Four activists including two citizen journalists were arrested at a Climate Solidarity Rally in New Orleans on November 15. These Gulf Coast advocates (some from Occupy The Stage) attended a protest against Big Oil in solidarity with the Tar Sands Blockade.
This protest evolved from a workshop at The First People’s Convention in New Orleans that led to a Teach-In about the Tar Sands at a local coffee shop. Those who signed up at the Teach-In received emails alerting them to a rally outside the Roosevelt Hotel. The livestreamer who often records Occupy actions and uses the Twitter handle @small_affair attended this action as a citizen journalist with a press pass and was arrested while staying in front of the hotel to record another citizen journalist being detained. This was not an event organized by “Occupy NOLA” or “Occupy The Stage.” Some members attended in solidarity.
On Thursday, November 15 around 11 am, a group of about ten activists met in in front of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. They received cold glares from the “doorman” who would not identify himself to the livestreamer when she asked him if he was hotel security. After holding banners and chanting outside the Roosevelt Hotel, the group marched to 1 Shell Square and The Federal Building, passing BP headquarters. The activists then returned to the Roosevelt Hotel while the Joint Energy Industry Association Luncheon was taking place. None of the four arrestees were aware that any instructions not to enter the hotel had been issued by NOPD, the “doorman,” hotel security, or The Louisiana State Police.
The group walked nonchalantly in through the back entrance and passed hotel staff who did not try to stop them and did not ask them for identification. They were given no indication that they were not allowed in the hotel and continued straight up the escalator into the Crescent City Ballroom where a few hundred people were eating lunch. Activists stood in the back of the ballroom and held up signs protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline for about five minutes. One of them was given cheesecake from a guest at the luncheon.
Photo Credit Laura Borealis - Tarsands Blockade Flickr set
The “doorman” entered the room with hotel security. A member of hotel security asked the activists to leave.
The activists began chanting loudly “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! The Tarsand Pipeline’s got to go” while they exited the ballroom. They descended the escalator and some were manhandled by the “doorman.” It was difficult to all descend the narrow escalator at once while the hotel security and “doorman” were shoving some of the activists, but they did begin leaving the hotel when told to. The livestreamer repeatedly displayed her press pass and asked if the press were allowed. Finally the “doorman” told her the press were not allowed in the Roosevelt Hotel. She filmed the “doorman” directing someone to call 9-11 to report “criminal trespassing.”
Since they had been told to leave, the activists exited the building and congregated on the sidewalk, beginning to disperse. On the sidewalk, where they were no longer “trespassing,” the livestreamer noticed the other citizen journalist who was also displaying a press pass being stopped by a plainclothes Louisiana State Police Officer. The livestreamer asked if the citizen journalist was being detained. No response was given. The plainclothes State Police Officer yelled “Stop” but did not clarify to whom he was issuing the order. The livestreamer asked if they were being detained, but did not get a response.
Two of the remaining activists crossed the street. The livestreamer began to follow them after waiting for traffic. As the livestreamer and two activists crossed the street to the car, the “doorman” yelled, “That guy is a State police officer and he told you to stop.”
“You’re a hotel employee,” one of the two activists with the livestreamer yelled. “You’re out of your jurisdiction.”
At that point, none of the three had been told they were being detained so decided to leave The Roosevelt as they had been instructed. The three got in the livestreamer’s car.
As the livestreamer attempted to drive away, the “doorman” ran in front of the car and displayed a Louisiana State Police badge and shouted that he was an officer and if the livestreamer hit him with her car, it would be a felony. The livestreamer immediately stopped the car and turned it off. A police car pulled up and the livestreamer and two activists were told to get out of the car. They complied willingly and stood on the sidewalk asking if they were being detained several times. Finally the plainclothes police officer said they were being detained.
Citizen Journalists Arrested
Several NOPD officers arrived and told the livestreamer, citizen journalist, and activist to stay on the sidewalk. They then spoke with the “doorman” and one activist noted that the NOPD were not eager to arrest the group since they were not trespassing anymore and had obviously left the building when they were told to. The “doorman” insisted the four renaming people be arrested for Criminal Trespassing. The authorities asked the two activists without press passes who had organized the action, and they honestly responded that they did not know.
A friend arrived at the scene and was allowed to take down the names and birthdays of the arrestees and secure some of their valuables.
