Occupy is Illegitimate Again, and Loving it

Expiration of city-issued camping permit brings new energy to Occupy Santa Cruz

As tent cities across the nation fall, the tents of Occupy Santa Cruz remain standing Wednesday morning in spite of the expiration of a city-issued permit which allowed protesters to camp in San Lorenzo Park and the front steps of the County Building. The expiration of the permit heralded an end to Occupy Santa Cruz's legal status in the city, a fact which brought a mixture of excitement and anticipation to the movement's participants.

The atmosphere at the protest Tuesday night was a mix of hopeful festivities and paranoid anticipation. The expiration of the city permit led many to expect intervention by law enforcement, an expectation which caused the normal nighttime numbers of the encampment to swell well beyond their normal levels. Music from drums, harmonicas and a saxophone could be heard well into the early morning hours.

However, the party atmosphere was under toned by the watchful expectation that police would intervene sometime in the early morning hours, and co-ordinated sentries armed with walkie-talkies kept careful watch for police action untill the crack of dawn Wednesday.

“We have gathered evidence that points to there being a raid tonight, and it's possible because they see the numbers we have,” said protester Gabriela Ripley-Phipps. Ripley-Phipps said that the absence of law enforcement on Tuesday was a sign of the movement's strength.

“Maybe its more than they bargained for.”

Local law enforcement has shown some spunk, however, as several Occupy protesters have been arrested in the previous days, including Austine Bruckner, a 19-year-old UCSC student who was arrested Monday night and charged with vehicle tampering.

Bruckner explained that at the time he was arrested he had been recording the license number of a vehicle he suspected belonged to an undercover police officer.

“I only got like two letters down before this cop just comes like zooming by, and swerves right in front of me. If I hadn't moved then he would have hit me. He gets out of the car, I don't think he even says anything, and he just comes up behind me and just does this choke hold thing and hits me in the jaw. He tells me I'm being detained for vehicle tampering, but I wasn't even within arm's length of the car.”

Bruckner said the officer was not uniformed or wearing a badge, and refused to identify himself when asked by himself and other protesters.

The future of Occupy Santa Cruz is uncertain for all parties, as a series of legal decisions by either county or federal judges will soon determine whether the protest is a legitimate exercise in free speech, or a public nuisance.

EJ November 17, 2011 at 02:15 AM
The message of the Occupy movement is an important one that needs to be heard, but I am a bit disturbed as to their methods. Are they so naive that they do not see the huge economic hardship they are forcing on small businesses, transportation and every city they occupy? Their methods are shooting all of us in the foot. Who do you think is paying for all the law enforcement, & clean up crews? The cities are broke. You are straining already strained resources! The people that can least afford it are going to end up paying for these protests thru more social service cuts and tax increases. Is that really what you want???
Steve Premo November 17, 2011 at 05:07 PM
EJ, what small Santa Cruz businesses have been harmed by Occupy Santa Cruz, and in what way? I know some local branches of big banks have had business disrupted for an hour or so, but you're talking about small businesses, not Wells Fargo or Bank of America. Which ones, and how are they being harmed?
Johnny at the Harbor November 17, 2011 at 09:24 PM
So, OSC is saying its ok for anyone to come to SC, pitch a tent, hang out enjoy the ocean, and reap the pleasures of being in Santa Cruz...we have laws for a reason..and CAMPGROUNDS....this protest has become a joke because of the BUMS...they are loving it...all the freebies and attention.... Johnny at the Harbor Watching a waste of the taxpayers money
Daniel Wootan November 17, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Check out their facebook pages and you may gain more clarity on this issue. Many are for removing money from the political system so average people and the economy at large can make it. However, to your point, there are many who actually want to hurt the economy so it fails and has to be reformed as socialist, communist anarchic....
Michele November 17, 2011 at 10:55 PM
I agree with Johnny - And, protesters need to take the issue to Washington DC where it belongs. . . That's whose responsible for the gripes of these people. Wake-up Santa Cruz liberals.


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