3 Remarkable Occupations You Haven't Heard Enough About
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This is why Occupy Tucson is trying to get the word out to the community that sleeping overnight is not required. "You don't have to get a misdemeanor charge in the Occupy Tucson movement. During the day we don't have any problem with the police; it's only when the 10:30 curfew rolls around," says Barber.
This is a particularly significant message to communicate to the surrounding Hispanic community.
"The broader implication," Barber says, "is that has caused the Latino community to be fearful of law enforcement in general and I think it's a further chilling effect which is discouraging people of Hispanic descent in our community from participating because if they come out and they get a citation, the officer could then ask them for their papers. And we also have a large undocumented population that could be deported if faced with a citation. It's very accurate to say that Arizona's immigration policies are having a chilling effect on first amendment activities."
Occupy Tucson's PR and outreach working groups are teaming up with Latino community activist groups to encourage more participation to accurately represent the people of Tucson.
Faced with tremendous complications, it’s remarkable the extent to which Occupy Tucson has flourished, creating its own library, medical tent, a food station that consists of four different tents in order to comply with Pima County health codes, a garden, and solar panels with rechargeable batteries which are used at night for lighting. Barber referred to the encampment as a " micro-city."
Moving forward, Occupy Tucson hopes to continue growing and get back to protesting the corporate greed and political disenfranchisement that inspired them to camp out in the first place.
Occupy Richmond (Virginia)
Occupy Richmond was launched on October 15 in Kanawha Plaza, a public park in front of the city's Federal Reserve Bank. After just two weeks of building what became a vibrant and thriving movement against corporate greed, the Kanawha encampment was torn down by police in an unannounced late-night raid that shocked protesters.
Despite being employed and in school full-time, 34-year-old Alex Pagliuca has committed himself to the movement. He told AlterNet, "I’m doing this with whatever time I can scrape together. It’s the first time I’ve seen a protest movement in my lifetime where people are willing to actually sacrifice something, their comfort and convenience. They’re even willing to go to jail.”
Richmond law prohibits camping in public parks overnight, but according to Pagliuca, the city often directs their sizable homeless population to take shelter in Kanawha, making it the only public space where the homeless are safe from police harassment, which is partly why the group chose to occupy Kanawha in the first place.
When the city’s mayor, Dwight C. Jones, visited the park last Thursday, October 27, he used the people’s mic to inform protesters that, "As mayor of this city, I'm going to have to ensure that the laws of the city are enforced,” adding he would send city representatives to meet with demonstrators.
On Sunday, Oct 30, protesters received a late-night visit, not from city representatives, but from the Richmond Police Department , first on foot, then horseback, and eventually by air. At a brief point in the raid a helicopter hovered overhead. Nine people were arrested for failing to follow police warnings to leave the park, four of which are being held without bail. After allotting the movement 15 minutes to collect their belongings, police spent the next four hours bulldozing the two-week old encampment.