The exciting thing about GroupMe is that you don’t even need a smartphone to use it, although it runs on all the major platforms as well. It lets you set up a group, which is basically a chat room. You can use the Internet to send and receive messages with everyone in the group. However, you can…
AUSTIN, TX, October 30, 2011 – Last night, the Austin Police Department, led byChief of Police Art Acevedo, carried out a raid apparently aimed at confiscating foldingdining tables used by Occupy Austin at City Hall. The incident broke more than threeweeks of peace and cooperation between protestors, police and city officials in Austin.This mutual respect had been seen as an alternative to the use of force and violenceagainst non-violent protestors by police elsewhere.Some thirty-eight protesters were arrested in two waves. These actions followed earlier APD efforts Saturday afternoon to enforce “suggested” proposals for use of City Hall.More than twenty-four hours before the first raid, Occupy Austin had reached out to cityand police officials for clarification of the unsigned “Notice of Use of City Hall”. Therehad been no reply prior to the raid.“These events seem incomprehensible after the positive relationships that had been in place,” said Occupy Austin spokesperson Jonathan Cronin. “Deploying these valuable police assets during Halloween festivities with so many other public safety prioritiesseems astounding.”In the initial wave, police successfully confiscated the folding tables. The second wavecleared the way to power wash the protest area. Previously, Occupy Austin has carefullycomplied with city requests for such cleanings. This cooperation has allowed skeletoncrews of police, security and sanitation workers to operate efficiently and economically.Carrying this out with an overwhelming police force instead has likely cost taxpayersmany thousands of dollars.“Just Thursday, Chief Acevedo addressed our General Assembly. He said he wanted torespect our process and to distance himself and the APD from disturbing incidentselsewhere against those in the Occupy Movement. Now, it would appear that he haschanged his mind and decided that inspiring peaceful protestors to civil disobedience is inthe public’s best interests. As elsewhere, that simply increases both our resolve andsupport. We look forward to gaining a better understanding of these events,” said Cronin.
The incident was the largest group arrest since protesters began a 24/7 occupation at City Hall on Oct. 6. Four people were arrested on Oct. 13 for refusing to leave the plaza while a cleaning crew power-washed the plaza, but since then, occupiers and police have maintained a generally cooperative relationship.
Do you have photos or video of the arrests? Submit them or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.