Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy Lawrence protesters plead not guilty to violating park hours

November 16, 2011


Ten people who were ticketed for violating park hours last month as part of the Occupy Lawrence movement in South Park made their first appearances in Municipal Court on Tuesday.

All 10 pleaded not guilty and rejected a plea offer of a $200 fine, $60 in court costs, a six-month suspended jail sentence and 12 months of unsupervised probation. The defendants were ordered to appear again in court Dec. 12 for hearings.


pepper_bar 6 years ago

Bizarre plea offer; no wonder they turned it down. I'm no fan of anything Occupy-related, but no jury is going to give these idiots a bigger punishment than that. What was the city thinking?

pepper_bar 6 years ago

...and I might be an idiot for using the word "jury" there. Not sure if Lawrence uses juries or judges for park hours ticket stuff. Seriously, though, the city seems to have telegraphed that they want the campers to win. Weird.

pace 6 years ago

I heard the DA was really letting them know, the probation meant if they dared try anything in that year she would have them. . The DA and the judges and voters should be on Mass st. Saturday, I have no interest in seeing us using the police and court system and their funds to deny and block the Peaceful protests. It is a constitutional right. Cities all over the country are being encouraged to use curfews, regulations, and a heavy police action to squash Occupy. Billionaire Bloomberg is frothing at the mouth. Calling the protesters names and denigrating them. The police have theft, murder, public safety and they are suppose to stop their real duties to squash peaceful protest. I am so worried there will be deaths on either side, in the push to shut people up. I do not mean any disrespect to the Lawrence Police force, I do not think they signed up to be a political army. They will not be allowed to make statements. I do not pretend to speak for them, It is just my opinion, as they watch their brothers across the country lose their jobs, communities left unprotected, then told to use their resources to squash peaceful protest.

pace 6 years ago

I respect your right to have a different opinion. I am tempted to denigrate your pretense of not knowing the meaning of frothing at the mouth, but I think you just disagreed. You want to see the resources of police used to make sure any infraction or regulation which can be used, is used by authorities, You want to require complete adherence to the letter of law, and the force of law be enforced against the protesters and the heaviest penalties and sanctions that can be, be used against the protesters. I do not feel or think that way. I am worried that by addressing the protesters by heavy police and court without authorities recognizing the very real issues the protesters are bring up is putting minor park curfews and local regulations over constitutional rights. Where can peaceful assembly occur if not in public places? Say, if you wish to peacefully protest, how and where would you gather. In your home in front of your big screen tv? I am worried about these men and women standing up across the country being harmed. I am worried that police who have enough of harm way in their real duties will be harmed. I encourage peaceful protest and I encourage the authorities of respecting peaceful protest. If you think that as hyperbole, that is your opinion. I am not of the same mind. I think beating and harassing peaceful protesters, as is happening, is dangerous and wrong.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"your misrepresentation of what Mayor Bloomberg has said."

You also have to look at the actions that Bloomberg ordered against the protestors (middle-of-the-night raid, theft and destruction of their property) to read between the lines of his disingenuousness.

seriouscat 6 years ago

Not to mention the total media blackout and arrests of several journalists. They even disallowed helicopter flyovers. But people are still focused on the "dirty protesters".

"Don't look at us look at THEM! Don't they look weird and SCARY! NO stop...STOP looking at us! Focus on the peasants that look different than you and how weird and scary they are! "

Works every time.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Mike, explain to me how they are keeping other people from using the park?

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Hey, that's the famiiy's fault for being scared, ignorant and passive sheep. So if black people are in the park, and there is a family of racists, you would fault the black people. And their crime? Being Black in A Public Park?

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Its not moronic. Rather, its impossible to defend a racist or bigoted statement without revealing oneself as a racist or a bigot. .

cowboy 6 years ago

Come on municipal court , dismiss this crapola.

Anyone met the new judge yet ? Quite the ..... in my humble opinion

Liberty275 6 years ago

Going fishing at Leavenworth State Park, we made a left outside of Tonganoxie and on our right was a biker bar. You could tell it was a biker bar from the motorcycles parked out back and the topless girls washing them. I wanted to go back for a second look, and my wife didn't care, so we went back, and there for Bog and all his droogies to see was 5 half-naked girls.

Now had those girls been KU freshmen topless in South Park, on some grass, after a certain time, merely flashing their... chests, I contend they would multiply the number of accidents involving 2 ton vehicles by 50. Therefore the girls on the grass would be statistically more dangerous than any specific 2 ton vehicle going 5 MPH over the speed limit.

