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Occupy Santa Cruz Keeps Pressure on Banks
by Alex Darocy
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
A direct action planned by community members involved with Occupy Santa Cruz drew 6-10 people to the major downtown banks during the morning and early afternoon of Wednesday, October 19. Though the group of demonstrators was small in numbers, all three banks visited, Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, locked their doors and let customers in and out one by one, as they did with the larger demonstrations held last week.
Shortly before the direct action was scheduled to begin, the county courthouse occupation location was visited by former U.S. State Department official Ann Wright. The former U.S. Army colonel gained fame in 2003 as one of three diplomats who resigned from their positions in protest against the Iraq war. Ann joined the Occupy Santa Cruz demonstrators for their direct action, and she held a picket sign at Bank Of America. So far, Wright has visited 10 occupation locations across the country, including Wall Street's, as she travels on a speaking tour. She also took a look at the San Lorenzo Park camp location of Occupy Santa Cruz, and she commented that it was the nicest occupation location she has seen yet. When asked about her career in the military, and what motivated her eventual resignation from the state department, she said that through all of the 8 presidential administrations she had served under, all included foreign policies that routinely involved plans of invasions followed by occupations, and she had to take a chance and finally get out.

For more info about Occupy Santa Cruz and Occupy Wall Street:

For more info about Ann Wright:

Alex Darocy

Feel free to re-use these images.
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
Ann Wright (on the left)
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
Chris Doyon shared his "Off with their Heads" sign with Ann Wright.
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
Coral Reef of FRSC
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM
by Alex Darocy Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 1:11 AM

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by Robert Norse
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 12:52 PM
Federal judge tells police not to ticket Occupy protesters
10:42 PM, Oct. 18, 2011 |

Written by Carrie Whitaker, Dan Horn and Janice Morse

A federal judge on Tuesday told police temporarily to stop issuing tickets to Occupy Cincinnati demonstrators camping out in a city park, while the protesters’ lawyers and city leaders try to hammer out an agreement on issues in the protesters’ federal lawsuit against the city.

On Tuesday night, the group’s General Assembly met for two hours in the Main Library, overlooking their demonstration site, Piatt Park, as a thunderstorm rolled through. The group turned down a “settlement offer” from the city and agreed to submit a counter-proposal, said Geoffrey M. Miller, an attorney representing the protesters.

Details of the offer and counter-offer were not released. An Enquirer reporter was told to leave the meeting during the discussion.

The group also voted to march to City Hall Wednesday to voice concerns over some City Council members’ apparent opposition to the continued occupation of Piatt Park.

On Monday, the group filed for a court order blocking the city from enforcing rules that ban people from the park after it closes at 10 p.m. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott issued an order calling for a “standstill” on enforcing that rule in the park. The 28-hour stay expires at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Citations may then resume unless an out-of-court settlement is reached.

Protesters say the park rules violate their free speech rights, but the city’s lawyers say the rules are constitutional and that police should have the ability to regulate after-hours activities in the park, either through citations or, possibly, arrests. Since Oct. 9, city police have issued 239 citations to 91 people for violating park rules, racking up roughly $25,000 in fines. One protester was arrested Monday, Miller said, after refusing to sign his citation.

City Solicitor John Curp said city officials agreed Tuesday to hold off on issuing more citations or arresting anyone until Dlott’s deadline. “We will abide by the judge’s orders,” he said.

The protesters are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has inspired encampments in public places throughout the country. The Cincinnati protest began Oct. 8 with a march and rally of a few hundred people Downtown. Ten individuals camped that night on Fountain Square and moved the next day to Piatt Park.

Police began issuing citations Oct. 9 and have done so every night, except Thursday, when Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig said he used his discretion to not have his officers cite protesters. Citations resumed the following night.

Craig heads to Chicago Wednesday until early next week to attend the Major Cities Chiefs Association fall conference, scheduled back-to-back with the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, leaving one of his assistant police chiefs to monitor the Occupy Cincinnati protest in Piatt Park. He expects the Occupy protests to be a topic of discussion and hopes to return with ideas for dealing with the situation here.

“Admittedly, it’s very complex,” Craig said of Cincinnati’s protest, “because there are park board rules and the question of what’s enforceable. I guess the courts will have to tell us, because we have all these tickets pending.”

He’ll remain “very much plugged into” the situation while he’s away and ready to return if needed.

In a one-on-one meeting with an Enquirer reporter Tuesday, Craig called the protesters “reasonable.”

“This is one of the more peaceful groups I’ve had an opportunity to meet with in a protest,” Craig said.

The city supports individuals’ First Amendment rights, he said, but must also consider those who work and live in the area. He’s particularly concerned about businesses around the park.

Cincinnati City Council members Leslie Ghiz and Wayne Lippert also expressed their concern in a memo to their seven council colleagues Tuesday morning, saying they want City Manager Milton Dohoney to stop allowing the Occupy Cincinnati protesters to stay in the park – or they’ll take a no-confidence vote in the manager.

They say the city should not ignore the rules about staying in the park after 10 p.m. because doing so opens the city to future liability when another group tries to do the same.

If they don’t hear from the rest of council members by Wednesday's council meeting, they said they would call a special meeting of council to discuss the issue.

A no-confidence vote in Dohoney would be a symbolic move. It would not fire Dohoney or start any process that could lead to his losing his job.

Later Tuesday, Ghiz said a no-confidence vote may not happen Wednesday because City Council can hardly ask Dohoney to act in violation of Dlott’s 28-hour order. Even so, protesters likely will go forward with their plan to attend City Council’s meeting en masse, said Sonnet Gabbard, a member of the protesters’ communication committee.

