Police arrest 6 protesters, seize camping equipment at Occupy Phoenix

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Audio by Nick Gnat. Photos by Cydney McFarland and Salvador Rodriguez

Six Occupy Phoenix protesters were arrested late Thursday night for urban camping in Cesar Chavez Plaza, violations that prompted Phoenix Police to tear down much of the movement’s camp, authorities said.

Arrests occurred at about 11:30 p.m. because protesters were violating urban camping laws by sitting inside tents and under canopies in the plaza, Sgt. R. Fricke said. Only protesters inside tents were arrested.

Derek Nasir, 19, said he was inside a camping tent moments before the police arrived.

“I definitely would have been arrested had I not stepped out,” said Nasir, a physics and mathematics sophomore who has been involved with Occupy Phoenix since late October. Nasir said the arrests were carried out peacefully.

The Occupy Phoenix protesters have progressively violated more camping laws by bringing tents, personal belongings, light sources, a couch and other material to the plaza, Fricke said.

“You don’t need a couch to practice your First Amendment,” said Fricke. “Long story short, it’s just gotten out of hand.”

The six arrests bring the total number of Occupy Phoenix arrests by the Phoenix Police Department since Oct. 15 to 70, Fricke said.

Contact the reporter at dustin.volz@asu.edu

Comments

  1. Let’s just keep rolling back those First Amendment rights.

    Next thing you know “you won’t need a sign to practice your First Amendment” and all signs will be confiscated.

    Then you know “you won’t need to march to practice your First Amendment” and all marches will be outlawed.

    Then “you won’t need to be in any specific area to practice your First Amendment” and all people will be caged and restricted to “Free Speech Zones”.

    oh… wait a minute…….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone

  2. keith kinzalow says:

    The media and the police lied to the public.We had no tents no camping gear no couches.We only had 4 canopies medical,food,media and info wich we were told we were aloud to have.The rules changed when the tamale festival set up next to us.

    WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!!!

  3. Jenn says:

    The police changed the rules after 50+ days. The rules change when they want them too. Our rights as outlined in the US constitution are slowly being stripped away. Wake up America we are in or very soon will be in a Police state!

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