10/30/11 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCCUPY AUSTIN STATEMENT ON APD CITY HALL “CLEANUP”
AUSTIN, TX, October 29, 2011 – Occupy Austin is surprised and concerned by
the actions of the Austin Police Department this afternoon enforcing what had been
understood as proposed changes in the use of the public space at City Hall.
Occupy Austin had received the proposed changes delivered yesterday and had begun
discussions of them at last night’s General Assembly (GA), the organization’s democratic
forum for decision-making. After, a message was sent to city and police officials
seeking clarification as to the timeline for arriving at mutually acceptable changes.
The “clarification” came as police officials indicated that the proposals were, in fact,
edicts. Soon, officers enforced what had been understood as proposed changes this
“It seems we have had an unfortunate breakdown of communications,” said Jonathan
Cronin, Occupy Austin spokesperson. “Today’s actions of the APD seems entirely out
of character from the good faith dealings we have had with city and police officials until
now. Imposing these apparently without due process is unnecessary and inflammatory.”
Cronin added that on Thursday, Chief of Police Acevedo had addressed the GA and had
every opportunity to raise the proposed changes and answer questions about them. His
silence about them, followed by these actions, has been taken as a provocation by many
attending this evening’s GA.
“Chief Acevedo indicated that he wished to set himself and the APD apart from their
colleagues in New York, Oakland and Atlanta that have precipitated clashes with those
in the Occupy Movement simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Now, he
has apparently changed his mind and decided that provoking peaceful protestors and
providing inspiration for acts of civil disobedience is in the public’s best interests. We
can only hope that this is an unfortunate miscommunication that will quickly be cleared
up. We hope that all parties will patiently exercise restraint until this is clarified,” said
ABOUT OCCUPY AUSTIN:
Occupy Austin is a grass roots movement that has formed in response to the actions on
Wall Street, in New York City. We gather because our economic and political system is
badly broken. Daily general assembly meetings give anyone the opportunity to participate
in a process aimed at bringing positive change.