She reports filming of the demonstrators and repeated suggestions — absent citation of law — that the four people were prohibited from demonstrations on the sidewalk and from taking photographs there. No arrests were made.
Not an encouraging episode. Wonder if the gun nuts could be encouraged to join Occupy Little Rock in a demonstration in behalf of the 1st Amendment?
Pierce's account follows:
Seven members of Occupy Little Rock marked the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement by demonstrating Sunday night at the city-owned parking lot at Fourth and Ferry where they camped until swept away in a huge city bust.
Deja vu all over again. Little Rock cops were out in force to prevent demonstrators from standing on the parking lot and, according to participants, told them they'd be arrested if they stopped walking along the sidewalk. Before it was done, several have told me by e-mail, cops issued citations. Robert Nunn provided the photo of cops writing up Kaitlin Lott and Greg Deckelman.
Now it appears Lance Hines had a deeper concern — anarchy and revolution. Which means, of course, that it really was a political move on his part to squelch the protest. Which the city did. Hines doesn't call me, so I'll just let his e-mail exchange with one of the arrested protesters speak for itself on the issue. It won't lift your confidence in our City Board of Directors.
Hines said he saw a self-proclaimed Occupy Wall Street anarchist on the Sean Hannity show and that was proof enough for Lance Hines of what the Occupy movement is about. Occupy LR may not be a bunch of anarchists — maybe they're merely unaesthetic blights on the landscape — but Hines said in a note to Mac Miller, arrested in the Occupy LR eviction, "You are the friends you keep, in other words."
Miller, a military veteran with cogent thoughts on why Occupy is protesting, wasn't happy about Hines' description of him.
The exchange was provided to me by Robert Johnston.
Members of the Occupy Little Rock group have set up camp outside the Clinton Library, video contributor Gabe Gentry reports. Around 65 are gathered currently with chimineas and grills and pizzas. Thirty plan to camp and remain indefinitely, Gentry said, though a police cruiser had just arrived on the scene to idle 30 yards from the protesters around 8:15 p.m.
I'm going to go take a look as soon as I'm able. More when I've got it.
UPDATE: It looks like the police aren't going to try to disperse the crowd. The protesters have a chiminea going now that they lit only after first getting permission from one of the police officers on the scene.
UPDATE II: Gentry, with Mindful Media Productions, sends along this video from last night.
UPDATE III — In response to a question: The grounds and parking lot are all part of the 30 acres owned by Little Rock on which the Clinton Presidential Center sits. A Clinton Foundation spokesman said it would not be commenting because it's essentially a political matter. I've sent a note to City Hall about the city's outlook on a long-term encampment, but haven't gotten a response yet. 1st Amendment assemblies put the group in a different category than transient campers (though if the transients though to assert that they were making a political statement by their sleepouts, they, too, would have some protection. Same with city's curfew ordiinance. A smart-tbinking youth can assert he or she is making a political statement by staying out late and defeat an arrest.)
More from Saturday's protest from Gabe Gentry, a local filmmaker who works with video production company Mindful Media Productions. Lots of good footage of signs.
ALSO: Nate Silver of the New York Times takes a try at a worldwide crowd count, which includes 500 in Little Rock.
I attended last night's meeting as well, and have some editorial comment on the jump. From Gabe's video, it sounds like my feelings dovetail fairly well with those of some of the other folks in the crowd.
Around 100 were on hand for tonight's Occupy Little Rock planning meeting, the second since the group formed in Little Rock earlier this month. Organizers and attendees struggled with a somewhat complicated voting-by-hand-signals process, but the assembly did get some key points ironed out, including the start time and place for this Saturday's march, and locations the group plans to picket.
Protestors with Occupy Little Rock will assemble this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Riverfest Amphitheater near the River Market. The march will begin at 10 a.m., with the group proceeding to the headquarters of Stephens Inc., the Little Rock branch of Bank of America, the U.S. Federal Building and the Arkansas State Capitol.
The group is currently compiling membership lists and plans to vote soon to choose leadership for a number of working groups within the larger Occupy Little Rock movement, including legal, medical, public relations and tech teams. Organizers said they're also currently looking for a place in Little Rock where they can camp out overnight, which will serve as a central hub for what they say will be an ongoing protest.
Those interested in signing up for a group or learning more about the movement can visit the Occupy Little Rock Facebook page.
Videographer Gabe Gentry caught some video of the Oct. 4 planning meeting of Occupy Little Rock — our home-grown offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City — as the local movement continues to gel. Earnest young folks and seasoned old-timers coming together in solidarity against the slow slide to Plutocracy? Sounds like a plan to us.
Occupy Little Rock will be holding their next meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, October 10 at Riverfest Amphitheater near the River Market.
The NY Times' Paul Krugman cheers the Occupy Wall Street movement. He offers some caveats, but his core explanation of the justification for demonstrations is worth noting:
In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.
Given this history, how can you not applaud the protesters for finally taking a stand?
Occupy Little Rock Facebook page.
Occupy Fayetteville, Facebook page.
Occupy Arkansas, Facebook page.
An organizer for Occupy Little Rock, an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street effort, says the group will hold an organizational meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at the River Market amphitheater.
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