I'll need $35,000 to do a study if anyone wants proof.

Theoretically, the choice is not easy. And while it is just theory, it would not be unheard of for 5 college-aged girls to show there bare chests to strangers even without the exchange of money. I've seen it happen at Gasparilla in Tampa.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

good thing you're not a judge, but just another mindless, anonymous Internet idiot, making the world a dumber place on a daily basis. Thank you for your disservice.

jafs 6 years ago

I thought conservatives believed in obeying the law.

pace 6 years ago

I hate the bit about diversion cost to make a speeding ticket disappear. They do this with some dui too. If you got a speeding ticket, pay it, the business that if you have more money your can disappear is just creepy. Don't speed, there are good reasons for traffic laws.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Those of you who criticize are probably cowardly, timid, and spineless folks who never have, nor never will, stand up to authority, power, or money. That is why you are left throwing the invective at citizens who have the guts and commitment to stand up for what they believe in. Had our forefathers been afflicted with a similar psyche, we might still be a English Colony. Sycophants like yourselves are ripe for fascist control.

jafs 6 years ago


But, generally speaking, those who practice civil disobedience as a form of political protest have been willing to go to jail for it.

These folks don't even want to pay a fine.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Not quite. The article says they rejected a plea offer entailing a $200 fine and court costs. Perhaps they are willing to pay a fine but feel $200.00 is too steep.

jafs 6 years ago

I wonder why they think that the consequences of their actions are theirs to decide, rather than the court system's.

Principled civil disobedience is great, but you have to be willing to accept the consequences of it, and those aren't up to you.

It seems to me that these folks aren't willing to do that.

We'll see what happens next.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Apparently, you don't believe in the constitutional rights of due process and right to an attorney. Plea bargaining results from negotiations between the prosecutor and defense attorney over what should be an appropriate outcome, and presumes that the defendant has the right to reject the prosecutions offer, and counter with a lesser punishment and/or exercise their right to a jury trial. Apparently, you feel that what the prosecutor demands is per se just and proper, and immutable. Sorry, but that is not due process, and it is not the way the criminal justice system works. At least not in this country.

jafs 6 years ago

They have every legal right to contest the charge.

I question their principles, in violating the law (which they clearly did, by being in the park after closing hours) as a form of protest, and then pleading not guilty.

Did the civil rights protesters plead not guilty?

The whole point of civil disobedience is that you break the law to make a point - how can you then, in good conscience, claim you didn't break the law?

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Yes, many of them did, to clog up the court system, or proceed with a defense based on necessity. Go back to school.

jafs 6 years ago

I'll ignore that insult once.

The "heroes" of civil disobedience, to me, are people like MLK, Gandhi, Thoreau, etc.

They were willing to suffer actual consequences, often much more severe than a fine, for their actions, and that's what makes them admirable, and possessing courage and integrity, along with moral fiber, that many of us don't have.

Also, they were protesting unjust laws, which isn't the case here - the Occupy folks weren't protesting the park closing law.

You can believe that these folks are analogous to the heroes I mentioned above, but it doesn't seem that way to me at all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Their view is that their right to exercise their first amendment rights supersedes park curfew laws.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years ago

Where is that in the Constitution, Bozo Just because these dregs of society who do not want to work, save, invest and be productive and respectable citizens does not in any way, shape, or form grant them the permission to break the law. There are those that somehow make this fraudulant issue some sort of political stand. It is merely an aggregation of the great unwashed of society who are lazy, uneducated, and shiftless that want everything given to them by the government and who are simply unwilling to work for it. I regard them as bums and trash and as such, they do not have any "rights" to violate laws that all the rest of us must obey.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

So, since you lack the intellectual capacity to attack the message, you attack the messenger with every straw man you can dredge up.


Liberty275 6 years ago

No, the supreme court has ruled that time and place limitations can be placed on speech. I don't like the ruling as I think freedom of expression should be absolute as long as it doesn't physically harm an uninvolved party.

You are wrong, but I wish you weren't.

Armored_One 6 years ago

First Amendment rights have been properly hemmed in for decades.

Freedom of Speech... but you are not free to walk into a crowded theater and yell "Fire".

We have the ability to do the things that are listed in the Bill of Rights. We do not, however, get to do them all willy nilly. You are a blasted fool if you think otherwise.

