I left work about 3:30am again. As I passed by City Hall I saw roughly the same number of protesters. Most of them were asleep on the steps, which is what spurred the arrests. There was one guy in what I’m guessing was his Halloween costume. He had long hair and a short beard and was wearing a long white Mediterranean-style tunic with a dark green toga and was carrying a trumpet. I couldn’t tell whether he was going as Christ or the Archangel Gabriel. There was definitely some mixed symbolism from what I could see.
39 people were arrested Sunday morning in Austin, Texas at the Occupy Austin protests at City Hall. Police made the arrests under a statute about not blocking the steps during certain hours so that they may be cleaned. There was something else about a new rule about food tables not being allowed on City Hall grounds. It sounds like Police could have done arrests any time during the ongoing protests.
This is not the first time people have been arrested for protests. In 1988 during Operation Rescue, hundreds were arrested nationwide. Sympathy swings both directions so the contempt leveled from the left at the Operation Rescue folks is now being leveled from the right at the Occupy “Insert City” folks. I still hope this doesn’t become violent. Police in Oakland have already given themselves a black eye, shooting protester Scott Olsen in the head with a tear gas canister.
Update: As of 3:30am everyone looks tucked in on the steps plus the people in the tent. There were a few cop cars.
There are four police cars parked next to city hall where the Occupy Austin bunch are braving the high 40s weather.
Clashes with police have broken out in Oakland, Denver and New York. Things in Austin have changed a bit. There appear to be more people at City Hall and they don’t have quite the same look as the folks who have been there from the beginning. As I drive by every day I am starting to see people who look a little older. There also seem to be more musical instruments around. There is still the one tent. I have also seen a police car parked nearby and I don’t recall seeing that when this started. I hope Austin can be spared the violence. That may not be avoidable if there is copycat behavior in the other cities.
As of yesterday 10/20 there appear to be more people on the site. Driving home after midnight I’ve seen police around but no reactions between them. I don’t know whether there is a time limit on this or whether it’s intended to go on indefinitely. The things they are protesting definitely have no end.