My Arresting Experience and Photos from the Occupy SF 888 Turk Street Occupation – April 02, 2012
* By Daniel, a member of the Occupy Oakland Website Committee.
I didn’t plan to get arrested today, but it happened. I just wanted to document the occupation.
After staying outside photographing, I decided to go inside and take some photos of the first floor that I learned was open to the media. But while inside I decided to go upstairs to the second floor, where recording/photographing was not allowed, and soon after some occupier yelled of the cops coming in. The panic was present in some of us, but there were others that reminded the rest to calm down.
Cops were on the roof, all around the building. We were all trying to figure out how to leave without getting arrested, but it was futile. There was no way out. For some reason, even though it was my first time getting arrested, I kept some calm and thought that my car might get impounded. I had parked it about a block away. I made a couple of calls and that part was taken care of.
Then my concentration of thoughts was on the cops that were closing in. Where, when, and how would the cops break in and arrest us? Would it be violent, like I am used to seeing the Oakland Police Department’s way of handling protesters?
There was a point that I thought of jumping out the window from the second floor, but because my camera equipment was cumbersome, I decided not to. But there was one occupier that did, unsuccessfully, about five cops jumped on him. I just looked down and photographed those moments.
The police never gave us a chance to leave the building.
At some point I was by the door that had been barricaded from inside. The cops were on the other side hitting hard. The sound was intimidating. Destroying the door, they finally made their way in.
I ended up in a group of occupiers that decided to concentrate in one room, and all of us sat down on the floor to wait for the cops; who not long after came in with shotguns. Later I learned that one occupier who was waiting by the door had a shotgun pointed at his upper body.
Eventually they were picking up who they were arresting first. I was sitting in the middle of the group photographing and, perhaps because of that, I was picked before many others that were in front of me, closer to them.
I, like most of us inside, was handcuffed and brought down to the first floor. After a while an officer walked into the building and told everyone in my group that we were under arrest for trespassing.
I have never before been arrested. It was a bit of a shocking experience.
And also shocking was that the Archdiocese lost its chance to help repair their reputation. They could have allowed the occupation to stay and help the homeless and needy.
If you are a Catholic, I personally suggest that you stop giving your money to them. That money goes to the filthy rich Vatican. They are sitting on gold, while poor people in the world are starving to death.
Anyhow… it was a surreal feeling, but I knew that I had gotten arrested for a good cause. My whole life I have been trying to be a straight and honest person, and now arrested. I am considering not telling my mother, so she does not worry for me. But, at the same time, it reminds me that what I do here helps them too. I come from a poor family, and I know how it feels not to have, not eat at times, or to eat poorly for days and days.
And… that is why I Occupy!