Occupy Activists Arrested December 17 Found Guilty of Trespass; One Going to Rikers
Last week, eight activists who entered New York's Duarte Square in an occupation attempt on December 17th went on trial. Occupiers had asked Trinity Church, the owner of the square, to grant the movement sanctuary after its eviction by the NYPD in November; the church refused, leading the movement to stage a reoccupation attempt anyway.
Today, according to John and Molly Knefel, reporters on the scene, all eight were found guilty, and one, Mark Adams, was sentenced to 45 days in jail--all for charges of trespassing. (As many pointed out, not a single banker has been arrested since the beginning of the economic crisis.) The other activists, including retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard, were given fines and community service.
Ryan Devereaux at the Guardian reported last Monday:
Packard had a blueprint in his pocket when he climbed a ladder into the park that day. It laid out plans for the space that included a medical clinic, a food station and more.
Speaking outside the countroom, Packard said he believes the arrests and the trial have disturbing implications for the faith he serves.
"I'm concerned that the church I love has changed around me," Packard said. It seems, Packard suggested, "Relevant witness has become a polite conversation piece."
According to Devereaux, most of those arrested on December 17 accepted plea deals; the eight who went on trial did so by choice.
We'll have updates as more news develops.