Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Occupy Tucson has been evicted from Armory Park and the main library by the Tucson Police Department late last night. Rousting people out of their tents to ticket them is bad enough, but making them pack up their tents, kitchen, and belongings in the dead of night– after most of them have probably gone to sleep? What kind of an oppressive/passive aggressive city government to we have? What a cowardly action– making them move after dark when no one can see what the police are doing.
Who’s decision was this? The public deserves to know.
Below is a report from Alex Maldonado, one of the peacekeepers. The Occupation has moved to Veinte de Agosto Park (AKA Pancho Villa Park). You may remember that this was the original location.
Thursday night at approximately 11pm, the Tucson Police Department surrounded the perimeter of Armory Park with 80 officers and forced Occupy Tucson to vacate the park.
In two hours, Occupy Tucson had bugged-out and cleaned the park of any trash on the grounds.
The Tucson community showed up and helped during the bug-out process. Some who had only been following the movement on the internet, showed up and aided in the move.
There were no injuries to report on the occupiers. Some TPD officers were even sympathetic to the forced action against the occupiers as they could not help during the move but could only watch.
The Pima County Library Park was also vacated by the occupiers after TPD forced an evacuation of that park.
Currently, there are approximately 40 tents at the new base camp with approximately 60 occupiers holding their ground after what can only be termed as a successful and well organized bug-out from Armory Park.
Occupy Tucson has found its second wind.
I can’t help but think this eviction has something to do with the call to action made on Occupy Tucson’s facebook page yesterday afternoon. The Occupiers asked supporters to call or e-mail El Tour de Tucson organizers requesting that they make a deal with the Occupiers to co-exist at Armory Park on the race day (Nov. 19). When I sent a mail to Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. (the group that organizes El Tour), I received a very long, somewhat gruff response. Occupy Tucson has more than 6,500 followers on facebook, and when they have put out calls to action in the past, there has been a deluge.
Friday Call to Action: Occupy Tucson is asking supporters to come to Veinte de Agosto Park today (Friday) at 5:30 p.m. to demonstrate your support. Our first amendment freedom is at stake. From their facebook page:
This is a call to ALL, show your solidarity with OCCUPY TUCSON and come down to Viente De Agosto at 5:30 pm tonight (Friday) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyones 1st Amendment Right is at stake , the Mayor, council memeber and TPD needs to see all of you there, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT TUCSON !!!!!!!!!!!!
UPDATE: Local MoveOn.org activists are calling for Tucsonans to show their support for the Occupiers and come to Veinte de Agosto Park on Saturday, Nov. 5 at noon to issue their own citations against corporate robber barons. Here’s the link.
Our friends at Occupy Tucson are being issued citations for standing up and speaking out for the 99% of us who don’t have corporate lobbyists.
As many of you have by now heard, the City of Tucson evicted Occupy Tucson from Armory Park and Library Park last night. While this action was regrettable, the movement itself has not been discouraged. The Occupiers have relocated the base camp to Viente de Agosto Park and remains a strong, peaceful and committed community. Let’s continue to stand up for them, as they are standing up for us, the 99% who don’t have lobbyists and corporate legal departments to speak for us!
Thanks to all who have signed this petition in support of Occupy Tucson! We have collected nearly 4,000 signatures in support of the Occupiers, which will be delivered to the City Council at their next official meeting. [Nov. 9 is the next Mayor and Council meeting. ] Let’s show that the people of Tucson support freedom of speech and freedom to peacefully assemble! Meanwhile, the 1% who control over 42% of this naton’s wealth are not being held to account.
On Saturday, November 5th, MoveOn members and our progressive allies in Tucson will gather at Veinte de Agosto Park in Downtown Tucson to issue citations of our own – for crimes against the American public – to three of the biggest corporate banks on Wall Street: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase Bank.
At noon, we will gather at Veinte de Agosto Park at Congress and Church to show solidarity with our friends at Occupy Tucson. After Occupy’s noon general assembly, we (and any Occupiers who wish to join us) will march through Tucson’s financial district to present our tickets to the banks and kick off a “Move Your Money” campaign in Tucson.
Please note that the start of the rally has moved from Armory Park to Veinte de Agosto Park at Church and Congress, which is the new Occupy Tucson base camp. We will gather between noon and 12:30 and march from there to Chase, Wells Fargo & Bank of America for a peaceful sidewalk rally.
UPDATE 2: Here’s a link to images from the TPD raid of Armory Park.
UPDATE 3: Check out the video of the TPD sweep from the Tucson Sentinel.
[tnivideo caption=”Occupy Tucson protesters swept from Armory Park” credit=”Tucson Sentinel”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0fxGUqDP2A&[/tnivideo]