Occupy Tucson protesters plan "passive arrests"
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As Tucson police haul some Occupy protesters off to jail, demonstrators say they’re changing their tactics as well and upping the ante in the ongoing demonstration. Members of movement say they're going to take a stand Monday night.
The situation changed Thanksgiving night. Cell phone video showed former mayoral candidate Mary DeCamp being hauled away
by police, without handcuffs. She had refused to sign the citation officers issued her, which police say compelled them to jail her.
A TPD press release Monday explained: “When a person signs an arrest citation, they are promising to appear at a scheduled court date (generally scheduled for approximately 10 days from the date of offense) for purposes of arraignment, but they are not admitting fault or guilt. This is referred to as an ‘arrest/cite and field release.’ As such, by refusing to sign the arrest citation, they are essentially not promising to appear at the scheduled court date. This leaves officers no choice but to arrange for the person to be present at the next available court appearance for their arraignment and book them into jail (known as a full custodial arrest).”
In the following nights, six protesters refused to sign their citations and were jailed. DeCamp was at least one repeat offender
in the group.
“They’ve changed their tactics,” said protest organizer Jon McLane. “They’re showing up randomly and they’re just picking people out of the crowd to give tickets. It definitely seems like they’re changing their tactics.”
Protesters plan to change their tactics Monday night to send a message to police, city council and the city of Tucson.
“A group of us are going to do a passive arrest and make it a little bit more difficult for the police to arrest us than just having them walk us away,” McLane said. Reporter Kevin Keen asked why. “Certainly, we have to do something,” he said, “They’ve lulled us into this corner where they won’t allow us to be any where but this small little park. We have to show them that this is--what they’re doing is incorrect.”
McLane wouldn’t discuss specifics, but says their actions will be a peaceful and nonviolent stand for free speech and the right to assemble.
“It’s going to be well beyond not signing the citation,” he said. ”We’ll see if they take us to jail."