Occupy Wall Street. Police vs people in NY.

Yonder wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
Yonder wrote:

It's a good thing that this country is so dedicated to civil liberties that people can't be punished until they are found guilty by a trial of their peers.

Oh I forgot, this is the United States of America, the police can just threaten them with $5000 in bail so that they are punished regardless of whether or not a Jury makes a mistake and decides these teenagers are actually innocent.

You're right. Police should not be allowed to arrest anyone until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Where in my post did I say I have a problem with arresting people?

(Also, I cannot believe someone is actually defending this detestable practice.)

What practice? Charging bail? Warning people before taking action against them? Not taking action once they realized they were mistaken?

Jayhawker wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
Yonder wrote:

It's a good thing that this country is so dedicated to civil liberties that people can't be punished until they are found guilty by a trial of their peers.

Oh I forgot, this is the United States of America, the police can just threaten them with $5000 in bail so that they are punished regardless of whether or not a Jury makes a mistake and decides these teenagers are actually innocent.

You're right. Police should not be allowed to arrest anyone until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Where in my post did I say I have a problem with arresting people?

(Also, I cannot believe someone is actually defending this detestable practice.)

What practice? Charging bail? Warning people before taking action against them? Not taking action once they realized they were mistaken?

Charging such an exorbitant bail for such a minor charge.
Edit - also defining entering a public place with the intent to protest as a crime.

Stengah wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
Yonder wrote:

It's a good thing that this country is so dedicated to civil liberties that people can't be punished until they are found guilty by a trial of their peers.

Oh I forgot, this is the United States of America, the police can just threaten them with $5000 in bail so that they are punished regardless of whether or not a Jury makes a mistake and decides these teenagers are actually innocent.

You're right. Police should not be allowed to arrest anyone until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Where in my post did I say I have a problem with arresting people?

(Also, I cannot believe someone is actually defending this detestable practice.)

What practice? Charging bail? Warning people before taking action against them? Not taking action once they realized they were mistaken?

Charging such an exorbitant bail for such a minor charge.

Exactly. The idea of bail is a precaution to ensure that the accused does not flee or otherwise neglect to come to their trial. You increase the bail as the estimated "flight risk" of the accused increases, for example as the severity of the crime that they have (allegedly) committed increases, or if they do a lot of business out of the country or state, etc, etc.

You will note, that as long as their court dates aren't really late on a school night, there is no reason to believe that these kids were going to go on the lam, giving their parents tearful good byes and beginning their lives on the run from the law. As such any bail seems uncalled for, and $5000 is simply repulsive. And I mean that to the fullest extent of the word, this should make you sick to your stomach.

For minor misdemeanors bail is usually very small, or non-existent, with the noticeable exceptions of all of these protester bail amounts. Keep in mind how bail works. If you have the bail amount you pay it, and you get it back at your court date. Minimal damage to you, just an interest free loan for a couple of months, it's not like you had been saving up that $5000 dollars for use this holiday season or anything. But wait a second, what if you (or your parents) are one of the tiny, tiny, insignificant portion of stupid lazy communist "Americans" (in that you were technically born here, not that you actually deserve any of the freedoms the real Americans get) that don't actually have an extra $5000 dollars right now?

Well you have two choices. One you can ask your friends to bring you your homework and their class notes so that you can try to keep up with your classes from your cell, hope that this isn't a busy time for the court system (there aren't any big events going on that are getting people charged with a bunch of misdemeanors are there)? And hope that there aren't a lot of judges and what not taking time off for the Holidays this year. If everything works out perfectly there is a slim chance you could have Christmas at home! Ok... Maybe New Years, that's possible right?

Or you could take that second option, and pay a bail bondsman $500, then he takes care of that $5000 for you. You don't get that back though. That's your freedom tax. You want to protest, that means you pay a $500 fine, before you get to any court or jury, the government doesn't want the technicality that they may be innocent or exercising their first amendment rights get these evil protesters a "Get out of Jail free card". Honestly they don't want them to have a "Get out of Jail" card at all. But they've decided they can live with a "Get out of jail for $500" card.

God Bless America.

Malor wrote:

Well, they got our credit rating downgraded.

Yeah, that was fantastic when they unlocked the "Irony" achievement on their Government360

You only pay 10% of your bail, so a 5000$ bail is already 500$ (correct me if I am wrong).

What bothers me in these discussions is that if someone doesn't all out agree that the government is an oppressive dictatorship, you get jumped on called an apparatchik. There is a middle ground here.

There almost always is.

SallyNasty wrote:

You only pay 10% of your bail, so a 5000$ bail is already 500$ (correct me if I am wrong).

