The night I started my hunger strike…

8 Dec

I received a phone call from my friend Fish. Fish is one of the 24/7 occupiers, and arguably the most dedicated. He called me around midnight and said that the police were harassing the occupiers, and were threatening to make arrests at some point that night. They wouldn’t say when or why, just that there would be arrests. Keep in mind that traditionally arrests warrant charges. Anywhere else in San Diego, police generally cannot arrest people “just because”. This does not apply at Occupy San Diego.

When Fish called me I felt sick to my stomach, racked with guilt about not being there. It was a cold night and I had work in the morning. I have spent countless nights sleeping at Civic Center, but haven’t slept there since the second raid when the Occupiers were forced out onto the grassy knoll by 3rd street. I chose not to drive 30 minutes to Civic Center to watch my friends be arrested. I spent time thinking about all of the arrests I had seen over the past two months. I impulsively started my hunger strike about an hour after Fish called me, and an hour before he was arrested with 8 other people.

Basically 9 people were arrested this night “just because”. The awake demonstrators did not have tents. They were arrested for illegal lodging. There are no hours in which peacefully assembly, our first amendment right, is “allowed” and “not allowed”. The right to peacefully assemble is permanent. Except in Civic Center. This is not a very high quality video, however it does show the ridiculous amount of cops your tax dollars paid for, to conduct a planned raid on our first amendment rights. Watch the video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzChrCAM_JE&feature=youtube_gdata

Read the news story here:

http://sdoccupypress.org/2011/12/06/after-9-more-arrested-occupy-san-diego-seeks-apology-resignation-of-sdpd-chief-continue-reading-on-examiner-com-after-9-more-arrested-occupy-san-diego-seeks-apology-resignation-of-sdpd-chief-sa/

Please note that the police officers will not respond to the question “Why am I being detained?”. Why were these 9 Occupy San Diego demonstrators detained and arrested?

On a happier note I saw two of the people arrested tonight, Bear and Mark. They were released from San Diego County Jail and immediately returned to Civic Center to rejoin the Occupation. When I left tonight they were still there.  To that, I say this:

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Another Reason Chief Landsdowne should Apologize

7 Dec

SDPD has repeatedly arrested independent media for filming police raids and arrests

At Occupy San Diego many members of the media team have been arrested for filming police raids. In this incident the tape was intact and you can clearly see that the man holding the video camera was arrested for nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk. Why? Because the cops were raiding the Civic Center. Watch the shortvideo:

Here is a video of what happened right before the photographer was arrested:

If you think the behavior of the SDPD seen on this blog warrants an apology please feel free to contact Chief Landsdowne during business hours at (619) 531-2777.

In other news I’ve been on hunger strike for about 46 hours and I am feeling fabulous.

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Hunger Strike

6 Dec

Hunger Strike

In response to the continued harassment, brutality and abuses of power the SDPD has subjected us to, I am currently on hunger strike pending a public apology from Chief Landsdowne.

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6QCRneABhU&feature=youtu.be

Here is a different camera angle of that same event:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPg_t04d4Kw&feature=youtu.be

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.

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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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsHlNR-nVR0&feature=youtu.be

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

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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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZW0aSPT8tw&feature=youtu.be

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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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6MAGmZRfcY&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnQMzx5-KYQ&feature=youtu.be

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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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caLQCdT1GoY&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCTpzMan-mw&feature=youtu.be

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.