Wednesday, December 14, 2011. New York – As some of you know, I was taking pictures of the Occupy Wall Street march on Saturday, October 1rst, 2011 on the Brooklyn Bridge and I was arrested. Today was my court date.
There was a long line at the Manhattan Criminal Court building (246 Broadway). I spoke with Judith Anderson, a lawyer working with the National Lawyers Guild – New York City Chapter. Inside of the building, the NLG assigned me a lawyer.
I brought my camera to take some pictures. When I got to the security desk, they said, I had to leave my camera with them. I asked why, they said, “cameras are not allow in the building.”
They made me sign a paper: “(my name) The owner of the above listed property hereby agree to have my property secured by the court during the pendency of my stay in the court facility. I understand that the court is safeguarding this property as an accommodation to me and that the court will not be liable for any alleged damage of this property.”
1 – I did not agree to have my camera “secured” by them.
2 – If they damaged it, what they were going to say?
3 – There were people from the mainstream media (MSM) taking pictures of protesters in the court room.
161 protesters came to court today, most of them were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge. On Saturday, Oct. 1 were arrested more than 700 people. It was the biggest mass arrest of the New York protest so far.
We were charged with disorderly conduct and blocking traffic. Nearly 60% took a judge’s offer Wednesday to get their cases dismissed if they avoid getting arrested again for six months. Many others told Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Neil Ross they were NOT GUILTY and they wanted trials. 15 people didn’t show up for court. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, 94 people took the plea deal Wednesday.
Amanda Geraci, 29, told the Associated Press, it would be a pain to come back to court from her home in Philadelphia. But she turned down the dismissal deal because “I’m not going to have something over my head from a justice system I didn’t do anything wrong against.”
“The people who don’t take [the plea deal] are people who don’t want to feel like they’re on probation on any form that might affect their ability to continue protesting,” Martin Stolar, a lawyer from the National Lawyers Guild who is representing many of the protesters, told AM New York.
“Hundreds of us in NYC will be going to court this week. Today 40% of us refused the deal that we were offered. If you are going to court in the next couple days, we urge you to consider joining in solidarity with those who are not accepting the deal that essentially requires us to remain silent for the next six months.”_Occupy Wall Street
Two of the demonstrators I met today, wrote these messages:
“So many people here helping out for free. Awesome!
Thank you, NLG!”_B
“Spirits in the court room are high today. It’s good to be with this many of my brothers and sisters again. I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful movement and with such great people.”_Dan
After the court I went to Liberty Square. I met a Chicano. He had a sign with a picture of the front page of TIME magazine and the phrase: “This could be you”.
Time magazine named “THE PROTESTER”, person of the year 2011.
Person of the Year Introduction By Rick Stengel
“History often emerges only in retrospect. Events become significant only when looked back on. No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square in a town barely on a map, he would spark protests that would bring down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattle regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Or that that spirit of dissent would spur Mexicans to rise up against the terror of drug cartels, Greeks to march against unaccountable leaders, Americans to occupy public spaces to protest income inequality, and Russians to marshal themselves against a corrupt autocracy.Protests have now occurred in countries whose populations total at least 3 billion people, and the word protest has appeared in newspapers and online exponentially more this past year than at any other time in history.” READ MORE.
Protesters around the world are making history. Remember, “people rise up, tyrants fall.”
New York City Mayor Bloomberg (and other mayors around the country) thought that by evicting people from Liberty Square, they were just going to go home and the Occupy Movement was going to die. “You can evict people from a park, but you can not evict an idea whose time has come”.
“Bloomberg desalojó a las personas de la Plaza de la Libertad, sin embargo no podrá desalojar una idea cuyo momento ha llegado”.
“The Time Magazine Person of the Year is you. Congratulations to the millions of you worldwide that decided it was time to take action. We are just getting started. Another world is not only possible. It is happening.”_Occupy Wall StreetGallery is empty!