Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Since Occupy Tucson was evicted by the Tucson Police from Veinte de Agosto Park in December, Occupiers have been busy– the food drive, multiple marches, regular general assemblies, and occupying the sidewalk.
Today, Occupy Tucson announced that they will begin occupying DeAnza Park at Stone and Speedway. From their press release…
The tents are coming back. Some members of Occupy Tucson, the local branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement, will be putting up tents and sleeping in DeAnza Park after reaching a consensus at the General Assembly meeting last Monday night.
“We’ve never really gotten an opportunity to engage with the community in the way we’ve envisioned,” said Dave Croteau, one of the Occupiers who will be sleeping in the public park at Speedway Boulevard and Stone Avenue. “We’ve planned teach-ins and around the clock activities this time,” said Croteau, “and we welcome the neighbors to come see what we’re about.”
“The ills of our economy will continue to challenge the poorest citizens,” said Mary DeCamp. “The Tucson Police Department can continue wasting the tax-payers’ money chasing us out of the city parks, but we will continue to petition our broken government for redress to the social and political inequalities that have spawned this global movement.”
Three of the neighborhood associations near DeAnza Park were consulted prior to the encampment. The West University Neighborhood Association Board of Directors was informed of the impending action because DeAnza is within their jurisdiction; they voiced no opposition to the proposal to occupy. Feldman and Dunbar Springs Neighborhood Associations both voted in support of the Occupy Tucson action. Neighbors immediately adjacent to DeAnza were invited by Occupy Tucson representatives in the past two days to share their concerns. “Rather than being chased out and treated as criminals, Occupiers would like to help meet the needs of the community and work to find solutions to the home foreclosure crisis” said Ethan Beasley. “Too many of our friends and neighbors have had their homes taken from them through illegal title transfers using an automated recording system called MERS. The original deeds have been bundled, sliced, diced, and resold by banks and mortgage brokers who walked away with untold riches while hard-working would-be homeowners were fleeced like sheep. We’ve got to do something about those crimes,” said Beasley.
“We’re grateful that the Tucson Police Department hasn’t reacted violently to our presence,” said Sherry Mann, “but we have to have physical space to gather, to share our concerns, and to explore alternatives that will work for all.”
As puppets of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Goldwater Institute, Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature are attacking workers. Did we — the Arizona voters– ask the government to eliminate collective bargaining? NO. Did they campaign on this platform? NO. Why are they fast-tracking anti-union legislation? Because their corporate masters told them to.
We need the Occupy movement now more than ever. There are two classes of people in the US– workers and owners. All workers– union or not– should push back. We need to get corporate money out of government. We are the 99%.