Phil Gordon said on the first night of the protest that he would come down and get arrested with us if the police were to arrest anyone. Immediately, his PR person contacted news agencies and some complied in taking down the quotation. The spokesperson said the mayor’s cause was SB1070, not (un)Occupy. Needless to say, the mayor never showed up to get arrested. In addition to this, the city manager told protesters that we had the okay to camp at Margaret T. Hance park. We found out that this actually wasn’t the case when riot police arrived with mass arrest supplies. Emphasis and details added by me.
Dear Mayor Gordon,
I was one of the 46 people arrested Saturday night with Occupy Phoenix. I came down to stand with the young people and to give them support. I’ll be 60 years-old on Thursday, and to say that I am disappointed to see what this country has turned into is putting it mildly. This is not the country I grew up in. Corporations are using millions of dollars to put the people they want into office, so that the corporations themselves are literally writing our laws. People have been losing their jobs, their houses, their pensions, their retirement savings. Young people can no longer afford to go to public universities because they graduate with a mountain of debt and no job waiting for them. No wonder they are speaking out.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked a resurgence of democracy within the oligarchy we live in. These young people want basic human needs: the right to a job, the right to a good education, the right to healthcare. They want the money taken out of our elections. They want the super wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share. Our middle class is dying and without it we will become a third world country.
Despite all the challenges this country faces, we have a group of young people who are operating as a true democracy, where everyone is taken care of and where everyone’s voice matters. These young people clean up the Earth because they care about the environment. This Youth Movement is not limited to America, it is global, and it cannot be stopped. The people of Earth are coming together in a way that I have never seen. It is the only thing that gives me hope for my grandsons’ future.
America trying to squash the voices of these passionate and committed young people is appalling. This is our next generation of leaders and they will not be silenced. For every one of them you arrest, two or three more will spring up in their place. You can throw them out of the park with 200 police in full riot gear and a helicopter circling overhead, but you will not squash this movement. These young people are here to stay and they need a space where they can communicate and express their ideas. Instead of having them arrested, why don’t you come to one of their events and see how amazing they are?
We have a right to be read The Miranda Act upon our arrest. Some of us were denied that right. We have a right to one free phone call in jail. We were denied that right. We have a right to be bailed out on a misdemeanor charge. We were denied that right. We have a right to have our belongings returned to us upon release from jail. We were denied that right. Not only were we denied that right, but when I went to pick up my belongings at 11:00 the next day, I was told I had to return at 2:00. There is no excuse for this. We were released from jail with no money, no driver’s licenses, no house keys, no car keys, no cell phones, nothing. Some people were not able to get into their homes Sunday night. [This includes things people need for health such as medication, glasses, etc.]
All charges against the 46 people arrested Saturday night should be dropped, including those who were coerced into pleading guilty. Too many of our rights were denied.
Mayor Gordon, let me remind you of our First Amendment Rights:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Please respect and protect our First Amendment Rights.
Please watch the footage of Occupy Phoenix in the moments before the arrests began, and then please tell me why so much money was wasted arresting peaceful people.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_ZS9EqjE90
Here’s a note from the author about a notice she got when sending the email (emphasis added by me):
When I went to sent this letter, this is the message I got: Please be advised that a copy of this message will simultaneously be sent to the Arizona Republic pursuant to a public records request for copies of all e-mails sent to the Phoenix Mayor and Councilmembers. Additionally, once sent, the entire content of your e-mail (including your e-mail address) is a public record that may become part of future public records requests.
And here’s a note from the author about the email she sent:
If you decide not to send this e-mail, simply close this window.
If you decide not to send this e-mail, but still wish to contact the Mayor or Councilmembers, please call 602-262-7029 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for live assistance or to leave a voicemail after business hours.