End War Fast and Arrest

As expected, the CP covers the ongoing End War Fast targeting the military recruitment center in Oakland.  As you can imagine, the police are being less than cooperative and, apparently the protestors are depriving Oaklanders of greasy fast food, photocopies and overpriced bandaids.  Darn them!  Imagine the exercise of civil rights getting in the way of commerce and industry (and the low paying jobs without benefits that come along with those fries/burritos). 

So, here's my question … from the CP article:

By Sept. 8, Butler and picketer De'anna Caligiuri had each been cited for remaining on the sidewalk — Butler while seated at 5:10 p.m. on Sept. 7, and Caligiuri while sleeping there the same day. Her citation notes that she was “obstructing public passage of pedestrian traffic” — at 3:40 a.m. She was briefly jailed and released.

You may know Ms. Caliguri from previous protests.  While I'm not a always a fan of her tactics, I'm impressed with her moxy.  I think she was our waitress once at a local Thai place, but I'm not sure about that.

Anyway, I thought that the police were not supposed to haul folks off to jail for these types of offenses .. they are just supposed to issue citations.  How does sleeping on the sidewalk without a permit warrant an arrest (no pun intended)?  Wouldn't all that effort and the tax payer resources have been better invested in GIVING THEM A PERMIT to sleep politely on the sidewalk? 

Good grief, the “free speech zone” crap is just getting annoying.  Don't protest at the church, don't protest at the private residence, don't protest at Rite-Aid, don't protest on the Reform Pittsburgh Now website …tell me this … does anyone with any power or authority in this region actually believe that dissent might occasionally entail more than a pretty banner and a polite march down the street? 

When a person tries to act in accordance with his consience, when he tries to speak the truth, when he tries to behave like a citizen, even in conditions where citizenship is degraded, it won't necessarily lead anywhere, but it might. There's one thing, however, that will never lead anywhere, and that is speculating that such behavior will lead somewhere. Václav Havel 1990.

Mike and De'anna and friends aren't speculating.  They've leapt into the possibility of “might.”  Good for them. 


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  • Hey, just as an update, my self and De'Anna were almost cited and then arrested again today, this time together. We were told that we'd receive summonses in the mail and be arrested for not leaving. However, they backed down on the arrest, and the city backed down on the summonses after receiving a call from the ACLU.
    We're still here!

  • I wish someone could calculate the “public resources” that go into all this huffin-puffin-maybe-we'll-arrest-them posturing — the staff time, the paperwork processing time, the talking with the ACLU time, and the monitoring of the situation time AGAINST the cost to us tax payers to allow for a permit and a cop. From an economic standpoint, does the argument really hold water? Is there some progressive anti-war economics major that can tackle that problem?
    Mike, I read that people are bringing you money and water. Is that something you need?
    ps: it is cool that you took the time to comment on my blog

  • It's also worth noting that besides citing people the police are also demanding some protesters id's. Legally people should not have to give the police personal info if they are acting lawfully. In the five years of protests I've watched no one has ever been able to get to the bottom of what the police are doing with all the thousands of pieces of info they're gathering. What happens to the videos, the photos, and all the other info on pittsburgh residents that they have? Are there files on individuals or groups? who has access? Is it forwarded to federal authorities? Is it ever destroyed?
    Something to ponder

  • When you say “no one” do you mean that individuals and/or organizations have made formal attempts to ascertain where the information has gone and been rebuffed?
    I think, in Pennsylvania, the police are empowered to request identification regardless of your lawful status. I believe I read something about this very issue a few years ago … Libertarians, help me out ….

  • I meant to keep up on this, but forgot. And hey, your blog is one of the ones I check out (on the increasingly rare occasion I check them out).
    As far as money and water, those things are always appreciated since fasters need lots of water and this event is getting pretty costly.
    I haven't been on the site very much the last couple days, and not at all today. Not sure what direction my fast is gonna go in in the next couple days. This court bullshit was very very draining.

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