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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Occupy Tampa, Occupy Orlando protesters arrested

Last week, protesters with Occupy Tampa and Occupy Orlando were arrested.

Rian Mcconnell
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Oct 24, 2011

Last week, protesters with Occupy Tampa and Occupy Orlando were arrested. The groups were both rallying in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread all over the country.

Tampa Bay’s local Fox station reports that six people were arrested Friday morning at Curtis Hixon Park. They were members of “the month-long Occupy Tampa movement,” the station reports:

All were charged with obstructing streets or sidewalks during an assembly, a misdemeanor charge. They were held on $250 bond; all were bonded out by 4 p.m. Friday.

Their aim was to Occupy Tampa as part of a larger national “Occupy Wall Street” movement outraged by what they call Wall Street’s “fiscal recklessness.”

Police say they’ve allowed protesters to sleep along the edge of the sidewalks from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

They say Friday a handful of protesters violated that rule by not getting up at 6 a.m., so they were arrested.

Members of the Occupy Orlando were arrested on Saturday morning.

According to a press release from the group (.pdf), “18 adults and one juvenile, were arrested as they participated in the first civil disobedience of the Orlando Occupation” around 2 a.m.:

Among those arrested as they made a stand for the 99 Percent were an Army Sergeant, two women, and a student in a wheelchair. All were taken to the 33rd Street Station and charged with misdemeanor trespass on property with warning.

At the time of the arrests there were more than 200 protesters in the area participating in “sidewalk solidarity” which is the lawful occupation of the sidewalk. Those arrested had moved into the park to assert their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and assembly. Police announced complaints of “disturbing the peace” due to chanting but ultimately only charged Occupiers with trespass.

Occupiers have been using private property across from the park as a campsite area after 11 p.m. nightly. Police warned Occupiers last night of trespass from the private lot as well as the park, however the City Attorney has not produced a signed document by the owner proving direct request of trespass.

Occupy Miami also been occupying for several days now. However, Miami protestors obtained an indefinite permit. The group has not reported any run-ins with local police throughout their occupation that has lasted over a week.

Rian Mcconnell | Rian is a Villanova University graduate who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia with a medical degree. His residency was at Thomas Jefferson and its associated Wills Eye Hospital, and he finished his education with fellowships in cataract and corneal surgery at the University of Connecticut. He has a vast experience in ophthalmic surgery, with a focus on cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, and laser refractive procedures. He serves on the board of Vision Health International, an agency that provides eye care and surgery to indigent patients in Central and South America, in addition to his surgical practice.


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