Excerpts of information handed out, recently, by the Phoenix Police Department reveal the following, presumably from the City Code:
23-48.01 Prohibited use of public right-of-way.
It shall be unlawful for any person to use a public street, highway, alley, lane, parkway, sidewalk, or any other right-of-way, whether such right of way has been dedicated to the public in fee or by easement, for lying, sleeping, or otherwise remaining in a sitting position thereon, except in the case of a physical emergency or the administration of medical assistance.
It shall be unlawful for any person to camp in any park or preserve, or in any building, facility, or parking lot structure, or on any property adjacent thereto, that is owned, possessed and controlled by the City.
The City of Phoenix is using any excuse to cause the arrest of all persons it can feasibly detain, in order that the threat of further civil disobedience be squelched. An opinion has been offered, that #Occupy personnel should, rather than fear arrest, embrace the concept, deploying what has come to be called the “Birmingham Method”. This amounts to overpopulating the criminal justice system with an abundance of inmates, resulting in stymieing the system. This looks good on paper and was very likely quite effective in the past. So long as the jail has tangible limits, walls, such an overtaxing of resources is reasonable. However, examine the situation in Maricopa County. The County has abundant vacant land at its disposal. Arpaio’s concept of a ‘tent city’ requires only the deployment of an increased inventory of government surplus tents. Green baloney sandwiches are cheap. Approve overtime for county corrections officers and procure more surplus tents. Outfit them with cots. Place the tents on unused, vacant County land and install a few portable latrines. Erect rented fencing. You are in business: expanded detention facilities. The County makes a profit on incarcerated persons and can use well behaved protestors as trustees for myriad labour in the system. Overtaxing local government resources would be non sequitor. It is incumbent upon the County to keep prisoners as long as is possible. Meanwhile, if a prisoner has any chronic, prescription dependent medical conditions such as Diabetes or cardiac issues, they go untreated. You heard me correctly. You will be denied your meds, and end up in hospital, for treatment of your exacerbated condition. Therefore, #Occupy personnel are advised to consider the concept of arrest very carefully, before allowing it to happen. Is it worth it?
Since the original draft was posted, some new data has surfaced. The core members of the #Occupy Phoenix General Assembly had apparently reached an agreement with members of the Phoenix City Council and the Phoenix City Manager’s office, allowing persons to recline, sit, and even sleep on Cesar Chavez Plaza’s grounds, so long as they neither impede right of way, nor utilize ‘camping’ equipment. Either certain Phoenix Police Officers are unaware of this, or the agreement is just being ignored. We shall see, as the saga unfolds.
- Occupy Oakland Raided by Police, Reports of Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets (alternet.org)
- Police arrest demonstrators occupying Seattle park (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Hennepin County Sheriff Stages 1:00 AM Raid, Steals OccupyMN’s Tents (my.firedoglake.com)