Mary DeCamp spent night in slammer
Former mayoral candidate and Occupy Tucson activist arrested
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Police arrested local activist and former Green Party mayoral candidate Mary DeCamp Thanksgiving night after she refused to sign a citation for being in the park after dark.
Tucson Police spokesperson Sgt. Maria Hawke told KGUN9 News that DeCamp was cited along with other protesters when they remained in Viente de Agosto Park after it closed at 10:30 p.m. Thursday night. DeCamp was arrested after she was asked by officers to sign her citation.
According to Hawke, Tucson Police policy mandates that when someone is issued a criminal citation, they must sign it promising to appear in court – or they will be arrested and booked into jail before appearing in front of a judge.
Tucson Police have issued hundreds of citations to protestors, but DeCamp is the only activist who has gone to jail for violating the park ordinance.
DeCamp appeared in front of a judge early Friday morning. She was released without bond, even though she told a judge she could not promise to refrain from breaking the law again.
“It’s a condition of your release that you violate no federal or local laws and that includes going in the park after hours. So are you willing to follow those conditions?” asked the judge.
“Ma’am, no. I’m sorry I cannot follow those conditions,” DeCamp responded. Hours later, DeCamp was released and returned to the park, where many protestors expressed support. DeCamp did not want to be interviewed.
“She was definitely expressing something a lot of people have felt – that if police are going to escalate their attacks on us, we’re going to escalate our resistance to them,” said Jonah Clarke, a member of Occupy Tucson.
Police have gotten tougher on the activists, no longer allowing them to dodge citations by stepping out of the park while officers are giving tickets. However, more citations and possible jail time aren’t enough to deter some protestors from continuing to participate.
“The only thing that would discourage me would be if a policy of violence occurred. That would be a total betrayal of our movement, but I don’t see that happening,” said protestor Jim Gordon.