Mon October 31, 2011
After Arrests, Occupy Austin Protestors Meet With City Officials
Austin police chief Art Acevedo and assistant city manager Michael McDonald were among the city officials who met with more than a dozen members of Occupy Austin for about two hours this morning.
Both sides commented that the tone of the meeting was positive and cooperative. A spokesman for Occupy Austin wouldn't talk about the specifics of what they discussed, but said that the issues raised by the city would be taken up at the group's general assembly at 7 p.m.
Almost forty protestors (APD says 37; Occupy Austin says 38) were arrested early Sunday morning after the city posted new rules regarding a food distribution table. Acevedo claimed that the changes were made at the request members of Occupy Austin.
"The problems that have occurred here had very little to do with the true movement, the Occupy Austin people,” Acevedo said. “They had more to do with, what I would describe as a very aggressive transient population that moved in that weren't even here for the movement.”
But one of those arrested refutes that claim.
“Everyone’s been lumped together in criminal trespassing,” Joshua Adair told KUT News. “My charge officially was criminal trespassing, even though I was not on the property when the officer who grabbed me pulled back onto city hall property.”
Assistant City Manager McDonald said the city hopes to get back with the group within a day or so to discuss a series of resolutions to the issues raised.