Many Arrested, But Few Charged

Categories: In Other Media, Open Mic

Eleven Occupy protesters ordered to stay away from Oakland City Hall and the Convention

Reposted from Bay Citizen By Aaron Glantz on January 31, 2012 – 8:05 p.m. PST 7

Updated Feb. 1, 2012, 10:15 a.m. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has decided to charge just 12 of the 409 people arrested during an Occupy Oakland protest last Saturday, her office announced Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged four people with felonies and eight with misdemeanors. None of the four facing felony charges is from Oakland, according to information provided by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Judges on Tuesday ordered 11 defendants to stay 300 feet away from Frank Ogawa Plaza and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. The plaza in front of Oakland’s City Hall has been the site of Occupy Oakland’s two encampments and numerous protests by the group.

On Saturday night, some protesters broke into City Hall and vandalized the building. Earlier Saturday, police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who officers said tried to tear down fences and destroy construction equipment near the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.Occupy Oakland had said it wanted to use the building as its headquarters.

In a statement released Tuesday, O’Malley said that while her office respects “every citizen’s right to protest peacefully, we will not tolerate individuals who come to Oakland with an organized strategy to riot, clash with police officers, vandalize property and wreak havoc upon the City.”

Mayor Jean Quan and interim police Chief Howard Jordan have both said they support such stay away orders. Defense attorneys have argued the orders are unconstitutional.

“These people have the right of free speech,” said David Briggs, attorney for Mario Casillas of San Bruno, who was charged with assaulting a police officer.

The stay-away order “has nothing to do with that,” Briggs said as Casillas, wearing an orange jail uniform, listened from inside a glass enclosure in the courtroom. Briggs also argued that any decision on a stay away order should be deferred until Casillas, who is being held on $50,000 bail, is released and can actually reach protest destinations in downtown. Casillas is one of at least four defendants who will remain in jail pending bail hearings later this week. Judge Julie Congen said she was issuing the order anyway.

Ahimsa Wind-Thunder of San Francisco, who was charged with eight felony counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of wearing a mask to conceal his identity, also received a stay-away order despite remaining behind bars.

The judge set his bail at $400,000. He was given a stay-away order as was Michael Lubin of San Mateo, who is charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Lubin, who had earlier been released from jail, was re-cuffed when he appeared in court Tuesday, and returned to jail with his bail raised to $100,000.

The number of people charged represents just 3 percent of the 409 arrested by Oakland police on Saturday. Most of those arrested were cited for failing to leave the scene of a riot and subsequently released by the Alameda County Sheriff. The district attorney’s office said it has up to a year to file additional charges.

Occupy protesters were prepared for more people to be charged. But around 2 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy posted a list containing the names of approximately 90 individuals who were arrested at Occupy Oakland and would not be charged. The list had the words “Go Home” written in big red letters. As it was posted, dozens of members of the Occupy movement, their supporters and family members began pushing and shoving each other to get close. When the deputy called for order, shouts of protest went up. “Don’t tell me to fucking shut up. No way I’m shutting up for no fucking cop,” one said.

Another, who began shouting out the names of people on the list, yelled “fuck the police” when she was finished.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that judges ordered 12 defendants to stay away from Oakland’s City Hall and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. Judges issued stay away orders to 11 defendants on Tuesday. A judge may issue such an order to another defendant next week. The Bay Citizen regrets the error. Source: The Bay Citizen (


One Response to “Many Arrested, But Few Charged”

  1. David Heatherly

    Police attempting to use laws that were designed to protect women from stalkers (stay away orders) to repress free speech? It’s no big shock in 2012. But we must fight it vigorously. If you have no stay away order, you must show up at the plaza to make up for those who cannot.