Occupy Little Rock takes to the streets | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 30, 2012

Occupy Little Rock takes to the streets

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

BUSTED: Greg Deckelman of Occupy Little Rock gets ticketed for obstructing traffic.
  • BUSTED: Greg Deckelman of Occupy Little Rock gets ticketed for obstructing traffic.

Occupy Little Rock marched from its camp at Fourth and Ferry to City Hall on Clinton Avenue/Markham Street this afternoon. Some civil disobedience was promised. David Koon is following along and so I don't have full details yet, but it would appear the disobedience was walking in the street rather than on the sidewalk.

That action drew a ticket from the Little Rock police, being issued in the photo to Greg Deckelman. Photographer Brian Chilson reports that he was ticketed for "obstructing traffic" for leaving a crowded sidewalk and going into the street.

ON THE MARCH: OLR in the River Market area.
  • ON THE MARCH: OLR in the River Market area.

David Koon reports (among others, the "disobedience" was apparently inadvertent):

Nineteen protestors turned out today for a soggy march from their camp at 4th and Ferry Streets to Little Rock City Hall, where they planned to protest against a move to evict them from the city owned lot where they have been camped for the past six months.

Robert Nunn, a long time protestor with OLR, said that it's important to maintain a physical presence in the city, and opposes Little Rock's move to evict the protestors from the camp. He said that even if the protestors are evicted, the Occupy movement will endure as long as people stay involved. "The camp has become a training ground for people to learn how to become activists," he said. "I'd like to think that people who weren't active and participating in democracy before have become more active. That's what I'd really like to see: more people going to Quorum Court meetings. More people going to City Council meetings."

Occupy media rep Greg Deckelman, carrying an American flag and wearing a yellow rain slicker, received a ticket from a uniformed Little Rock Police officer at the corner of River Market Ave. and E. Third Street after stepping into the street during the march. "Believe it or not, I wasn't intending to receive a ticket," Deckelman said. "I was merely walking around a tree and a parked car. Technically I may have been in the street, but I'm still going to fight it for common sense reasons." Deckelman said the march is in protest with how the city has negotiated with Occupy Little Rock up to this point."We've been told: 'No, no, no, no' until we're blue in the face. We've answered all their objections to why they can't do it, but they still tell us no. It's time to do something else."

Even though the city is pushing hard for Occupy LR to leave the lot at 4th and Ferry, Deckelman said he believes OLR will maintain a physical presence in the city. "I'm a wagering man," he said. "I would tell you that I'd wager we won't lose our physical site. Whether it's that site or another site remains to be seen, but it's important for us to have a visibility in the community."

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