Occupy Sacramento, Days 2-5: Participating In The First Weekend And My Arrest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzKJBkMMgNk
Download High Quality Video: http://WikiWorldOrder.org/video/Occupy/WWO-OccSac-Oct7-10-Days2-5.mp4

On October 3rd, when I first heard about the plans to Occupy Sacramento, I had also been thinking about going from Davis to San Francisco to participate in the Occupy The FED to focus on ending (or nationalizing) the privately-owned Federal Reserve. I knew I wanted to participate heavily in one of these two local occupations, and decided to go with Sacramento so I could spend more time there and simultaneously focus on local and other issues.

The first day, Thursday, October 6th, I mostly just participated in marches, enjoyed the self-chosen speakers, had some individual discussions, and did my best to record the event as a citizen journalist. But this weekend, I took less video footage and got more involved.

I didn’t get to Cesar Chavez Park until around 7pm after I finishing my day’s work, but it sounds like it was another great day, with a bit less attendence than Thursday. Our standard formula continued, with regular general assemblies to decide the nature of our occupation, open forums where anyone can share their views over a bullhorn, workshops, and periodic mid-town marches.

Friday night, when the park closed at midnight, many people began to occupy the public park after hours but most left after the first warning to disperse. This left one brave soul, Patrick Riordan, to hold down the occupation for the night. He was arrested alone that night, and although he is fine, he faced a rougher night in jail than any of the rest of us have had. Thank you so much Patrick, we love you!

On Saturday morning, I asked one of our amazing Resource coordinators, Laura, how I could help. And so I began the creation of an official information booth for Occupy Sacramento, so the Media team could focus their energy on all their publication and online presence. This was a great deal of fun and aside from the general information and daily schedules we post there to inform attendees, we had a tarp — and now a real table — for informative materials free for the taking.

About half of the table is dedicated to more “official” materials generated by the group like the Occupy Sacramento Newsletter, flyers, and the first official statement from Occupy Wall Street. The other half of the table is reserved for ANYONE to leave ANY materials they wish to share. I like to call it, “Need some info? Take some info. Have some info? Leave some info.” And¬†given our big tent of 99%, you can find anything from Tea Party magazines, to socialist flyers.

Throughout the day, Occupy Sacramento continued to hold general assemblies, open forums, workshops, art and music sessions, and marches. At midnight, around 30 of us sat down just inside one corner of Cesar Chavez park to remain after it closed. We performed this civil disobedience in defense of our rights to freely assemble in this public park and freely speek with one another. After some private discussion and planning by the handful of Sacramento police officers already on the scene, a couple dozen police vehicles all rolled in together. Soon after arriving, the lead officer on the scene ordered us to disperse, and the occupiers who did not want to risk arrest crossed the invisible line of the park’s borders to join the rest of our observers on the sidewalk.

This left 14 citizens sitting with signs and most of our hands clearly visible, continuing to chant things including “Police are the 99%.” After one or two more warnings by the police for us to disperse, a few dozen police officers surrounded the sit-in. They wore helmets and held clubs and at least one pepper spray paintball gun which I remember seeing. But my 13 brothers and sisters and I all successfully remained completely non-violent and our respect to the police was once again reciprocated. None of us were harmed during our arrests and the hardest part tended to just be the discomfort, fatigue, and bordem of sitting in jail all night.
{* Videos of LIVE video stream during Saturday night’s arrests: ¬†*}

Arrest document with charges, and police Polaroid taken during initial processing

Although some of us were released from jail earlier, I was released around noon the next day after almost 12 hours in police custody, but safe and sound. I was charged with two misdemeanors:

  • PC 409 – Remaining at place of riot post order to [disperse]
  • SCC 12.72.090 – Loitering in parks during certain hours

The media team and citizen journalists who are actively participating in this citizen occupation have been doing an amazing job of getting the words, images, and videos out to all of our brothers and sisters across the world online. As far as local mainstream media goes, Natalie Sentz of Sacramento’s local ABC, channel 10, has been doing a relatively great job of reporting on Occupy Sacramento:

And Derek Shore of CBS Sacramento, channel 13, has also been doing a better job than most (including an interview of me):

On Sunday and Monday nights, all occupiers staying past the park’s curfew voluntarily removed themselves from the park upon the first order to disperse by the police, then marched around the perimeter of the park for a while. My understanding of this action is that after making our point very clearly the past three nights, we wanted to help save city resources while still making our continued presence known. With each day that passes, our general assemblies and open discussions are making Occupy Sacramento more organized, connected, and ever closer to concrete lists of grievances and demands.

As the Occupy Together movement continues to extend and expand the principles and actions of Occupy Wall Street, we grow ever closer to reclaiming our world. Just in case these really are the beginning seeds of a true American revolution, the rest of the 99% needs to join us and help direct it in the ways we can all agree upon. Let us communicate and collaboratively organize in discussions where our elected representatives fail. This is as much about education as anything else, as we continue to learn and teach one another through open forums and unlimited face-to-face human interaction.

This is the most exciting time to be alive in centuries, so please stay off the couch and join us. Let’s keep it peaceful, positive, equal, and open-minded to create something remarkable during this once in a lifetime opportunity.¬†I love you all!¬†We are the 99%!

Credits:

Raw footage from arrest nights largely taken by Occupy Sacramento Media team Ustream account “dummey”
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dummey