The Right to Bear Arms... Not the right to bear heavy assault weapons.

The list is endless as to what you can and cannot do. If I use a bullhorn to proclaim my disgust with some aspect of government after a certain time, I should expect to be visited by police officers.

There are limits. There HAS to be limits, otherwise, everything is fair game.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Well, their view is that society is badly broken, and feel that what they are doing is much better than just being another sheep in the herd as you suggest.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

cheese... you are among the most worthless, pitiful contributors to ever opine on the web.

Don't you find it slightly hypocritical use another one of your demeaning, inane, thoughtless, and obviously uneducated spewings of trite-wing barf to criticize OTHERS for being unproductive?

How many of these do you churn out daily? How productive are they for society? How productive are they for you?

Keep up the productive work cheese. The bar can be lowered still.

BlackVelvet 6 years ago

What you really are saying is that cheeseburger's opinions differ from yours, therefore you shall resort to name calling and insults. Is that about right?

Liberty275 6 years ago

Due process is required by the constitution. Without an attorney, you have no due process because you don't know what you are doing. Public Defenders are a price we pay for honoring the constitution, and the price we pay for making the system at least somewhat fair.

While you can question their choices regarding working or standing around, you can't really criticize their receiving counsel after that choice is made and the government accuses them of a crime.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

These protestors surely expected to get a reaction from government authorities, and were willing to risk whatever penalties came with that, but they also believe they were exercising their constitutional rights, so, of course, they don't believe any civil or criminal penalties are legally or constitutionally justified.

jafs 6 years ago

That strikes me as a rather contradictory statement -- if they were willing to risk whatever penalties came with it, they should be willing to accept them.

If you're right, and they really are contesting the park closing law, then I suppose it's a bit different.

From my reading, it seems extraordinarily unlikely that the park closing laws are unconstitutional, and violate their first amendment rights - for one thing, after the park closed, and most left, they simply moved on to the sidewalk and continued their protest there.

So their first amendment rights weren't compromised at all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

The point is that first amendment rights supersede the laws over closing the park.

And there is a difference between expecting legal sanctions and accepting them.

jafs 6 years ago

Their first amendment rights weren't even limited in this case.

I'd be willing to bet they'll lose that one, if it goes to court, and even all the way to the Supreme Court.

Their rights would have had to be limited to even have any sort of a case like that.

And, even then, there are any number of laws that have been found to be constitutional that limit speech.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

Oh, come on. You're criticizing. Does that make you spineless, cowardly and timid? Of course not. It simply means you have a difference of opinion.

The Occupy Lawrence group was smart enough to figure out that they had gotten to the point where they were making their protests all about illegal camping in city parks, rather than about anything truly important, so they wisely redirected their focus.

As a veteran of both Vietnam and civil rights protests back East, I know that there are always people who want the focus on the wrong thing simply because it fits into their own personal agenda. Some advocate violence. Some advocate for "protest" camping at 9th and Mass. (You don't think Robert Gilmore had a personal agenda in calling for that???) And some forget what it is they're actually protesting.

The fact is that, like it or not, Lawrence had a city ordinance against camping in South Park loooooong before Occupy Lawrence decided to camp there. They were given a temporary permit. No problem. They overstayed...and, after multiple warnings, they were treated just like the rest of us would have been.

Like it or not, the First Amendment only says "Congress shall make no law respecting...the right of the people peaceably to assemble". It says nothing about "no camping" ordinances set in place by a city. Or city park hours ordinances. Occupy Lawrence protesters could have protested in the park during park hours to their hearts' content. They chose to push the wrong issue.

When people squawk that their first amendment rights have been violated in situations like this, all they're usually showing is their ignorance of what the First Amendment actually says.

Like it or not, while these 10 protesters certainly have the right to turn down the offer made to them regarding their tickets (I think I might have, does seem rather severe), they still broke a legitimate municipal law and received legitimate tickets for doing so from police officers legitimately doing their jobs. Sometimes that's the price you pay for protesting.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

I doubt you were really involved in the civil rights movemen back east. I was. And i don't recall there being any milquetoasts like you.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

But your actions jeopardized the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, as the reason behind speed limits is safety. The protesters did not endanger anyone's safety. Therefore, your punishment should be more severe than theirs.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Ed was the consummate sycophant.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

As I recall, there was a physical assault at the camp at 2 AM one morning...which is outside of posted hours. And there was a suspected rape at the the protesters took down their tents as they felt the tents were no longer safe.

