City Dismantles Occupy Erie Tents, Arrests One

Category:  BloggERy
Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 1:03 PM
City Dismantles Occupy Erie Tents, Arrests One by Jay Stevens
OccupyErie.org

Yesterday at about 3 pm, city officials took down Occupy Erie's tents and arrested a woman, Alexandra Spanos. Erie Times-News:

City officials dismantled two canopy tents that were providing shelter for Occupy Erie protesters Saturday afternoon. One person was arrested.

A Public Works Department crew disassembled the tents, which were walled with tarps and plastic sheeting, just after 3 p.m. They filled three pickup beds with items they found inside the makeshift camp: blankets, bedrolls, sleeping bags, shoes, umbrellas, and a small table made from a cable spool.

What provoked the dismantling of the tents? It's hard to say. In the ETN report, Mayor Sinnot said city officials who were at Perry Square on Friday "determined [protesters'] structures were no longer simple temporary shelters."

According to Liss Vickery at the Occupy Erie website, the conflict had to do with a concernt that took place on Friday.

We believe this action to be the result of a conflict between Occupy Erie and the Bureau of Parks and Recreation. Dave Rocco called several occupiers hours before the scheduled OccupyConcert on Dec. 9 requesting we cancel the event. He was not forthwith about the consequences of what could happen should we refuse to cancel. He cited varied reasons as to why he wished to have the event cancelled, including weather and security.

Arts and Culture spoke with Rocco about obtaining a permit before the event. According to Arts and Culture, Rocco did not deny the permit, but said the event could take place without one. Occupiers and musicians alike decided to go ahead with the OccupyConcert. Spirits were high, chanting and celebrating ensued. The OccupyConcert ended with smiles and eating donated pizza.

We believe the action of police and Public Works are a result of our refusal to cancel the OccupyConcert, which Arts and Culture had a verbal agreement with Rocco allow us to have, which he rescinded the day of the event.

The Erie Times-News report claims there was no concert, but "Jesse L" posted clips of the concert on the group's website along with voicemails from Dave Rocco, in charge of permitting for the city's Parks and Recreation, who said on the recording that setting up an extra tent "kind of riled a few people."

Whatever the reason for the action and arrest, it's obvious that the city of Erie is ambivalent about Occupy Erie's presence in Perry Square. Unwilling to take a hard stance against the group and remove the encampment altogether, the city also has made it difficult for protesters to settle in. It seems the city would prefer Occupy Erie to leave, but doesn't want direct conflict with the protesters.

For now, protesters remain in the park.

 

 

Erie Reader: Vol. 5, No. 11
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

School leaders from around the region are set to talk about matters related to school funding -- or, the lack thereof -- during a public forum tonight at Erie’s Jefferson Educational Society.

Mikal Cronin follows up the excellent MCII with another album of sonically-pleasing pop-rock tunes.

Hot Chip channels lowly-lit dance floors on their new album, coming off like a smoke-filled club that has Daft Punk and Pet Shop Boys in heavy rotation.

Erie Arts & Culture's 2015 Summit highlights the community's artistic potential. 

Edinboro University’s video game design program takes off.

IN THIS ISSUE

Mikal Cronin follows up the excellent MCII with another album of sonically-pleasing pop-rock tunes.

Hot Chip channels lowly-lit dance floors on their new album, coming off like a smoke-filled club that has Daft Punk and Pet Shop Boys in heavy rotation.

Erie Arts & Culture's 2015 Summit highlights the community's artistic potential. 

Edinboro University’s video game design program takes off.

State Senate draws clear party lines on one bill while unifying in bipartisan celebration over the other.

It's time for a four-day celebration of meat and merriment in Perry Square Park.

The outdoor music series returns for another year, with Badfish and Ark Band headling the first two shows.

Celebrate the weekend with the popular pop group and a few cold drinks.

An exploration of love, art, and bicycles.

You may just say your own prayer asking for the album to end.