Occupy Tampa demonstrator arrested while holding protest sign during ice rink opening event

11/11/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:


Another Occupy Tampa protester was arrested at about five in the afternoon Thursday. It’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 Park’s new ice skating rink. She said that about three protesters were on the grass in the park trying to get the mayor’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 “Pepe” 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 “Felix” 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

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Score 1 for the cops

protesters: zero

Way to go Tampa PD

No one wants our group of idiots to go the way of the west coast occupy groups. It's a rape/death/assult fest out there. Wish these losers would occupy a life.

Occupy a life?

Caring about and defending social/economic justice, rather than mindlessly consuming to prove your worth to the Jones' is about as nobel of a life as one can occupy. What are YOU doing for YOUR fellow citizens, in your so-called life? While I don't agree with the arrests, and didn't get arrested myself (even though I protested, filmed, and negotiated police interaction along side the movement) that doesn't mean their efforts deserve to be reduced to a simple cat&mouse game of citizens vs. cops in some horning locking fest, It's an unnecessary byproduct of a security state overly burdening people's right to first amendment assembly. Don't be so judgmental and rude to people who are out there because they're sick and tired of being sick and tired about corruption. You're too 'busy' in your so-called life to notice, or too impotent to do anything, so you 'just don't care'. Some life.