24 Hours into the Hunger Strike

6 Dec

My  name is Julie and I have been involved with the Occupy movement since October 7th, 2011. In the past two months I have been completely taken aback by the actions of the San Diego Police Department. Protesters at Occupy San Diego have been subject to unlawful arrests, police brutality, unprofessional conduct, discrimination, and constant police harassment. Occupiers have been ticketed for ridiculous offenses such as ashing cigarettes outdoors, and jaywalking when not jaywalking. Occupiers have went to jail for misdemeanor infractions such as jaywalking or spitting on the sidewalk. Media has been jailed for filming the police on at least two occasions. At this point there have been close to 200 arrests at Occupy San Diego, very few of them valid. Many people simply practicing their freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are jailed for the crime of “obstructing a peace officer”, a vague charge. This is a travesty to our first amendment rights. Most seriously, Occupiers are being hurt. There are countless videos of police misconduct, brutality and unlawful arrests. I am tired of watching my fellow OSD protesters get hurt and feeling helpless about the situation. Therefore I am on hunger strike. I will end my hunger strike when Chief Landsdowne apologizes for the gross police misconduct, police brutality and police harassment Occupy San Diego has faced. I am not asking for anything but one simple apology. I have plenty of videos documenting my claims, and I will present it all to you over the next few days. Here are a few to start:

On November 12, I witnessed one of my best and oldest friends be harassed by police for laying in a sleeping bag, then arrested for sitting on top of it. As the cops were standing him up, Officer Michael E. Sweet put my friend Bob O’Grady in a chokehold, slammed him to the ground and choked him for thirty to forty seconds, while he was restrained by three officers. That video has been watched by over 20,000 viewers and can be seen here:


Here is a different camera angle of that same event:


You can also read a full account of Bob’s arrest here: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2011/nov/12/man-choked-arrested-at-occupy-san-diego/

This particular incident is particularly upsetting because despite multiple complaints Officer Sweet has been allowed to return to patrolling Civic Center and has engaged in intimidating behaviors with the Occupy San Diego protesters. When told by one protester “You choked Bob for thirty seconds” he responded “Actually is was 40 seconds”. He then demanded to know if Bob had returned and if he was there. This is in no way appropriate behavior for a peace officer.


Last week Ray Lutz, the 2010 Democratic Candidate for Congress in California’s 52nd congressional district., was arrested for setting up a vote’rs registration table. He is filing a lawsuit for the unlawful arrest. I have personally seen voters registration tables inside the Civic Center on two occasions, and no arrests were made. This is a perfect example of how the SDPD has targeted Occupy San Diego protesters. You can see the video of Ray being arrested here:


Here is an article detailing the events: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/8018


Last week another occupier named Hex was arrested for allegedly tearing caution tape. He alleges that the police officers intentionally pinched his skin while putting on handcuffs. In this video notice the look on the officer’s face right before Hex begins howling in pain around 48 seconds in. Hex also alleges that he was peppersprayed in handcuffs in the back of the cop car, which we do not have on film, but we are working on finding witnesses. The video can be seen here:



In one of the more famous incidents at Occupy San Diego peaceful protesters were maced. There are many videos of this incident, however we saw nothing like the outcry that U.C. Davis saw when their protesters were maced. Here are several videos of that macing:




Aside from all of this we have been raided four times. I will have to blog about those raids another night but here are some videos of your tax dollars at work:



It has been just over 24 hours since I last ate. If after seeing these videos you think Chief Landsdowne should apologize call Police Headquarters at (858) 484-3154 and let him know. I have been unable to get his direct number however I plan on visiting him tomorrow, so I’ll be sure to get that for you. If you are not convinced, sit tight. There are plenty of more videos to come.

9 Responses to “24 Hours into the Hunger Strike”

  1. pajama momma December 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Tofu. Vegetables. Oranges. Apples. Amy’s Organic Microwaveable meals. Vegan pizza.
    Chocolate……organic, of course. Carrot juice.

  2. Crystal Williams December 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    I sincerely hope that people will see what you are doing and declare in one voice of solidarity, “We Will Not Take This Anymore!” Thank you for your sacrifice, Julie. We love you so much.

  3. Mitchell Sterling December 7, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Julie, you are a very brave person! Thank you for your dedication to this important cause, and for putting yourself out there time after time. Speaking truth to power is never easy, and I am inspired by your actions! Stay strong, and may victory in what you seek be yours soon. Bless you and everyone in Occupy San Diego that are fighting so hard to make this a better world for our children!

  4. jenniem December 7, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    is SDPD required to have dash cam rolling at all times? can we have a lawyer get audio/video footage?

    • occupyfast December 7, 2011 at 6:51 am #

      That is an excellent idea Jennie! I will investigate.

  5. oneputtmike December 7, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    You have my full support and I may join you soon. All my best!

    • occupyfast December 7, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      Thank you so much Mike! Whether you join me or not, your support means the world to me 🙂

  6. Malcolm Migacz December 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    I can’t understand why you would want to put your health at risk for actions of others that are out of your control. I hope you reconsider this type of protest. We need to occupy SD in good health and set an example of non-violence to other occupiers. Now, you have choose to violate yourself with a hunger strike, setting an inappropriate example of choosing not to maintain ones health.

    • occupyfast December 8, 2011 at 7:36 am #

      a. I am taking vitamins and supplements to minimize health risks.
      b. A hunger strike is one of the most non-violent examples I could set.
      c. I am not violating myself, I am liberating myself. I have no intention of letting myself die or be seriously injured, and I have a great support system monitoring me. Judge not my friend.
      d. This isn’t about me, this about the movement. I want to bring attention to the inappropriate police behavior which has sent my friends to jail and the hospital one too many times. I am taking a stand for them. For us. The fact that you have come to this website and possibly seen some of the videos I have posted is validation in itself. You are being informed.

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