So...what was that you were saying about safety??????

If you think that the city should allow camping in city parks and that there should be no park hours...that it's safe to do this...then lobby the city to have those ordinances changed. In the meantime, the ordinances are in place and the protesters were, indeed, breaking the law.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

I doubt you were really involved in the civil rights movemen back east. I was. And i don't recall there being any milquetoasts like you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

First, there is no political speech involved in breaking the speed limit. And as has already been pointed out, there is no danger to others created by occupying a park.

So your example is wholly without merit.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

Come on, bozo. No danger to others created by occupying a park??? I would think that the guy who was physically assaulted, the woman who was raped...and the protesters who decided the tents were no longer safe...might disagree with you.

thebigspoon 6 years ago

And, so, by that reasoning, all Lawrence should be illegal to occupy, as there are rapes and muggings in all parts of the city. Illegal to be in the park after statute hours? Yes. Was occupying the park to protest broad issues wrong? Not so clear. But using the "public safety" issue means that we need to close all bars (assaults) and all public areas of the city in order to keep sexual assaults from happening. I happen to believe the people should have found a better place to carry out their protest and gotten a permit good for a time that would give their protest the visibility it deserved, but telling me that the public is being protected from crime by closing the park is a real stretch.

Liberty275 6 years ago

I remember one guy that worked across from me telling me how fast his employee's blazer (a little one with a 383) was. I laid down a hundred feet of rubber then in a place he was known to cross the street wrote "When does he want to race?" with a grease pencil on one of the black marks. That was art.

A few weeks back, I was next to a cop at light. I'm naturally inclined to stay behind cops so I remained on his rear quarter after leaving the light. At the next light, the cop looked over and said "sounds nice". A cammed-up 350 sounds like music to some people. With true duals, mine is even in stereo. I made it sound that way.

You may not appreciate it as such, but just because a big scary car is involved, that doesn't stop something from being expression. Can a person not protest a 30MPH speed limit by going 35?

bearded_gnome 6 years ago


note the OWS had a huge impact of health and safety for that park and surrounds.
Crime in Zuccotti park was very serious. further, neighbors reported: vandalism; harrassment/cursing of neighbors and workers in the area; businesses including a bakery could not function; etc.

thus, occupying south park could have had indeed some serious impact on noise, neighbors to the park, and safety/health of those of the occupants and those who might yet wish to enjoy the park for its intended purposes.

seriouscat 6 years ago

Wait didn't some guy kill another guy with his car and get like 6 weeks in jail but he didn't really have to go to jail because he was a student and Lawrence didn't want him to miss school?

Does everyone who goes into South Park after 11:30 get arrested and prosecuted? Or just people who have opinions that the status-quo finds inconvenient?

pepper_bar 6 years ago

The Occupiers were repeatedly warned about breaking this law, the law they broke is content-neutral and reasonable to uphold public safety, and the violations by these ten attention-seekers and their allies led directly to public safety problems.

The Occupiers want to compare themselves to college kids who drink in the park, but those kids don't stay there for weeks at a time, and they tend to leave the instant the police tell them to.

seriouscat 6 years ago

Yeah I get that, but there's a serious problem with a court system that slaps 6 weeks of jail (but not really) on someone who killed another human being, and six months probation on people who violate park hours. Clearly this treatment is not "content neutral".

jafs 6 years ago

I agree that's a problem.

But, the content neutral thing doesn't apply unless others who remained in the park after being told to leave have done so without facing the same consequences.

My guess is that it will be hard to find others that, given the choice between leaving and being ticketed, chose to stay, so it would be hard to prove any bias of that sort.

jafs 6 years ago

Actually, right up until the ticketing, the protesters were given the opportunity to leave without a ticket.

They clearly chose to stay and be ticketed.

I'd have to say that overall the city of Lawrence has been remarkably tolerant of these protests, and handled the protesters with kid gloves, for the most part.

somedude20 6 years ago

I have no idea who the defendants are but having walked through SP many times and seeing them as well as the pics and stories that LJW had, many of those people are vagrants or extremely poor so I wonder how those fines will be paid. They might have to occupy a job, though I am sure some would prefer free room and board (jail) rather than the dreaded, sorry have to say it folks....JOB to earn the money for the fine.

seriouscat 6 years ago

Yeah poor people totally prefer jail to working, they WANT to be there. Just like homeless people WANT to live on the streets and women who dress provocatively WANT to be raped.

