Seems that arresting people, bringing dogs, using pepper spray on a bunch of Iowans [pepper spray reportedly just used on one person] peacefully assembled is a gross overreaction but there is no doubt with a Branstad governorship, restraint and common sense will probably not prevail. Arresting people unnecessarily will only serve to fuel the flames of dissent and generate support and media coverage for the movement. Best coverage can be found at the Occupy Facebook pages and Twitter. Use hashtags #Occupyiowa #OccupyDSM, etc. Have not seen any national coverage of the Des Moines arrests yet but no doubt the lefty blogs will be on it soon. Just do a google search for the Iowa media coverage. Here’s the gist of things as they stand right now.
Update: Action alert from Occupy Iowa:
Contact Governor Terry Branstad’s office 515-281-5211 if you disagree with having a group of peacefully assembled Iowans arrested. email@example.com. He has this power. He also had the power to prevent these absolutely unnecessary arrests in the first place. Please be polite and calm.
Comment on Branstad’s Facebook page about calling out the state troopers to arrest peacefully assembled citizens including a minor child: http://www.facebook.com/TerryBranstad
Daily Kos already has good coverage including this quote:
Commenter on Kos: “This Incident Makes Me Want To Go To DesMoines to stand in solidarity with those arrested. Bless them. ”
Entries from the Occupy Iowa FB page:
“Here is what I saw at Occupy Des Moines tonight….there were around 100 to 200 people there around 11 pm…the state patrol and Des Moines police [note from BFIA: others report it was state troopers] rolled in with about 50 to 60 people and even dogs…..the protestors were peaceful and repeated their intention of occupying a public area…the arrests began as people were zip tied…then someone with his hands tied behind his back was pepper sprayed… in the eyes and an ambulance came for him…a person with a camera who had taken pictures of the pepper spraying was surrounded by state troopers and tried to get his camera away from them….they started to push him around and threw his camera to someone else who was then rushed by the cops but several protestors rushed into the street to protect and get the camera away….finally a 14 year old child was arrested (in zip ties) and the tents were tore down…..”
“It was REALLY bad. I was there. Felt like I was in Afghanistan.”
by Adam Sullivan
Law enforcement arrested at least a dozen demonstrators near the state capitol on Sunday night, according to social networking accounts from Des Moines.
Occupy Iowa protesters announced earlier this week that they would demonstrate near the capitol tonight and violate the 11 p.m. curfew at the park. State patrol officers reportedly made clear to protesters that the 11 p.m. curfew would be enforced.
Media accounts from the scene estimate there were about 100 people in the park at 11 p.m. and police started making arrests about 15 minutes later. Some have said as many as 30 people were arrested. Former Iowa lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon was reportedly among those arrested.
Occupy protesters in Iowa City are beginning their fourth day demonstrating in College Green Park in Iowa City. Police officers here say they have no plans to remove the protesters and are patrolling the park to ensure demonstrators’ safety.