Alexander Arbuckle, the defendant in the first Occupy Wall Street case to go to trial, has been found not guilty after video of the incident he was involved in showed him breaking no laws. The Village Voice reports:
“The protesters, including Arbuckle, were in the street blocking traffic, Officer Elisheba Vera testified. The police, on the sidewalk, had to move in to make arrests to allow blocked traffic to move. But there was a problem with the police account: it bore no resemblance to photographs and videos taken that night.”
In an ironic twist, Arbuckle was actually working on a New York University photojournalism project aimed at defending police officers working at Occupy protests when he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
“I felt the police had been treated unfairly on [sic] the media,” he said to the Village Voice. “All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained.”
Occupy videographer and indefatigable live-streamer Tim Pool’s clip was used as evidence along with the NYPD’s own video footage in the trial. The video shows protesters clearly using the sidewalk like they were asked to. (Watch the arrest around minute 35 of Pool’s video.)
“What’s happening is very similar to what happened in 2004 with the Republican National Convention,” Arbuckle’s lawyer told theVoice. “It’s just a symptom of how the NYPD treats dissent.
In the beginning, I was on board. Things happened, things I am not going to get into in this particular post, that made me want to post less and keep a certain amount of distance.
Still, I wanted to believe in the overall cause.
I can no longer make excuses. I can no longer pretend that they represent anything of value.
I just finished speaking with a friend of mine. He was at the Million Hoodie Rally in NYC last night. He was telling me all about how emotional it was. How beautiful it was that people were coming together for something so important. Everything he said sounded amazing and almost spiritual.
My friend is a dreamer. He is a “Glass half full” kind of man. He has a strong belief in Christ and because of this, chooses his words and actions in a way that he believes would make the Lord proud. He believes in leading by example.
I tell you this because one of the topics he and I disagree on is “Anger.” He works diligently to never let his anger show. I believe that to be unhealthy.
When he was finished telling me what he saw and what he did, I told him that I tried to watch the live feed. I told him that I’d only watched for a few minutes because I saw something happen that I could not handle.
I saw OWS people trying, not to integrate with but to change the direction of the route. I saw OWS people screaming for everyone to go to Zuccotti Park. After seeing this and then seeing the arguments of people saying that this was not about OWS, only to have the OWS people say that it WAS, I became physically ill. If there was ever a time when you should have worked to keep the focus on the actual cause, this was it.
I mentioned this to my friend. He went silent. He said nothing. He said nothing for a long while. I could just hear him breathe.
I knew he was angry.
He tried to remain calm while he explained what he saw. He saw the same thing that I did. Only in a different form and at a different location. He saw OWS people yelling that it wasn’t about race and that it would be best to incorporate this into the OWS movement. This man who I love with my entire heart but often feel is far to kind said…
“They wanted us to be unified but only if unity happened in their yard. They are not good people.”
I’ll leave you with that.
“wasn’t about race”
It really sucks when a cause I was behind 100% at the beginning majorly fucks everything up this bad. Good going, OWS.
When I heard about some of the horrible shit that went on at the protests, I had hoped that they would be addressed, because the motive (originally) behind the protests made a lot of sense and brought a lot of attention to income inequality and the disappearing middle class.
Now, they’ve gone and tried to shout over a cause that wasn’t theirs to shout over and then tried to tell those affected what it was and wasn’t about.
I can’t in good conscious support them anymore.
Did the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advise local law enforcemcent officials on how to respond to the nationwide Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest movement and/or play a hands-on role in the dismantling of more than a dozen Occupy encampments last year?
The answers to those lingering questions may be found in the first official release of government documents related to OWS since the launch of the movement last year. DHS turned over hundreds of pages of documents to Truthout Wednesday morning.
read more (and a link to the documents as they are uploaded)
Video of a very intense moment from the day; Tear gas and flash bangs against youth with shields
Short version - The mass arrests at Occupy Oakland occurred 4 hours after the violent incidents ended. The arrests occurred during a march which had no protester violence, and the arrests were conducted unlawfully. Protesters marching on a public street were kettled by police after receiving no dispersal order. After the arrests, more incidents occurred back at the main plaza. The media justifies the mass arrest by using a minority of the protesters actions at different times and places. In reality, the flag-burning, street battle, and city-hall trespassing are legally separate incidents. The 2:30pm street battle became the justification for calling the 5pm march a ‘riot’, even though the 5pm march had different people, a different purpose, and no incidents of protester aggression or rioting. Protesters were charged under CA Penal Code 409, which reads:
Every person remaining present at the place of any riot…after the same has been lawfully warned to disperse…is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This was an illegal mass arrest because no “lawful warning to disperse” was given. In order for it to be lawful, the warning must be loud, repeated, location-specific, cite the penal code, and identify the direction to disperse in. This march was simply stopped with a kettle, and the only police announcement stated, “You are under arrest. Submit to that arrest.” The police cannot arrest a mass group of people for the actions of a minority at a different time and place! This post is not about Occupy, it is about the First-Amendment!
Please spread the fact that the mass arrest of 300+ was ILLEGAL - no dispersal order was given, nor was an unlawful assembly declared at the arrest location. The mass arrest was a flagrant First-Amendment violation and Oakland will now be facing more lawsuits AND Federal receivership.
read more and the resulting discussion here.