Jedi mind tricks really DO work don't they?

somedude20 6 years ago

I know two who did prefer jail rather than paying a fine. Some homeless do prefer to live on the street and I will trust you at your word about women liking to be raped.

seriouscat 6 years ago

Oh so now you personally know two of them and they told you that they prefer jail instead of a fine because it's free room and board and they "dread the job" to earn the money? Well okay then.

Thanks for speaking for the people who just one post ago you said you "have no idea who they (the defendants) are but you .....saw while walking through SP and in pictures on the LJW".

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

I thought he was talking about two homeless people, i.e."vagrants", not two protesters.

somedude20 6 years ago

I did not say it was people from the occupy stuff. Seriously, you are dumbcat! Ra ra read "did prefer" past tense as in I know 2 people who in the past did the time rather than pay the fine. Dumb dumb dumb!

seriouscat 6 years ago

Yeah it has everything to do with my intelligence and nothing at all to do with your inability to communicate clearly via the written word. This is why posting on the LJW forum is such an excruciating experience. Moving on now.

Liberty275 6 years ago

"Jedi mind tricks really DO work don't they?"

Those are inherent prejudices, at least for older folks. It's hard to abandon what you believe and what you are. In this context, the left are the one's playing Jedi by encouraging people to act like they think something they really don't believe.

That makes your metaphor inaccurate. It was still funny though.

Hadley_says 6 years ago

If they are not hurting the grass or starting fires, I say maybe we should ignore them.

From the Denver Post: ". . .The Police Department this week asked for a $6 million budget increase, citing Occupy as a small but unspecified portion of the cost.

Last month, the safety manager's office estimated total overtime costs for various city departments during five days of protest in October at approximately $365,000. . .".

Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years ago

I'm conservative and I think the protesters should be given a break. Dump the jail and probation terms and just give them a ticket. Regardless of whether or not you agree with them, you must admit the the Lawrence protesters have been much more courteous than some of the protesters in other cities. Nothing was vandalized and they always cleaned up after themselves. I took my kids to South Park several times without any concern of trouble. The Lawrence Police Department behaved better than most other places as well. No reports of violence or pepper spray.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

I agree that the jail and probation terms are overkill. Just ticket them and get it over with. I think the court might be trying to "send a message"...but I think the message has already been sent.

MattressMan 6 years ago

Not really related to this per se but the city is making the KU drunk walkway and it goes through south park. Are they going to ticket people using this sidewalk after the park closes? Using that sidewalk will be using part of the park.

Munsoned 6 years ago

The sidewalk is city right-of-way and not considered part of the park, especially if it is being used for its intended purpose. Before I press "post comment" and get lambasted by the peanut gallery, I will add that this is just my opinion. I am not a lawyer, never played one on TV and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Armored_One 6 years ago

Actually, you are correct about city right-of-way useage.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Ethics, and the lack thereof, knows no party line. As for morals, whose are we going to use?

pace 6 years ago

I respect your right to have a different opinion. You want to see the resources of police used to make sure any infraction or regulation which can be used, is used by authorities, You want to require complete adherence to the letter of law, and the force of law be enforced against the protesters and the heaviest penalties and sanctions that can be, be used against the protesters. I do not feel or think that way. I am worried that by addressing the protesters by heavy police and court without authorities recognizing the very real issues the protesters are bring up is putting minor park curfews and local regulations over constitutional rights. Where can peaceful assembly occur if not in public places? Say, if you wish to peacefully protest, how and where would you gather. In your home in front of your big screen tv? I am worried about these men and women standing up across the country being harmed. I am worried that police who have enough of harms way in their real duties will be harmed. I encourage peaceful protest and I encourage the authorities of respecting peaceful protest. If you think that as hyperbole, that is your opinion. I am not of the same mind. I think beating and harassing peaceful protesters, as is happening, in a coordinated effort across the cities, is dangerous and wrong. If you think there is economic corruption in congress and senate, have been saying that for years and have seen nothing but deepening corruption , maybe you should get out of your arm chair, get up, protest, if you think peaceful protest on the street is wrong then put up a sign, write a letter to your representative. Do somthing.

Liberty275 6 years ago

I tend to agree with this. However, it's odd that they are protesting wall street (aka corporate greed) and asking for increased government regulation, even as the governments are using regulations to inhibit the protestors.

