The Occupy Phoenix protest took place Saturday at Cesar Chavez
Plaza in downtown Phoenix before moving to nearby Margaret T. Hance Park
in the late afternoon. The protest culminated with the arrests of about
40 protesters who refused to leave Hance Park after it closed.
1:28 a.m. — Phoenix Police are leaving Hance Park.
1:16 a.m. — About 40 protesters are still mulling around the general area surrounding Hance Park.
The remaining crowd of protesters who had been around the park entrance are dispersing. Most are currently on the sidewalk.
(FreedomsPhoenix Publisher: I asked the officers earlier when it was 100 deg. if they had short sleeve uniforms (I know that they do) and I was told "Not Today". They were prepped for arresting. "Two by Two, Hands of Blue"... more like 200 x 200)
Police arrested about 40 Occupy Phoenix demonstrators in Margaret T.
Hance Park late Saturday night after negotiations to allow an overnight
occupation between protest organizers and city officals failed. (Mauro
12:58 a.m. — All Occupy Phoenix protesters remaining
in Hance Park have been taken into custody by the Phoenix Police
Department. In total, about 40 protesters may have been arrested.
12:50 a.m. — From our counts, about 30 Occupy
Phoenix protesters have been removed and placed in Phoenix PD personnel
vehicles. Only about a dozen protesters remain in the circle formation.
12:40 a.m. — About 25 protesters have now been removed from the circle formed at Hance Park.
12:37 a.m. — Police have now removed almost 20 protesters from the circle formed at Hance Park. Protesters are being removed in pairs.
12:28 a.m. — Phoenix police continue to cuff protesters in pairs. As many as 13 total have been cuffed and possibly arrested.
At least one officer has used pepper spray on a protester.
12:24 a.m. — An additional two protesters were
cuffed and appear to have been arrested. The police may have arrested as
many as seven protesters total now.
12:22 a.m. — Police have dragged two protesters from the circle and placed them in personnel vehicles.
12:21 a.m. — Police are a few yards away and their flash lights are strobing on the circle of protesters.
12:20 a.m. — Police are 5 yards away.
12:18 a.m. — Police have made a quarter-circle formation and are moving closer to the protesters. They remain about 20 yards away.
12:16 a.m. — Police tore down a tent set out by protesters. No one appears to have been inside.
12:13 a.m. — At least two more arrests have been made. Police have put on gas masks are now 30 to 40 yards from the core group.
12:05 a.m. — Riot police have closed the distance
between them and the remaining protesters. Police are now less than 100
yards away from protesters.
Video by Mauro Whiteman
11:51 p.m. — The police helicopter just flew overhead and announced a final warning: “Leave or you will be arrested.”
Almost 40 people remain locked in a circle and are refusing to leave.
11:45 p.m. — Two bomb squad officers emptied a trash can and were searching for signs of a suspicious device.
The officers appear to have found nothing. Protesters approached the
trash left on the ground and placed it back in the trash can.
11:41 p.m. — A group of about 30 protesters have
locked arms and are sitting in a circle. Many are wearing masks. Medical
personnel are standing by with milk and vinegar, which is used to
neutralize the effects of pepper spray and tear gas.
11:37 p.m. — The first arrest has been made. What appears to be a young male adult is in cuffs and surrounded by three police officers.
11:28 p.m. — A police helicopter is flying over the crowd and is asking the protesters through a megaphone to disperse.
A core group of about 100 protesters are standing in the playground, but more remain in the immediate area.
11:17 p.m. — The police are dressed in riot gear and
have their pepper-spray canisters out. They are moving in closer on the
remaining protesters. First-aid respondents have moved to the adjacent
street and are off park grounds.
A police SUV is parked about 40 feet away from the protesters.
11:04 p.m. — The crowd is thinning out substantially
but many protesters remain near the playground area. The police
continue to move closer and are telling people to vacate immediately.
The police are stating that journalists are not protected from arrest,
Det. Wilson said.
10:57p.m. — Police have said the protesters have 15
minutes to disperse before arrests begin. Police are all moving to the
east end of Hance Park and it appears they are going to move from there
to round up and arrest the protesters who remain in Hance Park.
9:34 p.m. — Sgt. Tucker said the Phoenix Police will
not kill the lights at Hance Park and will not rush into the crowd of
Occupy Phoenix protesters after the park closes at 10 p.m. Tucker said
the police are still unsure if arrests will be made if demonstrators
refuse to leave.
9:16 p.m. — Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has told Downtown Devil that if people protesting “Arpaio, Pearce and SB 1070″ at Hance Park
are arrested, he will head down and join them in being arrested.
8:35 p.m. — Det. Chris Wilson confirmed that City
Manager David Cavazos is coming to Hance Park to speak with police about
the situation. It is unknown whether Cavazos will speak directly with
organizers, Wilson said.
“Right now it’s still up in the air,” Wilson said. “We don’t know (if people will be able to stay overnight).”