The four arrestees were booked extremely quickly when taken to Orleans Parish Prison. The livestreamer was asked to approach the Sheriff to spell the name of one of the arrestees correctly. The livestreamer overheard the Sheriff telling the Orleans Parish Prison Employee who takes the mug shots that the four arrestees needed to be photographed quickly because there was a request to send their photographs to the FBI. When she asked the Sheriff to confirm this, he said their photographs were being sent to the FBI. He said he was not joking.Bond was set at $165 per person. Members of Occupy The Stage and a mutual friend posted bond for all four arrestees. Some of the bond was the livestreamer’s rent money which she had left in a safe location.
On November 16, the charges were dropped against all four activists when they agreed to forfeit bond. They are eager to stare their story, so don't hesitate to Contact Us with questions! Any donations to repay members of Occupy The Stage for covering bond costs will be greatly appreciated. With love and solidarity,
~ Occupy The Stage Livestream Links: Activists entering The Roosevelthttp://bambuser.com/v/3150179
Activists descending the escalator and leaving The Roosevelthttp://bambuser.com/v/3150191 After jumping in front of car, “doorman” identifies himself as a police officer for the first time and arrests are made.http://bambuser.com/v/3150220
The Second Arrest small affair ever livestreamed was her own.
Learn More about The Tar Sands Blockade!
Four People were arrested today, in New Orleans, for protesting a meeting of the American Petroleum Institute. They are being charged with criminal trespassing, despite there being no signs stating that they were not allowed, the meeting was public, when asked to leave they complied. A Louisiana state police officer manhandled several people inside and blocked their vehicle outside, keeping them from leaving, before finally identifying himself as a police officer.
Donations for bond and legal fees can be made through:
Livestreams of the arrests can be found here: http://bambuser.com/v/3150179 http://bambuser.com/v/3150191 http://bambuser.com/v/3150220
Occupy The Stage Supports Legalize Louisiana Statewide Rally October 25, 2012
For the health and justice of all Louisiana Citizens.
Actions will commence statewide at 3pm, until we are finished. This is to accommodate the regular business hours of our government offices, and any individual with scheduling conflicts. Special efforts should be made to notify all university students about this opportunity to make peace in our communities.
NEW ORLEANS Legalize Louisiana Rally: Meet at Lafayette square just off Poydras Street between St. Charles Avenue and Camp Street, 3PM, sharp. RSVP to Facebook Event!
Download PDF Flyer HERE
PRESS RELEASE from Legalize Louisiana
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Legalize Louisiana Rallies Statewide for Cannabis Reform
New Orleans – October 11, 2012 – Citizens across the state will gather for cannabis policy reform Thursday, October 25, starting at 3PM. Legalize Louisiana is an unincorporated grassroots education and lobbying effort dedicating to ending the peculiar institution of cannabis prohibition in Louisiana. In New Orleans, those who recognize our inalienable rights to bona-fide medical, religious, industrial, and recreational cannabis use will convene at Lafayette Square.
Similar actions are also scheduled for Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Alexandria. Residents of Baton Rouge are encouraged to visit their employees in the Capitol on this official business. Statewide, the group will also circulate a petition to be sent to the Louisiana legislature, which will include scientific, legal, and other findings and will call immediately for the necessary revisions to Louisiana code. The petition will also demand manifestation of rules and licensing requirements from the Louisiana Boards of Health and Pharmacy, respectively, regarding access to medical marijuana for Louisiana patients, a statutory requirement under LA RS:40.
Organizers are asking all university students and their professors to take full advantage of this critical, teachable moment-in-time. They are also calling all area professionals to best practices, only. The groups statewide will hold their assemblies for several hours and are asking every community to join in the creation of health and justice for all Louisianians.
Sunni Joy Womack
###"We scheduled the October 25, 3PM rally when we did, so as to EMPTY THE UNIVERSITIES for this supremely teachable, pre-election occasion. There is NO EXCUSE for sitting idly by in a classroom while the real work of health and justice calls. If you live near a university, tech school, law school, med school, ETC: Help us deliver the very best ideas from those hallway prisons, into the daily practice of those community members who can best benefit from and utilize them." ~ Legalize Louisiana
Occupy This Flyer!
