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4 cited at Occupy Tucson overnight

Tucson police cited 4 Occupy Tucson demonstrators for remaining in a downtown park after closing time overnight, a department spokeswoman said.

There have been over 580 arrests since the protest began Oct. 15, police records show.

Tucson police cited 4 Occupy Tucson protesters for refusing to leave Veinte de Agosto Park on Tuesday night, said TPD's Sgt. Maria Hawke.

The City Council deadlocked Tuesday on a proposal to create a free speech zone in the park, allowing demonstrators to remain overnight without permits.

Monday, 5 protesters were arrested and cited for remaining in the park after hours.

41 protesters were cited over the long Veterans Day weekend.

Thursday night, 10 demonstrators were arrested. Friday night, 9 were given tickets, followed by 13 on Saturday night and 9 on Sunday night.

Although the downtown park, also known as Pancho Villa Park, closes at dusk, police waited until about 10:30 p.m. to issue citations for being in the park after closing time, Hawke said.

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Demonstrators moved to the park after being evicted from nearby Armory Park two weeks ago.

The number of nightly arrests has dropped since the move, coinciding with a drop in temperatures. 9 were given tickets last Monday night, 11 on Tuesday, and 11 Wednesday. Police had been citing some 20 or more protesters each night until just before the move from Armory Park.

Occupy Tucson protesters have been allowed to remain in the parks overnight after being cited for the misdemeanor offense of being in a park after closing time. Each night, police allow those who wish to leave to do so before making arrests and writing tickets.

The protesters face a maximum $1,000 fine for violating the park closing rules, a misdemeanor, but many of those arrested for trespassing at unrelated Tucson demonstrations in the past have seen their charges dismissed.

Magistrate Anthony Riojas ruled Monday that he will order demonstrators with three or more citations to not return to the park after closing time. Riojas said he will begin reviewing cases for multiple tickets beginning Friday. Lawyers for the protesters said they would appeal the move.

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9 comments
Nov 17, 2011, 7:10 pm
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p.s. There is a film on YouTube called “Robert Newman’s History of Oil” that’s about 20 min long (or google it). He’s a british comedian so it’s not too painful to watch. The last third of the film he talks about individual action - which was the first time I’d heard the term used as a form of orgainizing. But that is the way of the future and how Occupy came into being.

The idea is to have leaderless movements and I agree with him now that’s what it takes for success. It’s almost like mesh networks and bit torrent in that it makes it nearly impossible to squash.

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9 comments
Nov 17, 2011, 7:02 pm
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I ment to say < 40% vote (actually it’s more like 20% to 30%).

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9 comments
Nov 17, 2011, 6:58 pm
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Removing personhood from corporations would go a long way in removing their influence, “free speech” from politics. I’m not blaming or punching anyone.

This movement is not anti-capitalist or anti-government. But what we have now is not working.

It’s a work in progress that’s why the movement needs to stay very open and inclusive to let all voices be heard. That’s why there is a reluctance to start getting into making “demands”.

Do you feel heard at the local - state - regional or national level? That’s a problem. >40% of the population is involved in voting. I participated in a voter drive during the 2008 election. The #1 reason people didn’t vote was “it didn’t matter”.

The Occupy movement has already changed the debate within a couple of months. There is a chance of being heard and that is hope.

These encampments are not a risk to health or safety. They are not populated by “bums”. The unemployment rate mirrors the regional ones. They are strikenly ordinary people. They are bending over backwards to be peaceful, safe, clean and respectful - the golden rule. Most are people who did everything “right” and still got shafted in one way or another, or just tired of not being represented by who they elected.

But that’s something you’d have to see for yourself.

I was disillusioned and watching this movement gain steam gave me some hope again. Just protesting is too easily ignored. No one paid attention until they begain occuping. I didn’t realize it but there’s a history of camping out as a form of protest. Have we lost that right now too?

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