8:29 p.m. — Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos is
tentatively scheduled to arrive at Hance Park to negotiate with
protesters, according to organizers.
8:04 p.m. — Phoenix Police met with negotiators from
the protest and said they will allow protesters to stay at Hance Park
until 10 a.m. Sunday. The Phoenix city manager has not confirmed that
these plans have been approved, however, Det. Chris Wilson said. In the
meantime, police are trying to determine where protesters can be
7:36 p.m. — Phoenix Police are now saying that Hance
Park officially closes at 10 p.m. and they are allowing protesters a
half-hour grace period.
7:27 p.m. — Joe Murphy, Councilman Nowakowski’s
chief of staff, said the city is unable to allow Occupy Phoenix to stay
in Hance Park overnight. By allowing Occupy Phoenix to stay, the city
would be setting a precedent for other groups to camp overnight, Murphy
For example, Murphy said, the National Socialist Movement has already
approached city officials about camping overnight at Hance Park for a
planned protest in November.
An Occupy Phoenix protester leaders chants at Margaret T. Hance Park late Saturday afternoon. (Stephanie Snyder/DD)
Organizer Jason Odhner said the city is being unreasonable.
“The crux of this is, if you let us stay but not the Nazis, that’s
selective enforcement, but anti-camping laws are all about selective
enforcement,” said Odhner, adding that authorities use selective
enforcement to remove the homeless from parks.
Odhner said the police can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to
enforce anti-camping laws. The police have also said there have been
reports of noise complaints, but Odhner said drums being played in the
adjacent Japanese Friendship Garden are louder than the protest.
7:13 p.m. — Occupy Phoenix began distributing food
to protesters starting at 7 p.m. All of the food and water has been
donated, said Tania Perez, an Occupy Phoenix organizer. Phoenix Food Not
Bombs has donated apples, grapes, bread and potato chips. Meals of ham,
rice, onions and potatoes have been privately donated and are most of
the food being distributed.
7:15 p.m. — Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski has arrived and is taking to the Phoenix Police Department.
7:00 p.m. — Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski
will be arriving at the later tonight, said Jason Odhner, an organizer
and nurse with Phoenix Urban Health Collective. Odhner said the Occupy
Phoenix protesters will try to negotiate through Nowakowski to allow
them to stay in Hance Park after it closes at 10:30 p.m.
6:55 p.m. — Phoenix Police are now saying that
Margaret T. Hance Park closes at 10:30 p.m. and that arrests will begin
at that time if protesters refuse to leave. Officers will begin asking
demonstrators to leave around 10:15 p.m. The crowd continues to thin and
there are now about 300 protesters occupying the park.
6:14 p.m. — The protest has thinned considerably
since relocating from Cesar Chavez Plaza. Between 600 and 800
demonstrators remain in Hance Park.
5: 59 p.m. — Det. Chris Wilson said they will
disperse the crowd by first having their plain-clothed officers tell the
protest leaders the crowd must vacant Margaret T. Hance Park at 11 p.m.
If the demonstrators refuse to leave, they will be subject to arrest,
Wilson said he was unaware of another location the protesters could occupy after 11 p.m.
5:33 p.m. — The protesters are currently shifting
their location slightly west after police asked because of a wedding
currently in progress. They are now closer to the playground area of the
Martin, an Occupy Phoenix protester who has established himself as a
leader of the demonstration, chants slogans to fellow protesters as they
march along Third Avenue. The protesters relocated from Cesar Chavez
Plaza to Hance Park late Saturday afternoon. (Jack Fitzpatrick/DD)
5:24 p.m. — Occupy Phoenix protesters have arrived
at Hance Park after a peaceful march up Third Avenue. Protesters were
very cooperative with the police, chanting slogans such as “We will —
cooperate — with the police!” and “We will — occupy the side walk — not
the street!” At one point, the protesters stopped in a grassy area west
of Hance Park and across the street from the Kenilworth School, which
some of them appeared to think was Hance Park. After a brief stop last a
minute or two, the protesters turned around and began flooding into
4:47 p.m. — Occupy Phoenix protesters are marching
up Third Avenue toward Hance Park and staying along the sidewalks.
Police are blocking off streets as the protesters cross street
4:08 p.m. — Local businesses — and big chain corporations — are experiencing a small boost in sales from Occupy Phoenix protesters.
The crowd began dispersing at about 1 p.m. and thinned to about 1,000
protesters at 4 p.m., as protesters left to rest and get lunch. Dozens
went to nearby CityScape, but not all of the anti-corporation protesters
supported small, local businesses. Protesters filled several tables at
Five Guys Burgers and Jimmy John’s, while nearby local restaurants saw
Tony Flores, a cashier at Vitamin T, said the restaurant had “a
little jump” in customers around 3 p.m., but that he only saw one person
who seemed to be coming from Occupy Phoenix.
