Latest Occupy San Diego Matters

by on November 18, 2011 · 13 comments

in Civil Rights, Popular, San Diego

OccupySD activists have finally found a tent that the San Diego Police can live with.

Despite not having a space to sleep in, November 17th, the National Day of Action, still found Occupy San Diego very busy.

Tents at Fed Building -since removed. Photo by Susan Duerksen

Temporary Tents at the Federal Building

Organizers with OSD joined the San Diego Labor Council, SEIU and its Justice for Janitor project, and immigrant rights activists in a rally and march to the Federal Building on Front Street.  Demonstrators set up several tents  – although temporarily – on a grassy stretch near the doors to the building.  Homeland Security agents later came by and ordered the tents removed – which they were.

Occupiers Maintain Vigil at Civic Center Plaza

After OccupySD demonstrators were ousted from the area next to the Civic Theater during the early morning raid by police – with 9 arrests and two citations – they came back to the Civic Center Plaza just hours later that day.  That night there was a march of nearly one hundred to the Police headquarters at 14th and Broadway where a short GA session was held.  Protesters then returned to the Plaza to continue the meeting.

The general attitude is to continue to vigil – even despite the ban on sleeping or belongings – at the Plaza.  One long-time Occupy activist, Julie M., plans to stay awake as long as she can while at the Plaza, with the expectation she’ll be up for a couple of days. A number of others have vowed to stick it out with her. Others pledge just to spend one night awake.  Last night, Thursday, there was a fairly good sized crowd for the General Assembly.  This means, the occupation continues.

350 Rally at Bridge Blockade: Occupy San Diego, Labor and MoveOn and Supporters Temporarily Block Clairemont Drive Bridge

Several hundred San Diegans rallied atop the Clairemont Drive bridge over I-5 in a protest of an infrastructure that needs fixing and a Congress that does nothing to create jobs.  The joint action for San Diego on the National Day of Action was organized by the Labor Council, local MoveOn groups, and OccupySD.  One side of Clairemont Drive over the bridge was blocked by the demonstrators for up towards an hour and half, although the plans for the blockage had been worked out with police beforehand. The OB Rag reported 350 participants.

Panelists:Lorena Gonzalez, Carlos R. Davalos, Samuel Hodgson, Mike Garcia, and Frank Gormlie. (Photo by Patty Jones.)

Panel On Media Coverage of the Occupy Wall Street Movement Sparks Needed Debate

An hour was not long enough, but it was a beginning at least. In a standing-room only meeting hall just yards away from an OccupySD gathering, the local San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists sponsored a panel discussion of media coverage of the Occupy movement. Moderated by San Diego U-T reporter Matthew Hall (who did a great piece on portraying local occupiers) , the panel included: Samuel Hodgson, Voice of San Diego photojournalist; Carlos R. Davalos, The (Chula Vista) Star-News executive editor; Frank Gormlie, occupier and editor of the OB Rag; Lorena Gonzalez, occupier and secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council; Mike Garcia; occupier who is serving as one of the movement’s city liaison.

San Diego U-T reporter Matthew Hall, moderator for the panel discussion.

Discussion sparked by the panelists and their interaction with people who attended showed that there is a need for a San Diego town hall meeting on issues such as freedom of press, assembly and of speech.
Bankers and Occupiers at Reinvestment Task Force

About 15 people from Occupy San Diego attended a meeting of the Reinvestment Task Force, which included representatives of the banking industry, members of the public, and OB Ragster Anna Daniels.  Chaired by City Council president Tony Young, the Task Force unsuccessfully fielded questions from the public such as: Why are there no credit unions or community banks represented at the meeting? Why are the agendas and minutes not available on the web site? Can money be redirected from the wall-street banks to local credit unions and community banks?

Protesters Have Found the Tent San Diego Police Can Live With

OccupySD activists have found a tent that the San Diego Police can live with. (See photo above.) This just proves that despite everything else, occupiers still have a great sense of humor.

