‘Tent City’ bust won’t stop Occupy movement, activists say
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Occupy Austin members say they wanted to help the homeless--at least that was their mission before police broke up a Saturday protest and arrested three Occupiers.
To commemorate the one year anniversary of the local Occupy movement Saturday, protestors planned to march from the new Highland Mall ACC Campus to an abandoned Home Depot warehouse.
It was at that location they planned to set up a temporary homeless shelter appropriately named "Tent City." Activist Josh Pineda caught on camera when police confronted the Occupy members at the protest.
"I was out there trying to film the police to make sure they weren't beating anybody or wrongfully arresting anybody," Pineda, a member of police watch dog group the Peaceful Streets Project, said.
Instead, Pineda and another protestor were arrested. Police say they were trespassing.
Before he was placed in cuffs, Josh can be seen backing away from officers. He also can be heard yelling questions at the other man getting arrested.
"I was trying to get Luke Smith's information,” Pineda said. “They had grabbed him and I was trying to ask him what was going on. That was when I stumbled and they snatched me."
Outspoken activist Kit O’Connell says homeless services around town fall short for those who need a roof over their head.
"We want them to take some of these empty properties, abandoned properties, unused spaces and allow people to camp there to stay there," he said.
In the meantime, the idealists want the government to know jail time will not stop their mission.
"If they think any of these actions are going to deter us, they are dead wrong. If anything it is going to further amplify us," Pineda said.
The three Occupiers arrested Saturday are out of jail, but are charged with criminal trespassing. The group says they expect the charges to be thrown out.