Video by Daniel Zayas
Ji Jie Vo, a waitress at Thai Elephant, said she saw protesters
passing by the restaurant but that she only had two tables filled by
Cliff Smith, a 49-year-old protester from Mesa, visited Thai Elephant and said he made a point of avoiding chain restaurants.
“I think it is the general attitude of the protest to support local
businesses, but I think a lot of the protesters don’t have a lot of
money and are getting food from volunteers,” Smith said.
Layal Rabat, a member of the Occupy Phoenix media team, said she used
Twitter and Facebook to heavily encourage protesters to support local
businesses. She said one reason the protest was moving to Hance Park was
because of the saturation of small, local businesses nearby on
4:01 p.m. — A hip-hop concert ran at the Cesar
Chavez Park from 2 to 4 p.m, featuring local artists RoQ’y Tyraid,
V-Prolific, Loki, DJ Pearlie Cue, Maldito Angel, and Optimal. Danielle
Nieto, 30, is a friend of the artists and organized the performance.
“Each revolutionary or civil rights movement had music,” Nieto said.
“The hip-movement is part of the 99 percent and we want to represent
that part of the culture.”
Occupy Phoenix protesters have gathered at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix. (Jack Fitzpatrick/DD)
3:42 p.m. — Check out a slide show of photos from Occupy Phoenix here.
2:36 p.m. — Cyndi Whitmore, a volunteer also with
Standing on the Side with Love, said they have about 50 cases of water
bottles available and more are coming. About 110 gallons of water were
donated and they have a few reusable water coolers. The organization
expects another 110 gallons to be donated. Unitarian churches are
donating much of the water, Whitmore said.
“A lot goes into protests that people never see,” Whitmore said. “The
number one injury the medics treat is dehydration and heat exhaustion.
People can participate and still be healthy.”
2:31 p.m. — It’s a hot day in downtown Phoenix, but
few cases of dehydration have been reported at Occupy Phoenix. Jason
Odhner, a registered nurse with the Phoenix Urban Health Collective,
said there have been few cases of dehydration or injury so far at the
protest. “We have a really good water infrastructure,” Odhner said.
“It’s a hot day so we’ll assess the crowd. People are determined and
energized. I think they’ll do just fine.”
Brian Harrison, a volunteer with Standing on the Side of Love, an
advocacy group affiliated with the Unitarian Church, said the Firehouse
Gallery on Roosevelt Row is storing some water and nonperishable food
for the protesters. Harrison also said the protesters are planning on
moving at 5 p.m.
2:28 p.m. — Protesters are planning to start moving
to Hance Park at about 4:50 p.m. Some protesters said they are leaving
Cesar Chavez Plaza for lunch or to take a break but will be coming back
later in the day. Reports that the crowd has thinned to about 1,500 are
2:13 p.m. — The mix of protesters at Occupy Phoenix
is growing increasingly diverse. Members of the Arizona Tea Party, the
Mormon church and the Mural Mice, artists from Prescott, are all among the crowd of more than 2,000.
J.T. Ready stands armed at the Occupy Phoenix protest. Ready said he is there with the U.S. Border Guard. (Sara Steffan/DD)
2:01 p.m. — The protesters are forming a circle at
Cesar Chavez Plaza to allow for better communication. A concert was
scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. but it has not started yet. No movement to
Hance Park has started either.
1:32 p.m. — An armed J.T. Ready, an Arizona neo-Nazi
with ties to the national socialist movement, said he is at the event
with the U.S. Border Patrol. “(Protesters) have the right to disagree
peacefully, but we’re here to keep the peace,” he said. Jay Pierce, a
Downtown education major who is also protesting, responded that Ready
and his followers “say they’re against banks and the rich but that’s
just a cover for anti-Semitism.”
1:27 p.m. — There are plans circulating among protesters to move the demonstration to Hance Park at 2 p.m.
1:20 p.m. — Police officers have pepper-spray
canisters on their bicycles but have said there are no plans to use them
at this time. “We’re not planning on doing any (crowd dispersion),”
Phoenix Police Sgt. Phil Hallber said. “We’re just trying to keep the
1:15 p.m. — New estimates peg the growing crowd at about 2,000. Members of the Arizona Tea Party are reportedly on scene.
1:04 p.m. — About eight members of the Arizona
Border Guard are at the protest with AK-47s and pistols. The request for
increased crowd control from the police was in response to the Border
Guard. Arizona neo-Nazi J.T. Ready is also present in the crowd.
12:41 p.m. — About 20-30 police officers have
grabbed gas masks and pepper-spray canisters. There appears to be some
request from the police for increased crowd control. Police have not
donned their gas masks.
12:25 p.m. — Early estimates of crowd size at more
than 1,000 and dozens of Phoenix police officers. The crowd appears to
be filling out the plaza more.
12:09 p.m. – Occupy Phoenix protest is underway. Organizers are handing out water bottles and umbrellas. Light police presence is on location.