LGBT Canvas for a Cause to Go Door-to-door in Campaign for Occupy San Diego – Plans Training on Nov. 19th

The LGBT activist group, Canvass for a Cause (CFAC), announced they are organizing a grass-roots campaign to help the Occupy San Diego movement. With door-to-door canvassing and street outreach, the San Diego-based activist group is seeking to build support for the Occupy movement. Canvas for a cause will be training occupiers at an event scheduled for Nov. 19 at the Civic Center plaza, downtown. Called “Knock 4 an Occupation,” the training session starts at 10 a.m. “It is an incredibly powerful tool,” said Executive Director of CFAC Tres Watson of the group’s methods. “With an issue like Occupy, where most people don’t know what it is or don’t feel as strongly about it as gay marriage, I think we will see a lot of community support and involvement,” he said.

Crowd at panel on media coverage of the occupy movement.

Hearing for Injunction Against City and Police on Nov. 22nd

Eugene Davidovich, a local occupier, is the lead plaintiff in Occupy San Diego’s application for an injunction against the City of San Diego and SDPD. On Nov. 16, lawyers  representing Occupy San Diego protesters filed an application  in Federal Court seeking the court to issue a temporary restraining order against the city and police. “The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech and the right to peacefully assemble,” said Bryan Pease, a free speech attorney in a press release. “How it is being enforced by the SDPD is unconstitutional,” Pease said.  The hearing on the app for the Federal TRO is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22nd, in Federal Court.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar forrest curo November 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

We did this (overnight vigils) back in 1998, as you probably know. It was exhausting!

It’s a hard way to keep a demonstration going continuously; I hope it works for you! The ‘relay’ arrangement seems doable if enough people are determined enough.

The first time was November 97, with a big storm expected and the shelters not expected to open until December. The police took me away just as the first drops were falling, kept me awhile, let me go. So when several of us started a 1-night vigil in March 98, I started a suit & injunction request to keep this one from going the same way. The next morning, Anne & I went home, but the homeless people involved decided to continue. Since this provided a location where homeless people could sleep safely, a great many of them joined in over the next few months.

The police would not help keep any sort of order; they would and did hold it against us if someone unconnected with the group showed up and caused trouble. A guy who tried to stab one of the leaders was released a few hours afterwards and came back for another try. On another hand, we knew of several basically-okay homeless people who’d asked individual policemen where they could sleep safely, and been sent to us.

Those who continued the demonstration moved it several times, back and forth between the Concourse and the County Building. That could be an option this time…

My own lawsuit eventually fizzled, because I am not a lawyer and didn’t have a hope of litigating the thing– but I came out pretty sure there were arguments a real lawyer could use effectively. November 22nd, I really hope this works for you!

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avatar Obbop November 19, 2011 at 11:07 am

“There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

“There has been class warfare going on,” Buffett, 81, said in a Sept. 30 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS. It’s just that my class is winning. And my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them.”

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avatar Old Hermit Dave November 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Come on poor and middle class, don’t you know how hard it is for the Super Rich to cure themselves of Laugh/Giggle syndrome? Lighten up, surely you don’t think you can change the way those elected bums operate. Just do what Newt the wife dumper says, get a job and shut up.

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avatar mr.rick November 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm

A job is just what I need. This living on food stamps is alright as long as you don’t mind being so poor you can’t even afford to venture outside.I do know the next level down I would be outside all the time. But I prefer to stay housed as long as I can. Is anyone out there hiring 59 year old ex-convicts? I’ll hold my breath for as long as I can. Until the future brightens up a bit, I say “Occupy the Hell out of it!”

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avatar Shelly Schwartlander November 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm

The “2nd Bill of Rights” is a very concise statement of desires of Occupiers and everybody I know minus any 1% or 1% wannabes. Michael Moore discussed it in a movie.

I have to wonder if cops and those offended by Occupiers don’t see that what scares or worries them now is just a kernel or a beginning of a seed of what will likely overwhelm and engulf them and their princess daughters and little lord Fauntleroy sons if more balance isn’t achieved during the next months or year at least. How can such a minority who is so ostentatious and uncaring believe they won’t become obvious and easy targets for at least dislike and more likely actual unwanted harmful contact? I am amazed how civil underprivleged, deprived and diminished citizenry including Occupiers have acted so far. But eventuaslly anybody who finally loses to much and suffers from too much neglect will have to bite back or strike back and the increasing “in your face greed” we are seeing this year especially makes me believe enough people about the same time will reach this point and will get up on their hind legs about it, and not in a kind way, and this 1% should be working on putting that way, way off perhaps forever, with compromise, concern & intelligent decency, not teargass, especially if they are serious about these “children and grandchildren of theirs who they don’t want to have to ingherit future debt”!