Whether or not such a vote happens Wednesday, Gabbard said, “the real issue is we’re still under attack from Council members, and we’re still fighting for our right to assemble and free speech.”

Staff writer Jane Prendergast contributed.

For more comments go to:

Occupy Cincinnati impasse continues
7:09 PM, Oct. 19, 2011 |

City officials and Occupy Cincinnati protesters both stepped up pressure Wednesday in their dispute over the continued occupation of a downtown park.

Protesters rejected a city proposal to remove their encampment at the park, and city officials turned down a counter-proposal that would have allowed dozens of protesters to remain there.

Some 50 protesters went to City Council’s meeting, testifying that the park’s 10 p.m. closure rule be eliminated. As each supporter spoke, the others indicated their approval with the American Sign Language sign for applause – shaking their hands in the air – and their disapproval by holding their arms tight to their sides and wiggling their fingers in a move they called the T Rex.

They accused council of giving up their power over the park to the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners and urged them to take that power back and allow them to continue their 24/7 protest and campout indefinitely. They applauded twice, both times drawing cautions from Mayor Mark Mallory, who said: “Everyone needs to be respectful of everyone else.”

The meeting would end, he said, if it became “not manageable.”

Protester Spencer Foote, of Corryville, reminded council that the Occupiers are constituents too.

“You claim to represent your constituents,” he said. “Well, here they sit.”

Sister Alice Gerdeman of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center told council to listen to the crowd: “Whether you agree with them or not isn’t the issue.”

A federal judge ordered a “standstill” Tuesday that temporarily barred police from ticketing or arresting the protesters. But that order expires Wednesday night and City Solicitor John Curp said police would then resume issuing $105 tickets.

He also did not rule out arrests.

“We will go back to issuing citations or more if they are in the park after 10 p.m.,” Curp said.

The impasse began early last week when the protesters, who are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, marched to Piatt Park near the Main Library and set up a makeshift campsite with tents and tarps. The protesters have remained in the park ever since and have been cited more than 200 times by police for violating park rules.

Council members listened but did not say anything while the protesters testified.

The Occupiers particularly called out Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz and Councilman Chris Bortz for their connections to property along the park. Ghiz’s private law office is in a building on Garfield Place and Bortz’s family owns Towne Properties, which owns buildings along Garfield. Both have said those things have nothing to do with their concerns about the city not enforcing park rules.

The battle continued on Twitter and Facebook after Ghiz received some angry, name-calling emails with expletives on her campaign website and posted them on her Facebook page. The posts drew complaints to The Enquirer from people who said she shouldn’t post their personal information. She said she was merely letting her friends see the feedback.

Ghiz said the protesters are missing her point, which is that she doesn’t care that they protest. She just believes repeatedly ticketing the protesters - while allowing them to remain in the park - amounts to a failure to consistently enforce park rules and sends the wrong message to other groups that may want to take similar action.

“What if it’s the Ku Klux Klan next?” she asked. “What are we going to do then?”

The protesters’ lawyers sued in federal court Monday to stop the citations, claiming the park rules violate their free speech rights. They say the park is a public place and they should be allowed to remain their after hours.

Judge Susan Dlott is not expected to rule on their request until next week, but she ordered the city to hold off on citations until Wednesday night so both sides could try to work out a resolution.

That hasn’t happened yet, however. And complaints from businesses around the park and from some City Council members are on the rise.

City officials made an offer to protesters Tuesday night that might have allowed them to continue some activities in the park as long as they removed their tents and tarps.

Curp would not disclose the offer, but he said it’s consistent with the city’s position that the encampment must be removed.

“There is no camping in the park,” Curp said.

Jennifer Kinsley, an attorney for the protesters, also would not disclose details of the city’s offer, but she said protesters rejected it.

She said the protesters then made a counter-offer: They would remove their tents during business hours, would not bring food into the park after hours and would pay for portable toilets to be brought onto park grounds.

Kinsley said the city rejected that offer, but both sides are still talking.

“The dialog is ongoing,” she said. “The parties are still in communication.”

For more comments go to:
by Matt Fitt
Friday Oct 21st, 2011 4:35 PM
Robert, that's about the most disingenuous "compliment" I've seen from you in a while. You thank Alex in the title of your post, but the body of your huge "comment" completely ignores his work. It's just a repost of some mainstream media article that you want to tag onto Alex's photos so that your thing will get more attention. So that it will jump to the top of the Local News column. That's not cool.

"Oh, yeah, your stuff was... nice. Thanks for getting everyone's attention. Now here's MY important thing."

Also, reposting of mainstream media articles onto indymedia is... frowned upon. And you damn well know that.


Alex, thank you for you dedication, your photos, and for all the hard work you put towards creating a better world.


by Robert Norse
Friday Oct 21st, 2011 11:00 PM
I think you give me too much credit for technical expertise. I just wanted to (a) thank Alex, and (b) update folks about struggles in other cities. Really.

Does anyone know of a website that tallies which Occupations are under attack through arrests?
by Alex Darocy
(alex [at] Saturday Oct 22nd, 2011 1:28 PM
I appreciate that coming from you.

If people want to see more of Matt's great photos of Occupy Santa Cruz (shots that he hasn't posted on Indybay), check out his facebook page!
by (posted by) Norse
Monday Oct 24th, 2011 11:56 PM

Anyone know of a website that tabulates occupations under assault? Still looking for one.
by Alex Darocy
(alex [at] Tuesday Oct 25th, 2011 12:29 AM
The people here have been tallying arrests through Twitter:

They also use the hashtag: #occupyarrests