Friday, October 21, 2011

23 arrested for participating in Occupy Cincinnati

We might not like confrontation, but it gets folks' attention. It angries up the bile. Gets the wheels turning.

If Brossart had never done anything worse than fining me $100, do you think I'd have ever started The Last Word? We do what we do as a response to confrontation. Serial harassers at school were about nothing but confrontation since day one. Confrontation has also been the modus operandi of the Republican Right in modern times. Just after midnight this morning, I witnessed yet more confrontation - courtesy of right-wing public officials who can't tolerate free speech.

After being sidelined by illness (possibly gallstones), I returned to Occupy Cincinnati at Piatt Park last night when city officials threatened to launch mass arrests of protesters just for the "crime" of protesting. For the past 2 weeks, police had been issuing citations, but the only arrest before last night was of a man who refused to sign one.

I did set foot in the forbidden zone of Piatt Park after hours last night, but that was quite a while before cops arrived. Most of us gathered across the street instead. City police appeared around midnight, followed by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department with their mass arrest bus. (They unleashed a bus like this during the protest against the economic summit back in 2000.) They promptly arrested 23 people for daring to participate in Occupy Cincinnati.

The arrests came following pressure by right-wing City Council members Leslie Ghiz, Wayne Lippert, and Amy Murray. This trio would like living in Red China better, obviously. Over there, they don't have that pesky First Amendment thing to deal with.

I am calling for Ghiz, Lippert, and Murray to be impeached immediately. In America, you obey the Constitution. End of story.

The 23 demonstrators were charged with trespassing - even though Piatt Park is a public space. (Shades of the NKU incident?)

But there were folks out all night protesting. We bipped over to the Hamilton County Justice Center with our signs, and it went from there. And Occupy Cincinnati is continuing nonstop! Because that's what we do, you see. We will stand firm until we accomplish our goal of limiting corporate power and expanding people power.