What bothers me in these discussions is that if someone doesn't all out agree that the government is an oppressive dictatorship, you get jumped on called an apparatchik. There is a middle ground here.

There almost always is.

Yeah good luck with that.

The police don't set the bail. We don't even know that $5000 is an accurate quote. The kids were trespassing. They were refusing to disperse.

I don't know what the normal bail amounts are for those charges. There is no evidence that those amounts are related to OWS holding protests.

So the the entire hubub here is some kid tweeted that an officer warned they would face $5000 in bail if arrested. Then, it turns out the kids were not arrested, but that doesn't play well. So we get the drama of what might have happened.

SallyNasty wrote:

You only pay 10% of your bail, so a 5000$ bail is already 500$ (correct me if I am wrong).

You either pay all of your bail, and get all of it back, or you pay 10% of your bail and get none of it back.

Jayhawker wrote:

Then, it turns out the kids were not arrested, but that doesn't play well. So we get the drama of what might have happened.

The kids weren't arrested because they weren't protesters, they were cleaning up garbage. If they had been citizens exercising their right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly they would have been arrested.

Yonder wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

You only pay 10% of your bail, so a 5000$ bail is already 500$ (correct me if I am wrong).

You either pay all of your bail, and get all of it back, or you pay 10% of your bail and get none of it back.

Jayhawker wrote:

Then, it turns out the kids were not arrested, but that doesn't play well. So we get the drama of what might have happened.

The kids weren't arrested because they weren't protesters, they were cleaning up garbage. If they had been citizens exercising their right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly they would have been arrested.

He is right that cops don't set bail though. Still, that doesn't make threatening kids who probably don't know that fact excusable in the slightest.

Stengah wrote:

He is right that cops don't set bail though. Still, that doesn't make threatening kids who probably don't know that fact excusable in the slightest.

What about warn?

Jayhawker wrote:
Stengah wrote:

He is right that cops don't set bail though. Still, that doesn't make threatening kids who probably don't know that fact excusable in the slightest.

What about warn?

Telling people trying to gain access to private property that they'd be arrested if they continue would be a warning. Telling people trying to gain access to public property that they'll be arrested and face an incredibly high bail if they don't leave is a threat.

I'm more surprised the last story didn't get the attention than the kids one.

Edwin wrote:

I'm more surprised the last story didn't get the attention than the kids one.

It's not the first time I've heard something like that. It's also extremely scary.

gregrampage wrote:
Edwin wrote:

I'm more surprised the last story didn't get the attention than the kids one.

It's not the first time I've heard something like that. It's also extremely scary.

I agree that is probably the most important snippets, I just didn't comment on that one because the OWS protesters have already been called terrorists by other entities.

  • In group decision-making, ignorance promotes democracy [Ars Technica] Seems relevant considering what I've seen from the Seattle and Miami General Assemblies.
  • Bob Plain: 'Nowhere in America Needs to be Occupied More than the Motor City' [Bob Plain]
  • U.S.-Funded Internet Liberation Project Finds Perfect Test Site: Occupy D.C. [Wired Threat Level] Makes me wonder if/how much the rest of the federal agencies are holding back the State Department in the selective enforcement of human rights.
  • Occupying The Commonwealth Club [San Francisco Appeal] An excellent read from a great independent journalist.
  • Ask members of Occupy Seattle anything. [Reddit]
  • Seattle PD compares violence at Occupy Port to WTO. [King 5 News, and KOMO news]
  • Speaking of SPD, Justice Dept. Will Announce Friday Whether SPD Committed Civil Rights Violations [The Stranger] I think it's safe to say from all the incidents, that yes they did.
  • Public: Yes to Occupy “concerns,” no to its tactics [Seattle PI] This is pretty much what some people here are saying.
You're right. Police should not be allowed to arrest anyone until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Police should not be able to punish without judicial oversight, and setting ridiculously high bail figures like that for such minor infractions is punishment, pure and simple.

It's legal, but it is wrong, full stop.

And even if they were just threatening, it's not their place to threaten punishments. That's not their job.

Malor wrote:

Police should not be able to punish without judicial oversight, and setting ridiculously high bail figures like that for such minor infractions is punishment, pure and simple.

It's legal, but it is wrong, full stop.

And even if they were just threatening, it's not their place to threaten punishments. That's not their job.

Since when do the police set the amount of "bail"? I thought that was always done by the court system.

Does this vary by state?

Edwin wrote:

I'm more surprised the last story didn't get the attention than the kids one.

Worth noting that the City of London "police" are NOT part of (or accountable to) the larger Metropolitan Police force - they are pretty much the Financial Districts private security firm and just about as biased in this situation as that would imply.

