This is a first-hand account from a friend and fellow academic. Her name is ‘Jessica Corin’. The protest and subsequent arrest took place outside of her country of citizenship. She risked losing her visa and possible deportation by taking part.
I was arrested with 8 other people.
The police were kicking us out of the park to clean on behalf of the commission who oversees the park. Earlier, we were gifted some porta potties from the sanitation workers union supporting the cause. The police couldn’t guarantee they’d be there later if we left, so out of respect to that union we wouldn’t leave. In the final moments we argued that we were fighting for their rights too. After a 2 hour non-aggressive negotiation, they just kept saying that it wasn’t up to them.
The official charge is trespassing, though they threatened with resisting arrest.
We were held collectively. We had prepared in advance, filled out pre-arrest intake forms; we refused our phone calls - they can be recorded. We gave names, addresses, and DOB. That is ALL you are required to give, and people should know that. We were fingerprinted and searched. At no point did they tell us how long we’d be there. We were not provided a sleeping area, just 2 metal benches for the 9 of us who refused to leave the park. We were given meals. We were held for 50 hrs.
We are represented by lawyers donating their time to the Occupy movement. We’d written their phone numbers on our stomachs and legs so we’d always have them.
The cops weren’t bad - the snarkiest thing one said was “well I hope you had fun. Was it worth it?”.
People are still occupying that park. The park is nearly taken over with tents. The toilets are still there, but they did “clean it”.
I think it’s important to note three things:
This is the time to act. What we need is not to explain the “why” any longer, but to get together.
- The reasons I am outside my country of citizenship are in large part the EXACT reasons that people are involved with this movement, and I expect that is true of most expats. Calling all expats - if you haven’t joined this movement already, you can start fighting for your country!
- My experiences with this arrest are NOT typical. Most arrests in connection with this movement are worse - more violent - and people are being held for longer and charged with worse. This is often after being beaten, pepper sprayed, or gassed. Overall, we were treated comparatively well.
- When I said they “cleaned” the park: they took down the tents in an effort to discourage people from coming back. Pretty much everyone came back.
What exactly about overhauling the world order and dismantling capitalism is simple? A world order that could be put on a bumper sticker is NOT one I am prepared to fight for. This movement, however, is.
Photo credit: taken from Anoncentral
, re: Hey, I made some artwork for Anon/OWS, and I hope you guys like it