Videos: Occupy Tampa to decide which park to occupy and whether to risk arrest
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10/15/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday

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photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

Occupy Tampa rallied Saturday in coordination with the 15 October United for Global Change and Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Saturday will be the 7th consecutive night of occupation.

During the first General Assembly meeting Saturday Occupy Tampa put out the idea of either occupying Gaslight Park, where there were certain to be arrests, or the sidewalk outside Curtis Hixon Park, where there likely would not be arrests. Consensus will be reached at a general assembly meeting later on Saturday.*

This is the argument for Gaslight Park by Bettejo Indelicato:



This is the argument, by facilitator Samantha Bowden, for the 100 people who say they will spend the night Saturday night to do so on the part of the sidewalk along North Ashley Drive on the east edge of Curtis Hixon Park:



Here's more of the Curtis Hixon argument:



The Occupy Tampa legal team facilitators said no lawyers were available nor no funds collected to bail people out of jail over the weekend. They warned that anyone arrested would have to wait until Monday morning to speak with a public defender.

Here's some footage:



And here's a link to a bunch of photos.

On Friday Tampa Police gave the encampment a notice that said, in part: "Presently, persons will be allowed to sleep along the edge of sidewalks and not across or perpendicular to the sidewalk between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. We expect this to change within a few weeks and persons are advised to make alternative arrangements."

We'll continue to bring you coverage through the weekend & more at 4 pm Monday on 88.5 FM

Here's our previous coverage.

*Sunday morning update:

On the seventh night of the continuous occupation of the sidewalk along Ashley Drive in Tampa, the protesters had the largest overnight turnout. Between 75 and 130 people slept in sleeping bags along the sidewalk and there was no police interference. At around 6:45 organizers woke people up and told them to stash belongings before daylight. Consensus seems to be emerging in the group not to risk arrest until Thursday night, depending on the response they get from the Mayor and City Council to demands for a park to occupy.

Protesters took up part of the sidewalk along the entire block from E. Zack St. to E. Twiggs St. The sidewalk was wide enough that several people could sleep side by side and there was still room for pedestrians.

There was one minor incident. At about 2:50 a.m. a red EMT truck (#18) that was preparing to stop at the red light on northbound N. Ashley Dr. at E. Zack St. turned on its sirens for several seconds, but didn't turn on its lights. It appeared as if the other cars slowing for or stopped at the light assumed the emergency vehicle was signaling an emergency. But it just continued to slow and stop for the light. The sound woke up many protesters and several people who were awake speculated that the emergency vehicle just wailed its sirens in order to wake the occupiers.

Photos from overnight Saturday-Sunday.

Video of the wake-up call Sunday morning at 6:45:



Sunday morning interview with Occupy Tampa protester Owen Gaither:

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