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to cancel the OccupyConcert, which Arts and Culture had a verbal agreement with Rocco allow us to have, which he rescinded the day of the event.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. 15
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

United Way and the Bayfront East Side Taskforce team up for movies and books at Nate Levy Park.

In an era of 140 characterisms, two local students are acknowledged for their essay skills. 

"New Americans" filmmaker finds new subjects, new stories from outpost in Botswana. 

Aaron Cox has his mentor Mike Trout to thank and some strikes to throw now that he has a chance at making it in the big leagues.

With 40 years of interviewing experience, James LeCorchick goes back and recalls the good ones, the bad ones, and the just plain ugly ones.

IN THIS ISSUE

Aaron Cox has his mentor Mike Trout to thank and some strikes to throw now that he has a chance at making it in the big leagues.

With 40 years of interviewing experience, James LeCorchick goes back and recalls the good ones, the bad ones, and the just plain ugly ones.

The CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, passed away a week and a half ago. With his time in the gaming industry, he left a lasting legacy.

It's not every day you get to see musicians wear wrestling masks while performing. Catch Los Straighjackets at 8 Great Tuesdays.

While Tyler Smilo isn't from the Erie area, he sure has made a name here for himself, and that is what brought him to perform at WQLN Sounds Around Town.

Geek Army performs at Sherlock's/ Park Place for another awesome show for a great cause.

Surprise! Wilco has a new album called Star Wars, and it packs a punch.

The Pittsburgh trio's EP shows off their old-school rock sound.

Jason Isbell uses the quiet spaces on the album to his advantage, which channels a quiet devastion.

Kevin Parker, the musician behind Tame Impala, adds more synth and leaves behind some guitar on Currents.