The action was a success, bringing increased awareness of Manning’s case. At the end of the night when I parked the Manning float and took a rest on a bench at a nearby coffee shop, it was fun to watch people stop to pose with him for photos as they left Queerbomb.
|By: Kit OConnell Tuesday November 13, 2012 7:18 pm|
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday October 17, 2012 7:00 pm|
During the week leading up to Occupy Austin’s October 6 birthday, the group participated in the Cop Block’s Chalk The Police Day of Action. We began by chalking at Austin City Hall, where the police monitor was in session and in honor of a recent court ruling that said bans from City Hall were unconstitutional.
|By: Kit OConnell Thursday October 11, 2012 5:17 pm|
On Saturday, October 6, a week of events and direct action celebrating Occupy Austin’s 1st birthday culminated on its official anniversary with an attempt to reoccupy space; the goal was to create a new transitional encampment for those without homes in a city which has criminalized their existence.
The day began with a March Against Hate to protest a hate crime on Pride weekend (previously mentioned on myFDL). Occupy Austin, in addition to joining the march, lent our portable sound system to the community for use at the Texas State Capitol, then danced along the sidewalks on the way back to Austin City Hall for our Popular Assembly.
|By: Kit OConnell Monday September 24, 2012 7:15 pm|
What is it about being filmed that makes Austin Police so scared? Why is being filmed equated with physical interference or even threats of violence? Despite the risk that the arrests put on all local journalists, mainsteam media continues to repeat claims by Austin Police Association Wayne Vincent, Police Chief Acevedo and others that PSP presence incites violence rather than simply documents it. Peaceful Streets Project seems unmoved, however, holding emergency tactical meetings over the weekend and planning their expansion into other cities. They held their first rally in Houston, Texas today.
|By: Kit OConnell Saturday September 15, 2012 12:00 pm|
The pre-trial hearings for the Gulf Port 7 case continued on September 6, 2012; although the Austin Police Department presented the information Judge Joan Campbell requested at the previous hearing, most of it was done in camera — in private, where defense and accused activists could not access it. What was revealed is troubling — that APD coordinated the day’s actions with Houston police through the local Texas fusion center, known as Austin Regional Intelligence Center. This, of course, raises the question of to what degree federal authorities were involved in the entrapment of Occupy activists.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday September 12, 2012 3:31 pm|
Since I broke the story of Austin Police infiltration and provocation at Occupy Austin on Firedoglake, the story has become international news. To review, Austin Police Narcotics Detective Shannon G Dowell, along with two other still unidentified undercover agents, infiltrated Occupy Austin under orders that reach all the way to Chief Art Acevedo. While undercover, Dowell (known to activists ‘Butch’) built and delivered lockbox devices (a.k.a. sleeping dragons) to activists to use at the Houston Port Shutdown, resulting in 7 activists facing state felony charges.
|By: Kit OConnell Thursday August 30, 2012 5:26 pm|
Judge Joan Campbell has threatened to dismiss the case unless these documents are presented along with the names of two other undercover officers at the next hearing, scheduled for September 5 2012.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday August 29, 2012 3:30 pm|
Why did undercover Austin Police Department Detective Shannon G. Dowell provide material support for an activist protest that resulted in them being charged with a felony in Houston?
That’s the question I want answered after speaking with Ronnie Garza, a member of Occupy Austin who faces felony charges resulting from actions at the Port of Houston on December 12, 2011. On this day, the National Port Shutdown day of action, seven activists from Austin, Dallas, and Houston blocked the main entrance into the port by laying in the road and linking arms inside lockboxes (also known as sleeping dragons), which physically linked them together so that they had to be cut apart. The use of these instruments resulted in these seven being charged with Unlawful Use of a Criminal Instrument or Device, while others who merely linked arms and legs faced lesser misdemeanor charges.