It's like the chicken asking the wolf for help because the wolf is eating her.

Armored_One 6 years ago

The ordinance against camping on city regulated public property and the ordinance concerning operational hours have been "on the books" in this city for well over 20 years, since they existed when I moved here in the early 90s.

Ignorance of the law is no defense against the law, and as such, they should be fined and potentially jailed. They intentionally bit their thumbs at the law. When one intentionally breaks a law, regardless of the severity of the violation, punishment should be administered.

We do this with our children. Our employers do it with us. At what point are these citizens of Lawrence exempt from obeying the same laws the rest of us do.

With the logic, and I use the term loosely, I should be able to drive at any speed I decide because I want to protest the policy of giving foreign aid to Pakistan.

Camping in the park after being informed that you are breaking the law will, and rightfully should, bring about a consequence. The consequences are clearly outlined in the city ordinances, and the courts are allowed to deviate somewhat either direction, since the sentencing guidelines are exactly that; a guideline.

You earned it, buttercup. Suck it up, take your punishment, and press on.

Oh, wait. That is what an adult would do, not a bunch of intellectual rejects whose sense of self entitlement supercedes society's requirement that the established laws be followed.

muddfoot55 6 years ago

personally I think they should have been ticketed every 24 hours for everyday they were there, WILLFULLY disreguarding the law. Also seems like channel 6 ran a story that the women overnighters felt unsafe in the park. Duuuhhh...thats why there is a law, it is for your own personal safety. What ever happened to personal accountability?

fu7il3 6 years ago

How can you be cited in the park after hours and not be guilty of being in the park after hours?

jafs 6 years ago


I suppose that somebody might argue that the police are lying, but other than that, it seems pretty straightforward.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Move Your Money - To local institutions and do your community a large favor.

A database to assist those wishing to move their money out of big banks that took taxpayer money and used it to pay themselves large bonuses:

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Face it Bank of America should be subject to an FBI investigation and Grand Jury probe now over the home loan scandal. Goldman-Sachs should also.

The banks should be nationalized and executives sent to prison!

10 reasons NOT to bank with Bank of America

Where did the Bush/Cheney/Paulson Bailout Money Go? Not much is known

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

It's a public park supported by taxpayers. Why is it closed? The OWS people are taxpayers and they were not bothering anyone except those that disagree with their mission.

Closing the park is like militarization of the park system.

They don't arrest all who frequent the park after closing which makes this action one of discrimination and perhaps profiling.

Some people are in the park because it is on the way to somewhere such as home,eating out or meeting a lover somewhere.

jafs 6 years ago

Many tax funded places are open some times, and closed at other times.

The pool, library, courthouse, etc.

The question of enforcement might be a reasonable one - if it's generally not enforced, and they suddenly chose to do so, there could be an issue there.

I doubt that any other people in the park after closing have chosen to remain there when informed that it's too late, though. These folks did that, even given every opportunity to leave without being ticketed.

So it would be hard to find other people who refused to leave, and were left alone.

And, there also might be some sort of argument that a couple of people walking through the park don't pose a public safety issue, and that a bunch of people with tents/sleeping bags there all night do pose such an issue.

Interestingly, there was a story in the paper about a gal in NYC who got arrested and detained for being in a park after hours, because she didn't have id on her, even though she offered to go to the hotel and get it, or have her friend do so.

I'm not sure why that would make any difference at all, but the friend with her had ID and was let go.

She even offered to leave immediately upon finding out the park was closed.

The judge threw out the case.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

"...Closing the park is like militarization of the park system..." I LOLed so hard I think I peed a little. The police were arresting the people who had put up tents and were living in the park after closing hours. Walking thru the park is not the same thing as camping there. (from a source)

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Today is a national day of action to mark the start of the third month of the Occupy Wall Street movement. As we broadcast protesters marched in various parts of the Financial District in an attempt to block the New York Stock Exchange from opening at 9:30 a.m.

Labor organizers are planning protests at dozens of bridges across the country today as part of a campaign to highlight the need for increased spending on the nation’s infrastructure. In Portland, protesters are planning to occupy the Steel Bridge. In Seattle, an action will target the Montlake Bridge. In Washington, D.C., protesters will march on the Key Bridge. In New York, a 5 p.m. action is set at the Brooklyn Bridge.

