Occupy Tucson protestors go to court
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Occupy Tucson protestors had their first day in city court challenging the stacks of tickets Tucson Police gave them when they defied police orders to clear the park after 10:30 at night.
Occupy Wall Street style protests have turned rough in cities like Oakland where Police cited crime and sanitation as reasons to use force to clear out the camp site.
Tucson Police have simply been writing tickets to Occupy Tucson protestors who've broken the law that requires everyone to leave city parks after 10:30pm.
Now, about ten day after the first tickets, protestors are making their first appearances in court.
About fifty appeared before Municipal Judge Wendy Million. They all quietly pleaded not guilty. Now they move on to another hearing November 17th.
KGUN 9 reporter Craig Smith asked protestor William Warfield: "How far can you press this? Is there some danger that you'll just be worn out in terms of time or resources?"
Warfield replied: "Well, I think that's a battle of wills. I can tell you personally I here as long as it takes. We have serious issues facing us, especially in my generation in the coming century here, and we can't be passive about this in terms of our willingness to accept the consequences for people resisting us in terms of not understanding or not wanting change."
Protestor Guy Josserand said, "One of my friends called me and said, 'How come you've got to break the law? Why can't you do it in normal channels?' He's a Tea Party person, I said, 'Well the Boston Tea Party did not have a permit either and it was against the law; the Boston Tea Party and sometimes you just have to wake waves to get noticed.'"
Protestors say the city should not be infringing what they see as free speech with a law designed to keep street people from living in parks.
This week, Tucson City Council considered changing city law but decided to leave it alone and let the issue work its way through the courts.
Tucson police have issued about three hundred citations.
More protestors are due in court Thursday.