City Confronts Occupy Dallas
By DAVID LEE
DALLAS (CN) – Occupy Wall Street has spread to Dallas, where members of Occupy Dallas sued the city in Federal Court, claiming the city unconstitutionally restricted “their right to peacably demonstrate in traditional public forums”. They seek an injunction allowing them to continue their weeklong protest at Pioneer Plaza.
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City against economic inequality and corporate greed, protesters in Dallas have being living in a makeshift tent city in a park directly north of the Dallas Convention Center and west of Dallas City Hall.
The Occupy Dallas website says there are more than 120 people at the site.
In their complaint, protesters say the city threatened to revoke their special-use permit unless they secure $1 million in liability insurance.
The protesters say their protest is not a “special event” under city ordinances, and they do not need a special-use permit to exercise their First Amendment rights.
The city disagrees.
The Dallas Morning News reported on Tuesday night that city spokesman Frank Librio had sent “an email blast,” stating: “The city had an agreement with Occupy Dallas to remain on the public property provided standard insurance coverage was obtained. The group did not meet the insurance requirements per the agreement. Therefore, the agreement is no longer applicable. The city will begin enforcing local laws (for example: park curfews and sleeping in public).”
So far, there have been no arrests.
City Councilman Dwayne Caraway told WFAA-TV on Wednesday that “nothing has happened because it’s been given time to try to work things through. If [attorneys for both sides] fail to get it worked through, or show effort toward trying to work it through, then the city has a right to go in and protect the property.”
Attorneys for the protesters say no insurance company could be found to write the policy.
Michael Prestonise, a 26-year-old freelance web designer and protester, told the Huffington Post that the dispute centers around toilets at the protest site.
“This is all about sanitation and health and safety of our members,” he said. “I think the more real threat is our people having to walk through the streets at 3, 4 a.m. just to find a public restroom.”
A ruling on the plaintiffs’ motion is expected today (Friday), by U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle.
source: Courthouse News Service
Occupy Dallas to stay downtown ‘until the change occurs’
By Rudolph Bush
Members of the protest movement known here as Occupy Dallas are currently seeking a permit to encamp in downtown’s Pioneer Plaza.
How long that permit will last remains to be seen.
I just got off the phone with Michael Prestonise, of the movement’s media committee.
He said a delegation is reaching out to Mayor Mike Rawlings with the request they be able to stay indefinitely.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York recently agreed to something similar for the Occupy Wall Street arm of the movement.
Prestonise said Dallas should do the same because there are no plans to pack it up now.
“We’re basically here until the change occurs. That could be awhile,” he said.
From Occupy Dallas website: Members of OccupyDallas will be walking to city hall at 2 p.m. to personally hand deliver a public letter from the movement to the Mayor and City Council members. The letter, previously published on the movement’s website, http://www.occupydallas.org, outlines the movement’s purpose and includes a list of reasons they should be allowed to remain in Pioneer Plaza.
Infowars Host Alex Jones and His Followers Occupy the Dallas Fed Friday
Friday evening, two groups of protesters, Occupy Dallas and Occupy the Federal Reserve, lined opposite side of N. Pearl Street at Woodall Rodgers in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “We got sold out, Feds got bailed out!” Occupy Dallas protesters shouted in unison on the west side of Pearl. And, all around them, the Occupy the Federal Reserve crowd — consisting of fans and followers of Dallas-born, Austin-based radio-show host Alex Jones— had their own mantra: “End the Fed, End the Fed!”
It’s tough to say whose crowd was bigger — probably around 200 on both sides. Police said the protesters had been peaceful; only one person’s been arrested since the Occupy Dallas folks began their demonstrating Thursday morning. “They’re well-behaved, so that helps a lot,” said Sergeant Thomas Fry, scanning the crowd.
Jones — the 9/11 truther, a man who recently called the Gates Foundation “obviously a eugenics operation,” the street preacher in Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly and, to a few, a resurrected Bill Hicks — grabbed a megaphone a little after 6 p.m. “A hundred years of these scumbag bankers is a hundred years too long,” he yelled.
“I love you, Alex!” a voice carried over the crowd.
“I love you guys. You’re the only prayer we’ve got,” Jones yelled back.
Sweat seeped through Jones’s blue button-down shirt. He shook hands as he pushed through the crowd to meet a reporter for a Christian news show. “If the devil lives anywhere in the world, it’s in the Federal Reserve banks,” Jones said. “The whole thing is just a ridiculous scheme, and it’s time people know about it.”
“Let’s go kick some ass, Alex,” someone screamed. “Give ’em hell!” Nearby, someone held a sign that read, “The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”
“These are the people killing off humanity,” someone shouted into a megaphone on the sidewalk at the foot of the Federal Reserve Bank skyscraper. “These are the people that funded Adolf Hitler and the Communists. … They are pure evil.”
“It’s legalized theft,” said Brooke Kelley, a “truth fairy” attired in a tutu and wings. She said she was fed up with the government taking money from taxpayers to pay private banks. “We don’t have to take it.”
“J.P. Morgan is now dead, here today we end the Fed,” Arby Branch, a freshman at the University of North Texas, screamed into a megaphone. Wearing a Bob Marley shirt and a long skirt, she bounced around the scene. Salvador Vasquez joined in, wearing a button-down shirt and waving his arms and grabbing at his glasses.
“It’s private individuals subsidized on the backs of public citizens,” said Vasquez, a barber and former fifth-grade teacher who drove to Dallas from Austin for the protest. “The problem isn’t capitalism. … Wall Street is just a function of banks.”
“I’m actually here with Occupy Dallas,” said Branch, who had crossed the street to mingle among the Occupy the Fed group. “We’re all the 99 percent,” she added, meaning, of course, that they’re not among the 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans.
“I’m sick of the same old shit,” she said. “I’m just ready for people to put out new ideas.”
“Do you want to do another chorus with me?” Vasquez asked her.
“Rockefeller is now dead, here today we end the Fed,” they shouted.
A cop told Branch she had to move. “We were getting a nice groove,” Vasquez said as Branch walked away. Then, from a median in the street, once again, louder: “Rockefeller is now dead., here today we end the Fed!”