A Call to Action: Give Governors Jindal and Walker a 99 Percent Unwelcome to New Orleans Friday, August 17 4pm Protest against Jindal, Walker, & Austerity: 4pm Friday, August 17th.
Meet on neutral ground at Tchoupitoulas & Andrew Higgins
(2 blocks from Morial Convention Center
in the CBD). WE DEMAND
Bring signs, chants, megaphones, chalk, friends, Family, and most importantly yourself. Wherever the 1% is plotting the plunder of Louisiana’s 99%, you can bet Governor Bobby Jindal is nearby! So it should come as no surprise that Jindal will be pimping himself out to the super-rich at Friday’s $25,000 a plate fundraiser for the Louisiana GOP at Calcasieu Ball Room in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Governor Jindal is the chief architect of the 1 percent’s historically unprecedented plunder of public hospitals, public healthcare, and public education in Louisiana. This plunder, unfortunately, is still underway. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is a natural match for sharing the stage with Jindal. He is the nation’s best known gubernatorial union buster. Join us to voice your demands. Flier for protest is below!
- Louisiana opt in to federal Medicaid expansion.
- Keep Southeast Hospital open.
- Jindal and company restore recent funding cuts to higher education including UNO, SUNO, and Delgado budgets.
- Jindal and company restore recent funding cuts to public education and public healthcare.
- Jindal and company repeal the Louisiana Right to Work Law.
- Walker keep hands off workers’ rights to organize
Get your sidewalk chalk ready!
The Occupy NOLA Direct Action Working Group met August 2 and has declared August 9 a Day of Chalkupy in response to Occupy Los Angeles’ #A9 Call for Global Day of Action – Chalkupy the World
We will meet at 11:am at Duncan Plaza and chalk the city! Meet us there, meet up with us, or Chalkupy your neighborhood and send us pictures! We'll have a route
and details soon!
"On August 9th, Occupy Los Angeles
calls for you to fill your squares and take your streets and sidewalks with chalk. Call to all people everywhere to show that dissent is as simple as writing your grievances on the sidewalk, as accessible as hopscotch in the streets- reclaiming public space and engaging in public dialogue and expression. Join us (if you're close enough) for a day of solidarity and fun to celebrate the human spirit and chalk for our collective liberation. Together we will remake the art of public life in our alley ways, on the doorsteps of banks whose only allegiance is to profit, and in the streets built by our labor. In solidarity, regardless of all nations and borders, we will engage in willful public expression against political repression."
They ask that you SUBMIT CHALK PHOTOS HERE: http://chalkitout.tumblr.com/
You can also share your photographs on the Chalkupy Facebook
page!The Fresh Juice Party has a wonderful Chalkupy gallery for inspiration
!This is a creative way to show solidarity while exercising your first amendment rights.
#ChalkTheWorld #ChalkAllTheThings #OpChalk #ChalkIsNotACrime #Chalkupy
On July 25 in New Orleans, we Chalkupied the Amphitheater near Jackson Square with messages to President Obama, whose $250 Victory Reception was nearby.
We had to wait for the torrential downpour to stop before chalking, but we learned that chalk looks brighter when the pavers are wet.
The French Market Security and Manager told Occupy NOLA Chalk is "graffiti" and a felony, threatened to have everyone arrested if they didn't clean up the Chalkupy, and then had their employees clean up the Chalkupy.
Here is the video the livestreamer took of security telling Occupy The Stage chalk is graffiti. http://bambuser.com/v/2854777
Thank you to everyone who came out in the rain and supported this action!
Join OTS & Occupy NOLA when Obama Visits NOLA to "Occupy The Vote"
On Wednesday President Obama will visit the French Quarter to attend a campaign fundraiser Reception For the Obama Victory Fund (
OVF) at the House of Blues
. The National Urban League Conference
is billing Obama's visit as as “Occupy the Vote.” This suggests that the Occupy Movement is supporting a fundraiser for a holder of public office who has been the fervent supporter of a trillion dollar plus bailout of the banking giants at the expense of everyone else. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Here is what Occupy NOLA will be requesting from the President on his July 25th visit to New Orleans.
- Withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan now!
- Issue an executive order preventing LA Governor Jindal and company from gutting medicaid and public hospital funding
- Stop the demolition of The Iberville Housing Development
- Create jobs for All
- Mass, direct-government employment program, now!
