In yet another example of police protecting property and the law of the 1% above the Constitution, people, and common sense, Occupy Tucson has been evicted from Armory Park and relocated to nearby Viente de Agosto Park, around 12:30 AM on Nov 4th.
To move the 20 overnight occupants of the park, the police department used 60 police officers. Was this use of taxpayers money and overwhelming force really necessary to move the peaceful group? Although Occupy Tucson was evicted, the police did let other members come and help the overnight residents move their tents to the nearby location.
The police didn’t use tear gas, concussion grenades or other uses of force as they have in Oakland, Tulsa and other cities, and they didn’t arrest those present with a few exceptions. However, the move was unnecessary. Occupy Tucson had already come to an agreement with the permit holders for their Nov. 5th Little Angels celebration to move their tents out of the way and to monitor the event to keep it safe and fun. The police either didn’t talk to the permit holders or care about the cooperation between the groups. A spokesperson for the Little Angels event assured me that a letter was sent to the police about our agreement for the Nov. 5th event. The letter appeared to make no difference in their decision to evict the group.
It is also unclear whether the police were “just following the orders” of the city manager, mayor and/or council, but in Albany, the police refused orders to arrest protesters.
While the new location is strategically located, it lacks the public facilities, power, toilets and size provided by Armory Park, and who knows what excuse the police will use to evict the group from the new location. It is clear that unless the city manager, mayor, or city council steps in to support the group, the harassment may continue unabated with more citations being issued.
Contact the mayor and city council of Tucson to let the occupiers practice their First Amendment rights peacefully and secure from police state interference.
Mayor Bob Walkup, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 791-4201
Ward 1 Council Member Regina Romero, email@example.com, (520) 791-4040
Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 791-4687
Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich, email@example.com, (520) 791-4711
Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 791-3199
Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres, email@example.com, (520) 791-4231
Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 791-4601