  • Maria Cantwell Talks to The Stranger About Occupy, Glass-Steagall, Plan B, and Running Scared [The Stranger]
  • Coming Soon: Ubiquitous Long-Term Surveillance From Big Brother [/.]
  • The 99% Tide is Rising [Crooks and Liars] More of an opinion piece than news related.
  • Occuthon 2011 – A 24 hour nonstop broadcast in support of the Occupy Wall Street and 99 percent movement. [Ocuthon]
  • LAPD Officer Shines Weapon Light At Protesters [Everyday, No days off Gunblog]
  • Desmond Tutu to Trinity Church: let Occupy stay! [OccupyWallStreet.org]
  • Over 100 dancers converged at Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Oakland to dance the world awake.
  • Polar Panorama of Protests in Moscow [Twister Sifter]

Haven't seen anything from OWS in weeks here.

I guess more hipsters than usual in our building's atrium (which is a POPS) but really back to business as usual here.

Oh, I guess this place I sometimes get coffee from closed down and cited OWS for disrupting their business so there's that.

Lego: Occupy Wall Street

Meet: The Occucopter

Now the protesters are fighting back with their own surveillance drone. Tim Pool, an Occupy Wall Street protester, has acquired a Parrot AR drone he amusingly calls the "occucopter". It is a lightweight four-rotor helicopter that you can buy cheaply on Amazon and control with your iPhone. It has an onboard camera so that you can view everything on your phone that it points at. Pool has modified the software to stream live video to the internet so that we can watch the action as it unfolds. You can see video clips of his first experiments here. He told us that the reason he is doing this "comes back to giving ordinary people the same tools that these multimillion-dollar news corporations have. It provides a clever loophole around certain restrictions such as when the police block press from taking shots of an incident."

Pool is attempting to police-proof the device: "We are trying to get a stable live feed so you can have 50 people controlling it in series. If the cops see you controlling it from a computer they can shut you down, but then control could automatically switch to someone else."

This is clever stuff and it doesn't stop there. He is also working on a 3G controller so that "you could even control the occucopter in New York from Sheffield in England". We asked him if he was concerned about police shooting it down. "No," he said firmly. "They can't just fire a weapon in the air because it could seriously hurt someone. They would have no excuse because the occucopter is strictly not illegal. Their only recourse would be to make it illegal, but it is only a toy and so they might as well make the press illegal – they have already arrested 30 journalists here."

That's terribly clever. I wonder if they can get it up and active any time soon.

stevenmack wrote:

Meet: The Occucopter

Now the protesters are fighting back with their own surveillance drone. Tim Pool, an Occupy Wall Street protester, has acquired a Parrot AR drone he amusingly calls the "occucopter". It is a lightweight four-rotor helicopter that you can buy cheaply on Amazon and control with your iPhone. It has an onboard camera so that you can view everything on your phone that it points at. Pool has modified the software to stream live video to the internet so that we can watch the action as it unfolds. You can see video clips of his first experiments here. He told us that the reason he is doing this "comes back to giving ordinary people the same tools that these multimillion-dollar news corporations have. It provides a clever loophole around certain restrictions such as when the police block press from taking shots of an incident."

Pool is attempting to police-proof the device: "We are trying to get a stable live feed so you can have 50 people controlling it in series. If the cops see you controlling it from a computer they can shut you down, but then control could automatically switch to someone else."

This is clever stuff and it doesn't stop there. He is also working on a 3G controller so that "you could even control the occucopter in New York from Sheffield in England". We asked him if he was concerned about police shooting it down. "No," he said firmly. "They can't just fire a weapon in the air because it could seriously hurt someone. They would have no excuse because the occucopter is strictly not illegal. Their only recourse would be to make it illegal, but it is only a toy and so they might as well make the press illegal – they have already arrested 30 journalists here."

That's awesome.

That's all fine and dandy until the police deploy their Tactical Riot Assault Slingshots.

*Sproing!*

*CRASH*

On an interesting note, there is a lot less media coverage in the usual places (local news paper and tv) so I am actually having to start looking for stories instead of them come to me via my normal news consumption. Guess their attention span changed to the next thing.

I haven't been following OWS at lately and feel bad about that. Either they haven't been doing as much or the press is dying down. Either way, I'd really like to see the movement reorganize over the next few months and reimerge in the Spring with a more defined message, more manpower, and some resemblance of a leadership structure.

Looks like the Occupy DC encampment has gotten pretty poorly behaved.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

Oh, I guess this place I sometimes get coffee from closed down and cited OWS for disrupting their business so there's that.

The invisible hand at work!