Occupy Orlando (Photo: Rich Johnson, flickr)

Occupy Orlando (Photo: Rich Johnson, flickr)


Wildcat Kelley, looking mighty pale
Was standing by the Sheriff’s side
And when the Sheriff said, “I’m sending you to jail
Wildcat raised his head and cried

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
Don’t fence me in

Don’t Fence Me In©

By Cole Porter

Friday, day seven of Occupy Orlando was for the most part uneventful. The lack of a dedicated power source was overcome by both a generator and a series of car storage batteries hooked into power inverters so that computers could run. The Food Team kept getting donations and more supplies. The Materials team was always asking for more filing and storage capacity. The Media Team was reviewing its operating procedures. Everything was neat and orderly. A man identifying himself as Byron Sutton claimed that he was one of the owners of the property across the street and as long as the occupation kept the area as neat and clean as they possibly could he would not object. Sutton expounded how he was involved in regional economic development and was trying to keep Workforce Florida on the right track.

Lamenting that even with Florida’s high unemployment, Workforce Florida did not have enough willing and qualified workers to handle the coming boom in business due to the impending Panama Canal “Trade Deal” that will come in two years for which Orlando will be a major beneficiary. Sutton’s appearance is contradictory to information furnished by the police regarding the property. They claimed that the ownership of the property was not known and that it was in foreclosure. Sutton offered no business card exchange with anyone, nor did he offer contact information. With all of the cameras and video equipment on site no one took any photographs. The occupiers felt relieved that there would be no potential problems, at least not immediately.

“Custer’s luck! The biggest Indian village on the continent!”

Custer had the false sense of security that everything was going his way; his words were of glee and anticipation. He could see all the kudos heaped upon him by the adoring press and public-he could feel the glory he so desperately desired. It would be interesting to know what his exact last words were, but unless someone invents a time machine that is not likely.

Since the tarp incident on Thursday the same kind of false sense of security pervaded the air. The police were not bothering anyone, meetings were going on, live streaming was going on and few people bothered to leave the park at the 11:00 closing time. Shortly after 2:00 AM several policemen came into the park and ordered everyone to immediately vacate and get on the sidewalk which is not part of the park. Many people refused and stood their ground. At that point backup was called and the arrests were started. Here’s the raw video leading up to the arrests.

Here’s the raw video of the actual arrests:

These videos were distributed to all TV stations in the area and several of them were used on the air. One of the nineteen people arrested was a young disabled man, Kirk Root, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis was wrongly identified in Tea Party Honcho Tom Tillison’s totally misleading October 18 Florida Political Press article describing the occupation several days after Oct. 15.

Two glaring misstatements in the article are that Root was just a passerby-There is no such thing at Senator Beth Johnson Park. It’s too far away from anything. Root, who has been lovingly named “Captain Kirk” by everyone in the occupation, is and has been a stalwart member from day one. The second most notable misstatement that Tillison offers up is about the Porsche convertible. He conveniently forgets that the car is parked directly across from the Doubletree Hotel where the owner is a registered guest.  There are others as well but they are minor.

This is typical of the methods that Tillison and his cohorts, Tom Trento from United West et al use to distort the situation and try to put the subject in a bad light. Most of their allegations are unsupportable, but they have a readership that wants to see Christians thrown to the lions and they cater to those desires. They are in the same class as James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart. The legal team sprang into action immediately arranging for releases and bail where necessary. Later in the morning the police showed up and ordered everyone and everything off of the property across the street, claiming that they had a signed complaint from the owner without producing any document whatsoever. Once the items were removed the entire area was barricaded.

As the sun rose on Saturday, furious activity in the legal team and the media team was ongoing. Questions about use of the barricaded area arose and research was underway. Saturday was just another day in the park for most of the occupation. As long as everyone respected the boundaries there was no threat of action by the police. As the arrested occupiers came back to get their belongings they had to leave the park. They had all received trespass warnings and were prohibited from being on or near the park for one year, otherwise they could be prosecuted. The police gave them their boundary limits and they were respected. They all had to go through the demeaning process of mug shots, fingerprinting, personal effect inventory and strip searching. Even Captain Kirk, who was visibly traumatized by indignities he suffered. Handcuffing and staying in jail overnight is a terrible way to spend an evening.

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
Can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in