Thursday, January 26, 2012

U.S. mayors coordinate response to OWS

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has quietly led efforts to coordinate city responses to the Occupy Wall Street movement, the records show. These documents -- which comprise emails to local D.C. officials -- appear to contradict previous statements in which mayors denied any sort of group strategy sessions.
In early November, Oakland's Mayor Jean Quan created a firestorm after admitting in an interview that she had participated in one of the group's conference calls on Occupy. The call, she said, included 18 other cities. As one city encampment after another was razed on similar pretexts, activists charged that Quan and other big city mayors were colluding against them.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, has obtained her own set of conference-call related documents and says the mayors' conference is an active participant in setting the stage for the camp raids. 'These are sessions that were intended in assisting cities in creating the public pretext for the eviction of the encampments,' Verheyden-Hilliard said. 'I think they tried to play a fairly covert role in what was an extremely significant nationally coordinated effort to shut down the occupations.'"

The main thing here that bothers me is that the cities were trying to hype up the extra costs incurred from the Occupy protests to the cities.  I am a named party in an unconstitutional permanent injunction in Florida. This injunction severely limits my ability to protest against Scientology in that state. One of the reasons the judge stated that the injunction was needed is that our protests were costing the county too much money.  This is not only an unconstitutional reason to prohibit free speech, it is also a bogus argument. Us protesters never cost the city a dime.  It was the city itself that decided how much police presence would be at our protests. It was the Scientologists who attacked us that caused legal problems.   Our peaceful protesting has been curtailed for bogus reasons.  And this is the same thing the cities were trying to pull off; put a huge price tag on Occupy protests to have an excuse to curtail free speech.

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