After mass arrests this weekend sent around 40 Occupy Austin protesters to jail, the movement’s members are working with city officials and the police to find
After mass arrests this weekend sent around 40 Occupy Austin protesters to jail, the movement’s members are working with city officials and the police to find a compromise over the new city rules that sparked the arrests at Austin City Hall.
On Monday, a group of occupiers met with Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald and Police Chief Art Acevedo to discuss the arrests and clarify city regulations posted Friday, prohibiting sleeping in certain areas at the Occupy site, leaving protest signs unattended, and keeping food tables up overnight. At the time it was posted, occupiers say they did not receive word back from the city after seeking to clarify the new rules. (Read the city memo below.)
Today, protesters received a response from the city (also embedded below), saying those arrested for criminal trespass — who’d been barred from the plaza for two years — could be allowed to return after an administrative review process. Beginning today, the city is also making its cleanup hours earlier, and said it would permit food tables, though it didn’t indicate when they will be allowed. Sleeping bags are still not permitted on the mezzanine, according to the new memo.
City officials say they will make an effort to give “additional notice to an individual before making an arrest based on the person’s failure to move out of an area at City Hall.”
Henry Morales, a legal adviser for the local movement, says although the city has cooperated during the meetings and been open to discussion, the movement remains concerned about protesters’ First Amendment rights. Morales says when drafting the new rules for the food tables — a point that led to many of the arrests — the city manager abused his authority by circumventing the city council.
The council, Morales says, is tasked with making ordinances the city manager must enforce. Morales said the group is discussing legal action, though it isn’t their first priority.
“It is bearable in some sense, but we are still bothered by a couple of things and aren’t quite sure why they are sticking with certain rules,” he said. “Our First Amendment rights need to be honored.”
The group plans to discuss the city response during general assembly meetings over the next two days. Morales says they’ve offered to pay for the city’s routine power-washing of the plaza from their own account, to avoid using taxpayer dollars. Austin Occupiers are weighing their options and are expected to respond back to the city by Friday.
MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals
BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks
MA-Sen: 66 to 19
BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary
MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown
BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to
MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley
BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s
MA-Sen: Brown Wins
BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie
MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’
Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of
MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown
BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,
Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation
Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of
Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket
Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.
No Experience Necessary
Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?