- Put all New Orleans teachers fired after Katrina back to work now! No more scabs for America's teachers
- End government support of for-profit education.
- Institute a Federal Public Works Program paid for by big oil companies including Shell and BP to clean up the Gulf of Mexico and restore the infrastructure of the Gulf.
Give President Obama a 99% UnWelcome: Meet 2pm Wednesday. June 25th to Chalkupy The Amphitheater
across from Jackson Square
(near the corner of Decatur and St. Ann).
Bring chalk, signs, pots and pans, chants, friends, and, most importantly, yourself.
Image Gallery - Occupy These Flyers If You Need Inspiration To Make Signs!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2012
Occupy The Stage founder, Justin Warren was held at Orleans Parish Prison from June 20 - June 26 and transferred to Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a warrant he didn't know existed. His bond in Eastern Baton Rouge for charges of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest totaled 1,000.
Justin Warren has a voice that can carry and be heard over the din of city streets. His key voice at assemblies and protests in the occupy community has demonstrated his dedication as an advocate of freedom of speech. The charges he is facing are for allegedly disturbing the peace on the steps of the capitol building in Baton Rouge. On the 12th of March, he was in Baton Rouge with Occupy The Stage, Occupy NOLA and Occupy Baton Rouge for the opening of the 2012 session of the Louisiana Legislature that included a protest against budget cuts in education.
He was making a speech when an officer approached him and attempted to silence him. He continued exercising his First Amendment rights and was then approached by several officers who attempted to grab him from behind.
However, he slipped out of his jacket and left the steps of the State Capitol.
After he departed, Officer Holman (badge # 6071) said on camera that Justin was no longer disturbing the peace and would not be arrested. (see min 1:40 here: http://youtu.be/86OSs6YmM8s
When questioned as to why Louisiana State Police were interfering with Justin's First Amendment rights, Officer Holman replied that he was speaking without a permit. Apparently, The Tea Party had scheduled a separate event in
the same area, and they were not approached by the police because they had obtained said permit. The New Orleans protesters did not have a permit, nor did they need one according to The Bill of Rights. Occupy movements across the country continue to battle relentless attacks on free speech and assembly, which are assured to all citizens by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The warrant and the ensuing transfer to Baton Rouge are obviously a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money. No citizen should need a permit to exercise freedom of speech in the State of
Louisiana. Public spaces, including the steps of the capitol building, are protest points where free speech has been exercised for decades.
Justin Warren was released after spending 6 days in Orleans Parish Prison and 1 day in Eastern Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He needs to be compensated for his loss of income while being held for no justifiable reason.
This information was forwarded to Occupy The Stage from Occupy NOLA's 99% Direct Action Working Group.
Justin Warren, founding member of Occupy the Stage, sits in Orleans Parish Prison because authorities in Baton Rouge want him sent there to stand trial for the “crime” of speaking without a permit on the steps of the State Capitol building. The charges against Justin arise from his March 12th speech on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol building denouncing then proposed cuts to the state’s education budget. Interestingly enough, the NOPD, not Baton Rouge police, arrested Justin early Wednesday morning, June 20th in New Orleans. At the time of his arrest Justin was playing a lead role in helping organize the New Orleans stop of the national Occupy the Caravan.
At this time Occupy NOLA is urging all supporters of free speech and the right to dissent to contact Sheriff Marlin Gusman to urge that the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office not collaborate with any attempt to extradite Justin to Baton Rouge. Remember Sheriff Gusman is an elected official who is susceptible to public pressure. What’s more is that the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office should not be in the business of aiding attacks on free speech.
How to contact Sheriff Gusman:
The phone number of the East Bank Sheriff’s Office is 504-822-8000 EXT 6411.
(The wrong one was included in email from DAWG and was tweeted and we REALLY apologize).But there is no answer on Sunday. You can submit a comment on the Contact Us section of the website of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office provides for the sending of emails to the Sheriff. The address for the home page of this website is www.opcso.org
Founding member of OTS's Speech from Protest on Steps of Louisiana State Capital w/ Occupy Baton Rouge March 12.
Someone from Occupy Baton Rouge reached out to Occupy NOLA and said they had retrieved his speech from the steps that day and were kind enough to type it and post it on Facebook. Thank you Occupy Baton Rouge for all the solidarity.
