11 arrested in police clash at Occupy Riverside
Toni Momberger, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 11/07/2011 10:19:49 AM PST
The day after Occupy Redlands organizer Keith Jackson drafted an official statement of non-violence, he and about 40 other Occupiers from around the Inland Empire were put to the test.
Just after a Sunday meeting of the Fontana, Redlands, Riverside and Victorville groups under an overhang at Riverside City Hall, mingling turned into an impromptu protest that led to 11 arrests.
The statement of non-violence was written Thursday after Occupy protests in Oakland turned violent.
“You can’t condemn violence of the police and ignore violence done under the banner of Occupy,” Jackson said. “We wanted to publicly take that stand.”
It was presented Saturday to a general assembly meeting of about 70 people at Redlands’ Ed Hales Park after the day’s Occupy March.
Then on Sunday, people from four Occupy groups held an organizational meeting in Riverside. The group met near the only Occupy encampment in the Inland Empire, comprised of about five tents and a collapsible shelter that covered the camp’s communal kitchen.
“We were there to have a meeting about how we could support each other,” Jackson said. “The meeting had broken up, and we were feeling really good.”
That’s when officers arrived.
Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz said officers had told protesters beginning Friday their tents had to come down because of city ordinances.
“The officers asked, `Whose tent is this?’ and people were saying, `It’s our tent’ in unison. `It’s the people’s tent. It’s your tent. It’s the tent of the 99 percent,”‘ Jackson said.
When men who accompanied the officers began to take down the tents, several Occupiers formed a human chain around the encampment’s communal kitchen. They linked elbows.
Not everyone from the meeting joined the chain. It was mostly Riverside people, but one Victorville Occupier and one Redlands Occupier joined, according to Jackson.
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