Hardihood for 1st & 14th Amendment Rights

Heye all:

Tmw (and now tmw is today) i go to court for standing in the park after dark.

Yep somehow the US of A thought they could restrict peaceful free speech, assembly and press to only take place during the hours of 5 am to 11 pm.

Paul Revere – just wait for the morning would ya?

so much for “shall not abridge” and so much for arbitrary ordinances weighing in more than Constitutional amendments.

below are some specs about the rally, court, and press conference tmw at the City Court Building in Rochester NY where 28 out of the 48 arrested for standing peacefully in Washington Square Park will stand before the court of justice.

Note that prior the Occupy movement –  many folks strolled across this pedestrian park on their way to their cars after a performance at the Geva Theatre let out – AFTER 11 pm and these folks were never rounded up and kept in handcuffs for hours.  Note that some folks have slept in this park as they were homeless and others as part of a demonstration against homelessness and they never got arrested.  Note that when Occupy Rochester took to the park the chief of police and a ton of officers showed up, closing off the bridge and pulling out the handcuffs and paddy wagons.

So while i stood there – I asked myself “is this land made for you and me?”

and I asked myself “should I stay or should i go now?”

and ill be honest folks – i did wonder and i did worry.  I did stroll on over towards the safety sidewalks but then courage came a calling me and found me and asked me a simple question – and she said? “where do you want to stand –  on the side of justice or injustice?”

and with that i found courage in my convictions.

And bingo – hardihood (resolute courage and fortitude) found me.  (yes i just learned this word and i love it.  hardiHOOD – its handy.

Of course my convictions were bolstered when i saw the innocent college Reporter magazine photographer get arrested while standing on the sidewalk and when i looked over on the grass and saw a college professor firmly planted and i learned a young veteran had just been hauled off and i saw folks from all walks of life STANDING and i saw the folks who were standing by tall and firm and encouraging us who could so that we would.

and so i did.

i confess – i stood for the Constitution of the United States and for our flag and what it stands for.  Im glad love came and found me and overcame my fear of the unknown and the “what ifs…” cuz as MLK Jr said that aint no way to live – once we have a death of the spirit so we can live a bit longer we are just as good as dead on the day we refused to stand for that which is just, right and good

So i’m hoping the good Judge Johnson will see all the wisdom and truth the pro bono lawyers put together for us – they shine mighty fine singing the praise for our 1st and 14th amendment and for noting the importance of the just good and right agreement between Mayor Richards on behalf of the city of Rochester and the Occupy Rochester folks so they can huddle in the cold tents making a statement with their fortitude and convictions (ahhh hardihood) and… im hoping ill continue to stand.  I do have moments of saying crud – someone said 10-15 days in the clink for this, no blue skies for more than a week, no hugs and kisses and walks in the woods.  That is so not cool.  BUT i remember to have faith in justice – that justice does and can work.  We just need to believe… and stand

And look – i aint the only hoper – Thomas Jefferson was one too:

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dared already to challenge our government to a trail by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

clearly the 1 % should not be running the joint cuz when they do, our civil liberties get the boot and the cops that r getting cut wages and jobs should not be ordered to do the corporations’ dirty work.

And im blessed to live in Rochester cuz its a nice ole place of notable lawbreakers for social justice – Susan B. Anthony and a slew of her female friends voted before it was legal here and were arrested and sent to court.  Frederick Douglass published his North Star paper here and gave his kick butt speech in Highland park chastising this country for its abysmal hypocrisy – celebrating the fourth of july Independence day while his brethren and sisters were still in bondage, and the underground railroad ran through Rochester ferreting fretted men and women all the way up to Canada to FREEDOM, and many more – less known but no less important folks gave speeches and held rallies in Washington Square Park and other public spaces

We all gotta know that our fundamental rights should not have a curfew or be quarantined.  When free speech, assembly, and press is arbitrarily restricted, enforced, arrested, and suppressed – we gotta start worrying folks.

Since Sacramento has dropped its charges against occupy folks cutting the curfew and since Occupy Rochester Washington Square Park is 24/7 and since Constitutional amendments should supersede local ordinances and since truth and love always prevail – im putting my hardihood up and hoping for a bright day tmw.

