City, Occupy Austin Keep Talking
City leaders and organizers of the Occupy Austin protest met for about two hours yesterday to discuss the events leading up to the 45 arrests on Austin’s City Hall plaza over the weekend.
Both sides said the tone of the meeting was positive and cooperative.
Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald told KUT News there’s no immediate timetable for solving the issues raised at the meeting.
“You know, certainly if there are some things where we can get back with them on, just by putting a call in or verbally, we’ll certainly do that,” McDonald said. “But most of which we’re going to need to take some time and try to get back with them.”
However, shortly after the meeting, Joshua Adair of Occupy Austin was handcuffed as he left the building.
Officers said Adair was one of the people arrested Sunday morning for criminal trespass. According to state law, once a person is given a warning for criminal trespass, they can be arrested again if they return.
As he was being arrested and put in a police car, Adair told officers he was given specific permission from the police chief to attend the meeting at City Hall. The police released Adair without taking him in for processing.
“Unfortunately we hadn’t had the opportunity, we had just finished a meeting, and he took off and the officers spotted him,” Police Chief Art Acevedo told KUT News. “Because what’s happening is that some folks are trying to challenge it by coming back. That’s why we’ve rearrested several people in the last 24 to 48 hours”
Some members of Occupy Austin said the episode was an example of a breakdown in communication between top city officials and police officers.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Occupy Austin says the group will consider designating someone to speak on the group’s behalf to continue talks with city officials.