I live in Fresno, California. Fresno is a Republican controlled strong haven between the more liberal San Francisco and Los Angeles cities.
This is why George Bush Junior and Senior both came to Fresno on their presidential campaign tours.
We have 580 KMJ talk radio and Ray Appleton here who is a Republican and advances Republican ideologies.
It doesn’t surprise me that this is happening in Fresno. The police want to squash this before the Occupy crowds get too big.
Fresno County Sheriffs Lt. Andriatti and Officer Neil Dadian talking about how local penal code trumps the constitution during OccupyFresno Arrests.
Occupy Fresno: OK, may I ask a question? May I ask a question?
Fresno Sheriffs: (Other Sheriff makes comment “As long as it’s not… ???”)
Occupy Fresno: Does the penal code here and ordinances that you’ve said that we’re violating, trump the constitutional first amendment to peaceably assemble and protest the government?
Fresno Sheriffs: In this instance here, that is what we are enforcing. That penal code…
Occupy Fresno: Can you explain that?
Fresno Sheriffs: No, we’re not going to.
UPDATE: Eight more courageous Occupy Fresno! activists were arrested early this morning.
Isn’t this a perfect expression of power in this country? Corporations dominate the media; they have tens of thousands of lobbyists working 24-7 to control legislation and rule-making; they dictate election outcomes and elected officials with their campaign cash. And when a small group of citizens engage in legal dissent in a public park, the sheriffs are ordered to arrest them.
44 sherriff showed up to arrest more people tonight. (Sunday).
They came in riot gear with shields and also several k9 units all while trying to make peace with them. This is what happens when a county thinks that their penal code trumps the US constitution.
Please join me in calling Sheriff Margaret Mims. Her number is 488-3121.
If you are unable to talk with her directly, leave a message letting her know that you heard about the Occupy Fresno demonstrator, Michael Dominguez, who was arrested this afternoon in Courthouse Park for holding a sign!
My message to her was: I’m extremely upset about this and want her to reverse any charges against Michael Dominguez for exercising his right of free speech. I left my name and phone numbers for a call back.
Bob Navarro’s message to KPFA:
I am Robert Navarro, an attorney working with the Occupy Fresno movement. As you may know, there have 2 sets of arrests, in the last 2 days, 15 in the first, then 8 in the second. However, this afternoon one of the protesters, Michael Dominguez (arrested in both group arrests) was in Courthouse Park sitting down holding a sign and was arrested, I am told, for holding a sign. He was told that the group had been warned that was “not allowed.”
Yesterday, after I got out of jail, I spoke with the Fresno County Sheriffs who now have a 24/7 presence in Courthouse Park. They were of the belief that it was against the park ordinance to wave signs and chant because that constituted “a meeting” and one must have permit for a meeting in the Park. I pointed out, and they conceded, that the permit only applies to ten or more people. There were only 3 OF protesters there today when Dominguez was arrested.
I have called Sheriff Mims’ office but was unable to speak with her directly. I would appreciate any investigation KPFA could do into this overt violation of the First Amendment.
OF will be filing a request for a TRO as soon as myself and other local attorney volunteers can put it together.