Occupy Tampa demonstrator arrested while holding protest sign during ice rink opening event listen11/11/11 Josh Holton
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Another Occupy Tampa protester was arrested at about five in the afternoon Thursday. Itâ€™s the second time Daiquiri Jones has been arrested in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park during the day while holding a protest sign.
WMNF volunteer and downtown resident Blannie Whalan witnessed the arrest. She said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was checking out Curtis Hixon Parkâ€™s new ice skating rink. She said that about three protesters were on the grass in the park trying to get the mayorâ€™s attention.
From what she could see, Whalan said the protesters were not disruptive.
The protesters usually spend their day on a sidewalk alongside the park waving signs about economic inequalities that broadly affect society as a whole. But Andrew â€œPepeâ€ Kovanis said yesterday they marched in support of local firefighters as they engage the City of Tampa in collective bargaining.
The protesters have also been trying to get the attention of Mayor Buckhorn, who they hope will support their rights to free speech and freedom of assembly. Joseph â€œFelixâ€ Perry was arrested with Becky Rubright early yesterday morning for attempting to camp in Kiley Garden. After his release, Perry went to Curtis Hixon Park, where he witnessed a police officer arrest Daiquiri Jones.
Blannie Whalan said that witnessing the arrests in the park in broad daylight surprised her.
She lives in the SkyPoint high-rise overlooking the park. Some residents in that building have made complaints, which officials say is the main reason police are cracking down. But Whalan does not see the problem.
Daiquiri Jones was released at midnight on a $500 bond. He was charged with trespassing. As of Thursday evening, there have been a total of 26 arrests since Occupy Tampa began occupying the sidewalk in front of Curtis Hixon Park.
Occupy Tampa protesters Becky Rubright and Joseph "Felix" Perry were arrested after midnight Thursday morning for trespassing in Kiley Garden. Rubright was released within two hours and has a court date for early December. It was the second night of arrests Kiley Garden since