Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Occupy Tucson’s Craig Barber outs Mayor and Council on national TV

Speaking with commentator Keith Olbermann on national television , Occupy Tucson spokesman Craig Barber outed the Tucson’s Mayor and Council for “hiding behind” the bureaucrats in Tucson Police Department (TPD) and the Parks and Recreation Department and avoiding to make a decision regarding the legality of the peaceful Armory Park occupation.

Prior to Tuesday’s City Council Meeting— which was flooded with Occupy Tucson supporters– City Council Members told the Occupiers that their “hands were tied” and that the Occupiers had to comply with the city’s anti-vagrancy laws which dictate a 10:30 p.m. park curfew. Since the beginning of Occupy Tucson on Saturday, October 15, 2011, TPD has been arresting protesters and dispensing fines up to $1000 (for breaking the curfew) nightly.

Since it is against state and federal law to step on anyone’s first amendment freedom, the protesters are dubbing the $1000 fine– “The First Amendment Fine”– and their lawyers are investigating legal recourse.

5 comments on “Occupy Tucson’s Craig Barber outs Mayor and Council on national TV

  1. Jim Hannley
    October 20, 2011

    Craig is very poised and articulate; a noble representative of Occupy Tucson. It is a disgrace that Mayor and Council have been silent or oppositional to the occupiers. This city has been economically stagnant for decades; limping along on construction, the U of A, Raytheon and Davis Monthan AFB while failing to find a solid industrial base. Mayor and Council have offered no solutions to the disgraceful 24% poverty rate. TPD and Parks and Recreation are under the aegis of Mayor and Council; they cannot hide behind ordinances and rules. They need to respect the occupiers since they are standing up to the economic injustice and lack of opportunity for young and old alike.


  2. Papoosie
    October 20, 2011

    This is a peaceful protest and our Constitutional right under the 1st Amendment.  The passive agressive approach taken by TPD is a transparent attempt to “squeeze” the protesters financially.  Mayor, City Council and TPD will realize as other city leadership across the country have come to realize that it is in their best interest to comply with the civil rights awarded us by the Constitution.  1st Amendment rights trump City Parks & Recreation codes.


  3. firstamendlover
    October 20, 2011

    The First Amendment covers speech, not camping. Camping, squating, or parking are NOT forms of free speech. I am embarrassed for Risner.


  4. Saguaro Sol
    October 21, 2011

    Occupy Tucson has revealed that our supposedly progressive city, as it likes to be thought of by the rest of the nation — “an island of blue in a sea of red” — is in fact run by such mildly tinged officials that when push comes to shove, they side with the forces of stasis and reaction.  In Atlanta, the mayor by executive order set aside the city, for the next three weeks, as a safe zone for Occupy movement members.  In Tucson, the mayor and the council members — and the candidates for mayor and council in the next election — sit quietly by while TPD officers armed to the teeth, wearing riot gear despite not one act of violence by the protesters, arrive in the night to issue $1000 tickets to Occupiers whose “crime” consists of violating a law against sleeping in city parks although none were sleeping when the police arrived.  What a mockery of Tucson’s much-vaunted reputation.  The whole world is watching Tucson lower itself almost to the depths of such paragons of liberty as Phoenix, Nogales, and the whole of Maricopa County.  In fact, possibly lower than Maricopa County, because there even the evil Sheriff Joe Arpaio has come out and said that while he doesn’t agree with them, the Occupiers have every right to exercise their First Amendment rights enshrined in the US and Arizona Constitutions.  Has one Tucson elected dared to say as much?  Their shrinking violets who not only do a pretty sad job of running Tucson, but can’t even speak out for what most Tucsonans would like to see happen here:  economic justice and equal treatment for all residents of the city.  What an embarrassment.


  5. Jack Bybee
    October 30, 2011

    Thank you for your recent article in support of Occupy Tucson.

    I spoke to the City Council on Tuesday night. What I said I meant. I am DISGUSTED with Democrats. Republicans, for their support of the apartheid regime, I have absolutely no time. The fact that City Council can sit on their hands, while, the three things I came to this country for, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the First  Amendment are, to some degree or another, trampled on by government, is appalling. “We are the People” and occupying Armoury Park is my First Amendment right – to petition the government (Democrats of the City Council) for a redress of grievances. What is that grievance?: Do something, anything, that does not feed your ego nor the ego of corporations – something  for us, the People – like how about supporting Occupy Tucson publicly? Well Regina? Karen? Paul? To Shirley… aah yes, “just a bunch of outsider troublemakers and vagabonds….” Nuff said.

    — Jack Bybee.


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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