Occupy Austin protestors rise again after arrests

Jillian Bliss

Members of the Occupy Austin movement have not been deterred by recent arrests, as they have made accommodations to continue their protest, despite local law enforcement policies.

The 38 organization members arrested during Halloween weekend were later released, but not without restrictions. Arrest warrants issued included public intoxication, as well as trespassing. Some who were arrested for criminal trespassing are no longer allowed to convene on ground at City Hall. The group held a general assembly meeting on the evening of Halloween to discuss issues with law enforcement policies, safety while protesting and improving Occupy Austin living conditions. Occupy Austin supporters have moved their general assembly meetings to the grassy median between City Hall and Town Lake in order to allow those not permitted on City Hall grounds to attend meetings.

Occupy Austin supporter Samantha “Mama” Trevino said she witnessed several arrests and was concerned with the way police treated those taken into custody. Trevino said she witnessed an arrest that left detainees with bruises.

“I think they’re trying to get rid of us,” Trevino said. “It hurts, but I’m here for a purpose.”

Occupy Austin supporter Colby Wendeborn was one of the 38 arrested over the weekend, and said he feels he is participating in the protests for a significant purpose.

Wendeborn said he and many others arrested appear in several videos the group has uploaded to YouTube in hopes of raising awareness to the issue of law enforcement policies he believes are wrong.

“The arrests needed to happen to bring everyone together,” Wendeborn said. “When I got out of jail, I thought Austin would be in uproar, but nothing has happened. These are the things people need to see.”

Printed on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, as: Occupy Austin demonstrators regroup following arrests