Speech Justin from Occupy The Stage was making when almost arrested when Occupy NOLA joined Occupy Baton Rouge on the steps of the state capital.
Speech March 12, 2012 Louisiana State Capital
written by Justin Warren of Occupy The Stage
Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow free peoples of the world. Our governing bodies in their current state have proven themselves ineffective within regards to the interests of the common man. The beautiful ideal that was Democracy has been perverted and totally replaced by the repugnant and relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar, Capitalism. For our entire lives we have been fed lies that lead us to assume such absurdities as the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and there is simply nothing to be done about it. That those institutions which should be the sole responsibility of our government are better of in the hands of soulless, faceless, and socially irresponsible corporations.
We're told cutting education and expanding our prison systems are the sure fire treatments of our social ills. The heart of Democracy now has more people in prison, per capita than any other nation in the world. And we are told this is the land of the free.
Through the lobbying system, corporations have been able to not just influence, but completely hijack our government. We have been stripped of the liberties, we have been stripped of our property, we have been robbed of our freedom.
Now, a growing number of people around the world are waking up to the realization that we simply have nothing left to lose. All over the world people are standing up and shrugging of the authority of their oppressors.
We are bearing witness the single greatest social correction the world has ever known, and it's about damned time.
All throughout history the ebb and flow of elitist tyranny, and the social correction of massive upheaval has been a constant. This time however we have the ingredients to get it right. At this height of our technological advancement, we must, for the sake of our owner prosperity, get it right.
To all the social parasites and those that hold dear the absurd and repugnant :
There is a really big storm coming, and your god may be the only one to forgive your transgressions.
small affair's transcription is below.
Our governing bodies of the entire state have proven themselves ineffective with regards to the interests of the common man. The beautiful ideal that was democracy has been perverted and totally replaced by the repugnant and relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar. You may know this as capitalism.
Our entire lives, we have been fed lies that led us to assume such absurdities are true: the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and there is not a goddamn thing we can do about it.
[We are told we our fates will be] min :44 Occupy BR Video http://youtu.be/emE-Si34Sls better off in the hands of soulless faceless socially responsible corporations. We’re told their goal of cutting our education and expanding their business is the solution to our social ills. Our democracy now has more people in prison per capita than any other nation in the world and we are told that this is the land of the free.
Corporations and banking institutions have been able not just to influence but completely hijack our government. We have been stripped of our liberties, of or property; we have been robbed of our freedom.
Now a growing number of people around the world are waking up to the realization that we simply have nothing less to lose.
All over the world the people are standing up and shrugging off the authority of their oppressors. We are bearing witness to the single greatest social correction the world has ever known.
And it’s about damn time.
All throughout history, we have been bound by this elitist tyranny and social correction of massive upheaval has been in practice. And […] capitalism. min 00:34 Louisiana State Capital gets occupied http://youtu.be/vHfYJ9h5Vok
We have the right to make it right.
We must, for the sake of our own [...] unable to transcribe due to police grabbing him.
Min 00:50 - Louisiana State Capital gets occupied http://youtu.be/vHfYJ9h5Vok
At this point, the Louisiana State Police approached him from behind and attempted to grab him, and he dropped the piece of paper and ran.
This is the best I can do at this time. I will update this post when I get the copy of the speech from Occupy Baton Rouge.
This man is currently being held in Orleans Parrish Prison waiting for East Baton Rouge to extradite him. Occupy NOLA's legal team has said there is nothing we can do to stop that. "Once he gets there and booked, we can figure out the next steps."
I will be tweeting this speech from the @ots nola Twitter account.
Thank you all for the amazing solidarity you have shown during this difficult time.
Occupy The Stage Digital Media Team
These videos were uploaded to YouTube by citizen journalists present on the steps of the Louisiana State Capital on March 12.
"Disturbing The Peace"
Founding member of Occupy The Stage Occupy New Orleans "disturbing the peace" on March 12 in solidarity w/ Occupy Baton Rouge
Founding member of Occupy The Stage from Occupy NOLA "resisting arrest" for on steps of Louisiana State Capital in solidarity with Occupy Baton Rouge
These are screenshots taken from the end of the second video.
Anyone with photographs of that day is welcome to contact us.