10 Arrested at Occupy Houston
Houston, TX, November 8, 2011 – At approximately 11:00 PM, HPD arrested 10 Occupy Houston participants as a result of a dispute over a tarp being used to protect equipment belonging to Occupy Houston from inclement weather.
Police confronted one of the Occupy Houston participants about the placement of a tarp in Tranquility Park and requested its removal. The participant refused to remove the tarp on the grounds that it was necessary to protect equipment vital to the participants’ well-being. The participant discussed the matter with officers over a period of approximately 20 minutes, during which time HPD presence at the occupation site escalated dramatically, reaching a total of 27 officers and 19 police
After failing to reach a resolution, police insisted that an arrest would be made if the tarp were not removed. The aforementioned participant remained steadfast in his position and 5 additional Occupy Houston participants indicated their willingness to be arrested on these terms as well. HPD then proceeded to arrest the participants and confiscate the tarp and other equipment belonging to the occupiers.
Four additional Occupy Houston participants were detained during the course of the arrests. Three individuals who were filming the event were detained for jaywalking after attempting to cross Walker St. at Bagby, where a police cruiser was obstructing the crosswalk. Another participant was arrested while requesting the name and badge number of one of the arresting officers. Three of the detained persons were released after a period of time, while the remaining 7 participants were booked into the municipal jail facility located on Lubbock. Video of the arrests may be viewed at Occupy Houston’s YouTube channel:
Occupy Houston will hold an informal press conference at Tranquility Park on the morning of November 9th at 10:00 AM to address questions concerning the arrests and their significance. There are plans for a demonstration afterwards in front of the municipal courthouse at 1400 Lubbock to show solidarity with those arrested and to protest the city’s unwillingness to allow Occupy Houston to adequately protect the food, medical supplies and electronic equipment that maintain the safety and health of the protesters while they conduct their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.
Some thoughts from Occupy
Since losing my job I’ve been spending some time with the Occupy Houston movement. No doubt, I love it, and I love what the movement stands for. And yesterday was the best yet in terms of support. We shared our space with a local Farmers Market, and I actually had people come and thank me. Of course, it didn’t go without a single “get a job” retort, but it was way more positive.
This morning I went on a walk, to get a little exercise. And I realized, nobody yells “get a job” at me while I’m walking down the street during what is obvious “working” hours. Nobody at the grocery store tells me I’m too lazy to work while I’m shopping at 11 AM on a Tuesday. Only when I’m standing with a sign, pointing out that our system is broken, do people feel like they need to confront it. What is it about the truth that makes us so uncomfortable?