The protests come just two days after New York police raided Occupy Wall Street at Liberty Plaza and destroyed the encampment. Protesters have been allowed to return to the park, but without sleeping bags, tents or musical instruments.

Democracy Now!'s Ryan Devereaux reports live from Wall Street, where protesters, with help from New York police, blockaded all streets leading to the Stock Exchange. "The plan is for sort of a three-pronged blitz on the Financial District, marches coming from all different directions, and trying to basically swarm the area with people," Devereaux says. "The NYPD's response has been equally robust. There are police vehicles, officers and barricades on every single street."

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Other than hopping up and down with their little fists clenched in rage, what did the occupy dudes accomplish today? Except for cost taxpayers a lot of money for police overtime, that is.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

We host a discussion on policing and the Occupy Wall Street movement with Chuck Wexler, director of the Police Executive Research Forum, which helped organize calls among police chiefs on how to respond to the Occupy protests, and with Norm Stamper, the former police chief of Seattle, who recently wrote an article for The Nation magazine titled "Paramilitary Policing from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street." "Trust me, the police do not want to be put in this position.

And cities really need to ask themselves, is there another way to handle this kind of conflict?" Wexler says. Stamper notes, "There are many compassionate, decent, competent police officers who do a terrific job day in and day out. There are others who are, quote, 'bad apples.' What both of them have in common is that they 'occupy,' as it were, a system, a structure that itself is rotten. And I am talking about the paramilitary bureaucracy."

We are also joined by Stephen Graham, author of "Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism," and by retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, who worked as a legal observer Tuesday morning in New York after the police raided the Occupy Wall Street encampment. "I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested... As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, 'I need to get in. My daughter's there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, 'Move on, lady.' And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head," says Smith. "I walk over, and I say, 'Look, cuff her if she's done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, 'Lady, do you want to get arrested?' And I said, 'Do you see my hat? I'm here as a legal observer.’ He said, 'You want to get arrested?' And he pushed me up against the wall."

waynelsworld 6 years ago

Gee sorry I missed all the fun today but I just got home from my JOB. I guess the rest of you are to lazy to work or are blogging on company time. Given most of the comments either way I guess I didn't miss much original thought.

I need to prepare dinner so I am going to make this short. The OWS demonstrators have a right to plead not guilty at a first appearance. That is part of the process. There will be a scheduling hearing. A trial date will be set. A trial will happen and a judgement will be rendered. BTW No jury in a Municipal Ct. They will need it appealed to a trial by Jury in District Court before it is ever before a jury.

Their right to plead not guilty is also protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Those of you who have already acted as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner have got the cart before the horse.

Upon advise from legal counsel they opted to not have a confrontation with police in the interest of maintaining that they are peaceful demonstrators. Better stewards of the Constitution than most of those I have read here blogging. They have done the proper thing when confronted with what they believe is an issue beetween the City Code and a Fundamental Right. The Fundamental Rights have been here since the late 18th Century and are the cornerstone of our Democracy. It is now up to the Judges and Lawyers with perhaps a jury thrown in to sort it out. Before we pass judgement on guilt or innocence crime and punishment let us first determine how the judicial review will play out.

This will be much more clearly defined and managed as the process moves forward. The importance of how these 10 have handled themselves is that it can not be clouded by bad actions on their part. The police acted under orders in apparently a safe and reasonale manner. It is now the courts and the opinions of learned legal scholars to determine how it will ultimately turn out.

I for one would not like to see the First Ammendment stepped on by a City Ordinance and I believe that it may take a few levels of jurisprudence to prove that out. In the meantime I support these young people for stepping up and making a stand and doing so in a legal, non-violent, manner.

PS: I understand that at least some of those that have been cited have Private Legal Counsel. Therefore no burden to taxpayers although that would be their right as well.

Matt Schwartz 6 years ago

Your rant gave just enough time for you to make mac and cheese. P.S. Not legal to camp in a park.

Matt Schwartz 6 years ago

wedgies for all of them.... high and tight.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

Ok, new plea agreement.....

No less than 100 hours community service per person. (I personally like 150)

I'm sure Parks & Rec could find plenty for them to do that the current budget wouldn't otherwise support.

If nothing else, they could shovel the driveways and walks of the elderly and disabled this winter. Or, I'd love to see all the cigarette butts in downtown Lawrence cleaned up.

They want to make Lawrence a better place? This is win-win!

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