground with an Injunction hearing. Ed Frey and Steve Pleich will try to have the matter shunted to federal court. Come and observe the smooth workings of the judicial juggernaut.
§Occupy of Santa Cruz
by responds Tuesday Nov 15th, 2011 12:04 PM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Worthington (posted by Norse)
Tuesday Nov 15th, 2011 10:04 AM

Subject: Stop U.C. Police Violence
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 15:03:36 -0800
From: KWorthington [at] ci.berkeley.ca.us
To: kworthington [at] cityofberkeley.info

An Open Letter To the Berkeley and University Community and Friends of Nonviolence Everywhere,

The U.C. Police Department recently used violence against Berkeley students, workers, faculty and community supporters on November 9. This was unprovoked, unexpected, unjustified and unreasonable. The General Assembly at the event had publicly and clearly committed to nonviolence, and the participants appear to have maintained their nonviolence despite the violence inflicted on them. The police clearly could have arrested individuals rather than repeatedly hitting them with batons and grabbing them by their hair. There are multiple videos documenting the police use of excessive force. The Stephen Colbert commentary mentions “spearing a small Asian girl in the spleen first” but there appeared to be a true reflection of diversity in Black, White, Asian, Arab and Latino students and workers equally assaulted by the Police.

I believe it is important for the community to stand up and speak out against this injustice. See suggestions below. To avoid confusion, the City of Berkeley Police have not been reported to be part of this violence, it is the U.C P.D.

U.C. Police also appear to have violated multiple people’s legitimate rights to free speech and freedom of assembly. There are reports of U.C. Police tearing down legally posted notices of the event. U.C. Police also confiscated at least one banner and a banner or poster at the event and the U.C. Police Chief declined to answer my questions why. Instead the U.C. Police Chief’s unprofessional response was “I know what I am doing. I’ve been in law enforcement for twenty-nine years, and how many years have you done it?” From the antagonistic tone of the response I knew this was an overly stressed person, but I counted on the Chancellor to provide leadership, so I emailed both the Chancellor and the Chief. Unfortunately the Chancellor was apparently out of town and has subsequently sought to justify the U.C. Police violence by blaming the nonviolent protesters. I was personally present for most of the afternoon and evening and saw only one-sided violence by the Police and none by the students. (Admittedly, some of that time, I was on my cell phone addressing blighted buildings, helicopter noise complaints, returning calls, and taking care of City business, but I still had my eyes and ears out for any problems on Sproul.)

As I stated in my email to the Chancellor before the U.C. Police violence: “ These students have made a firm commitment to no violence and no vandalism . The University should be commending the thousands of students that are participating. For many, this could be their very first political protest of their lives. They are protesting specifically for additional financing for the University of California. The University should support this enthusiasm and help encourage this to be an effective protest that helps the University and our country. “

I believe it is important for the community to stand up and speak out against this injustice. This is a moral issue, not just a political issue. There are multiple ways to help. These include:

1. Writing a letter or email to the Chancellor, and/or the media. Chancellor [at] berkeley.edu

2. Asking your friends or groups to write letters or sign petitions.

3. Become an observer to reduce the likelihood of violence when more people are watching.

4. Donate time or money to support these courageous students, and/or hold a fundraiser/educational event.

5. Show up on Sproul on Tuesday November 15 starting at noon. 2 p.m. is the rally and 5 p.m. is the General Assembly for the follow up event organizers have titled Open University

6. Join those of us who are pledging to put our bodies with, or in between the U.C. Police and the students to discourage U.C. Police from further violence. Please email Alejandro Soto-Vigil if you are willing to make this pledge at asoto-vigil [at] cityofberkeley.info

7. Advocate for dropping the trumped up charges against these nonviolent protesters.

8. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to help, or have any suggestions for what we should do.

Kriss Worthington
Councilmember
City of Berkeley, District 7
2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-7170 phone
(510) 981-7177 fax
kworthington [at] cityofberkeley.info
by Ed Natol
( ednatol [at] hotmail.com ) Tuesday Nov 15th, 2011 4:36 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/judge-rules-against-occupy-wall-street-encampment-215554380.html

..NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge has upheld the city's dismantling of the Occupy Wall Street encampment, saying that the protesters' first amendment rights don't entitle them to camp out indefinitely in the plaza.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman on Tuesday denied a motion by the demonstrators seeking to be allowed back into the park with their tents and sleeping bags.

Police cleared out the protesters in a nighttime sweep early Tuesday. The judge upheld the city's effective eviction of the protesters after an emergency appeal by the National Lawyers Guild.

The protesters have been camped out in privately owned Zuccotti Park since mid-September. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he ordered the sweep because health and safety conditions and become "intolerable" in the crowded plaza.

..
by Berkeley Daily Planet
Tuesday Nov 15th, 2011 6:12 PM
link:
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Nov 16th, 2011 3:20 AM
Yesterday's decision suspending the TRO, which Ed Natol references above, is further discussed in this Guardian article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/16/occupy-wall-street-return-manhattan-park .

It's interesting that NYPD refused to open the park in spite of the earlier TRO requiring it, ignoring the decision until they could get another judge to reverse it.

We'll see if the Occupy attorneys appeal, and--more important--if the people accept this 'protest and freeze" decision.

Meanwhile in Santa Cruz--OSC legal supporters strike back. See "Occupy Santa Cruz supporters take battle to court" at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_19346132 .
by Jake Bradley
Wednesday Nov 16th, 2011 2:28 PM
From Portland to St. Louis, the Occupy protests have been gaining momentum and continue to be front-page news. The protests sent me to the dictionary (where else?) to look up the etymology of the word “occupy.” I found an unexpected obsolete definition. The term occupy formerly meant something very different than its current common meaning. From the early 1500s to the 1800s, occupy was used to refer to sexual relations, as in “to occupy a woman” as defined in the Lexicon Balatronicum in 1811.

That's funny
by Ed Natol
( ednatol [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday Nov 16th, 2011 7:47 PM
"It's interesting that NYPD refused to open the park in spite of the earlier TRO requiring it, ignoring the decision until they could get another judge to reverse it.

We'll see if the Occupy attorneys appeal, and--more important--if the people accept this 'protest and freeze" decision.

Meanwhile in Santa Cruz--OSC legal supporters strike back. See "Occupy Santa Cruz supporters take battle to court" at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_19346132"

No point letting them back in if you're only going to clear them out in 6 hours. Or it could have been that the park was not yet cleaned. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the second judge upheld the ruling.

While it's the Sentinel's mistake, that headline bugs me. OSC was going to battle in court one way or the other, they're just trying to tip the field in their favor. Chatting with the people that I know that are "into law", my guess is that it's about a 20% chance that it won't get kicked back down to the county court.

Several minutes earlier, a deputy reportedly called in the city cops to complain that deputies were being called "puppets".

I am not a lawyer, and I don't have a copy of Police Misconduct: Law And Litigation handy, so it isn't easy to cite case law (and Wikipedia is known to be biased) but it is my understanding speaking to law enforcement is protected speech and that law enforcement often abuses the pubic trust via whimsical self interested violations of both the letter and the spirit of the law, including the vindictive prosecution of citizen victims.

'Writing for the Court in City of Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451 (1987), Justice Brennan said, "The freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state." — 482 U.S. 451, at 463'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_cop