It doesn’t seem likely they will inherit that or much else if they become targets by the contrast their own parents are creating now, pitting their own young children against multitudes of needy and hopeless 99%, or even 50%. Their own children kids will be coming home barefoot and naked robbed of their expensive footwear and stylish clothes. They will have to eat on the run as it will be hard for them to make it all the way to lunch with their sheckles jingling in their pockets amongst kids whose bellies are growling. Their dollar worshipping parents only need to remember what Grandma Joad said at the end of Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” about who will survive and keep coming because “we can and are able to and always will”.

It’s hard for those of us who are losing or working harder and harder for less, but keep the faith. Those who have so much and keep grabbing for more are becoming the desperate ones in a way which can’t go on indefinitely. If they don’t see reason they might not be safe, even with all their loot, until they can build themselves gated communities on the moon.

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avatar doug porter November 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Has the government made pepper spray a vegetable yet?

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avatar Patty Jones November 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

bump

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avatar Obbop November 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

“bump”

Uggghhhhhhh How I despise those 70s era disco songs and dances.

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avatar Patty Jones November 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

“like”

is that any better? naw.

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avatar Obbop November 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Ma’am, simply living up to my Disgruntled Old Coot label.

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avatar Shelly Schwartlander November 23, 2011 at 12:28 am

I just heard on news that Occupy San Diego has cost over $1 mill to date for security and overtime. I hope I didn’t hear $2 mill but even $1 mill, huh? How? There isn’t that much activity? How can that be? But at that pay there shouldn’t be any problem whatsoever from SDPD! They don’t have that much action otherwise, crimes down or at least that’s what Bonnie Dumanis always, emphatically states in interviews. The SDPD doesn’t pay the highest among other cities, overtime is usually only for holidays and those are just days. Does it seem possible, $1 million or more as of 11/23/11? If so, something doesn’t add up to me, not yet at least.

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avatar Shelly Schwartlander November 26, 2011 at 12:02 am

Actually what bothers me about the over $2 million spent on security and SDPD in about six weeks is the actual amount and how it’s arrived at. How many police and security workers are paid how much to add up to over $2 million and if that’s what the cost is for just pay including overtime who agreed to pay that much? It doesn’t seem like there are less police anywhere because they’re deployed to Occupy San Diego. I’m not good at guessing pay rates, etc. but I can say $2.5 million in one month is the same expense as 50 workers earning $50,000 each for a whole year. I don’t see so many cops and “security” that add up to that in general. If that is “cost”, that must be the amount the city is going to pay. If the city can pay that all of a sudden and on an ongoing basis it’s a shame that money hasn’t existed for at least 15 years for some public toilets between say city concourse (the only actual public toilet downtown) and say City College (the closest location where one might find what could be used as public toilets, at least during the day). A public toilet at Old Town Transit Center and some other trolley stations where one has to wait for connecting buses for at least a 1/2 hour after about 6:00 or 7:00 pm without a public toilet, would and should be required by the city. Such services, minimally, provided by other and better cities qualify those cities as “civilized”. Being civilized is better than being called finest but everybody knows that, especially visitors and tourists coming here, most of whom are used to such services and who are shocked by our streets all over downtown that stink of, uh, what can only be produced by no toilets.

Occupy San Diego just doesn’t pose a threat that warrants that much cost. I worked downtown for many years, rode buses, know what downtown is, how City College students act and are (not that heavy!), and suspect the “clever distraction” is provided by SDPD and whatever city official contracted the security that is being paid so much.

It will probably become clear opportunism demonstrated by this “pay” will outweigh both 1) benefit gained by homeless and students ultimately AND 2) threat actually caused by their presence overall. I hope somebody will be moved by their presence and demands but Ive lived here too long to have much hope anybody other than officials and scoundrels will benefit as seems to be the case now.

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