At least the troops are coming home!  Change is in the air, folks.  Every STAND matters.

And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the Shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.”
~ Woody Guthrie

and yep – i know i done used these lyrics before but geez they r just so champ they are worth repeating


A message from Media Outreach Working Group of Occupy Rochester:
Rally to support Occupy Rochester Arrestees
Wed, Dec. 14th, 1:00 pm

Outside the Rochester City Court Building where 28 of the “Rochester 48” will go on trial before Judge Johnson at 2:00 pm.  A rally will be held with some of the defendants speaking out about Occupy Rochester before entering court.
Defendants will hold a press conference following the conclusion of the trial.

We reiterate our demands that the Rochester District Attorney’s Office drop all charges.

More information about the trial below:
1st Amendment Case with National Significance to the Occupy Movement Goes to Rochester City Court
On December 14, 2011 at 2pm, 28 of the Rochester 48 go on trial before Judge Johnson in Rochester City Court.  The 28 Occupy Rochester protesters are charged with Trespass and Park After Hours after Mayor Tom Richards and Police Chief James Sheppard used a park curfew as a pretext to violate the peaceful protesters’ First Amendment rights and prevent the Occupy Movement from taking hold in Rochester, NY.
Despite the fact that Mayor Richards has requested the Monroe County District Attorney (D.A.) Mike Green drop all the charges against Occupy Rochester protesters, the D.A. is still moving forward with prosecutions, including charges against journalist Jonathan Foster.
In contrast, the Albany County D.A. has refused to prosecute Occupy Albany protesters for similar charges. The Rochester D.A.’s choice to prosecute is all the more extraordinary since the New York Civil Liberties Union advised that the curfew was unconstitutional, Occupy Rochester protesters have since won a 24/7 occupation of Washington Square Park and now have a formal agreement to stay in the park overnight signed by Mayor Richards.
Although the Rochester 48 have been offered an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) with 24 hours of community service, many of the arrestees have chosen to go to trial in order to defend our first amendment rights of free speech, free assembly, and freedom of the press. The district attorney is prosecuting under two redundant charges which were filed by the Chief of Police, who himself handpicked and personally handcuffed many of the peaceful protesters. Communication issues arose for a partially Deaf person who was among the arrestees.
Supporters will gather outside the City Court House at 1:00 pm.  Defendants will hold a press conference following the conclusion of the trial.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dianrez
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 23:16:06

    I’m praying that the judge will see justice and freedom as it was meant to be under our Bill of Rights, and not hide behind the “I must follow the law” position that so many judges take. Judges have leeway, whether or not they want to use it. I’m behind you, Patti, for taking a stand for what is right. And I vote.

  2. handeyes
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 12:10:37

    Aw Dianrez – thank u so much for ur comment, support, and goodness.
    Love your “And I vote.” in Italics. u so clever.

    Thank u most especially for all the standing u do. its real important and the least we can do to make sure the HUMAN stays in humanity and dont shift to INhumanity.

    Peace much,

  3. Don G.
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 18:07:02

    Hang in there, Patti! And if you face cold hard time, know we’re in there with ya!

  4. handeyes
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 00:47:38

    big thanks don.

    judge listened to the various arguments in the motion to dismiss and the DAs office opposition to dismiss the charges. She will deliberate on it and will notify folks if she decides to dismiss – otherwise Jan 12 is the trial date.

    Again thanks for caring about free speech and assembly and about me.



  5. Sheri Farinha
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 22:38:51

    Way to go Patti! Rock on Sista! We loves you! Can’t imagine they would waste public money and go on with a trial. There will be many more times, so it would be pointless to go to trial. Hope its dismissed!

  6. handeyes
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 02:38:11

    aw sheri – thanks so much for ur love. me needs it. re: waste of public money – yep especially since we were arrested for doing something that is now legal to do.

    will see see what the judge decides. i know the cases in sacramento were dropped and in NYC most were dismissed with a “go forth and be good, ya hear” but no other penalty assigned etc.

    heye and biggest congrats for making Person of the Year for Deaf Life!

    u rock – and we loves u too!



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