City Evicts Occupy Dallas From Encampment Near City Hall

By Matt Goodman and Jay Gormley, CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The city severed its contract with Occupy Dallas protesters late Wednesday night, permitting dozens of police officers, in riot gear, to clear the encampment and arrest anyone who refused to leave after 1 a.m.

Some 18 protesters were arrested and taken away in police vans. At least seven people a the camp were homeless, so Dallas police assisted them with obtaining shelter.

City spokesman Frank Librio said, “For the safety of each individual at the encampment, the police and members of the public, it was determined to terminate the agreement and disband the encampment.”

The raid took about 45 minutes. The violent clashes between Occupy protesters and police in other cities were not duplicated in Dallas.

Just after rush hour Thursday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings attended a homeless awareness breakfast at the new Omni Convention Center Hotel. When asked about the Occupy eviction he said, “We’ve supported the protesters rights for freedom of speech and they are more than welcome to make sure that they exercise that right, on public property. We cheer them on to make sure they have that right, but they’re not gonna be able to camp out.”

The City of Dallas issued a lengthy official statement. The city listed several reasons for the eviction, including – the continued violation of an agreement between the City of Dallas and Occupy Dallas legal representatives, criminal activity at the camp, trash buildup, inadequate sanitary conditions and “increasing dissension and strife” among Occupy Dallas participants.

The terms of the agreement said protesters were allowed to stay at the chosen encampment site as long as they kept the area clean and obeyed the law.

Read the entire City of Dallas statement below:

Occupy leaders began alerting protesters at about 11 p.m. that officers would be evicting protesters from their camp in a grassy area just south of Dallas City Hall.

Some protesters gradually left, while others began to congregate in the middle of the camp in what they described as a “peaceful show of strength.”

Police barricaded all the roads leading into City Hall at about 11:20 p.m. As protesters left, they were told they would not be allowed back.

News vans and reporters not already inside the encampment were blocked off at the south end of City Hall.

At about 12:15 a.m., a group of close to 12 police SUVs drove into downtown from department headquarters at 1400 South Lamar.

Scant protesters continued to trickle out. At about 12:20 a.m., a city truck brought in a lighting rig and close to 75 officers in riot gear surrounded the outskirts of the encampment.

At 12:30 a.m., officers began using bullhorns to warn protesters they would be arrested if they did not leave. They also warned any media inside the camp to exit or face arrest. Officers later said this was because they could not guarantee the safety of members of the media once police raided the camp.

At 1 a.m., about 40 protesters remained inside. Police moved in at about 1:05 a.m. They told protesters again to leave and that they would be allowed to retrieve any property left at the encampment later Thursday.

When officers moved in, they opened each tent and searched inside it. The few protesters who refused to leave were arrested in the raid. There was no violence, and police did not destroy any tents.

District 14 Councilwoman Angela Hunt said the City Council was not notified of the raid until 11:45 p.m. She called this poor communication, and said she was upset with City Manager Mary Suhm about the abrupt decision.

Late Wednesday, the city attorney’s office sent an eviction letter to Jonathan Winocour, Occupy Dallas’s lawyer.

In it, the city “terminates, cancels and rescinds the settlement agreement” that allowed the group to camp in the area behind City Hall. The group’s protest began with a march to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on Oct. 6.

The eviction letter cites broken penal codes – likely the arrest of a man for sexual assault of a child and Child Protective Services removing a baby from a homeless couple in a tent – weapons being carried on the property; cooking on public property; “semi-permenant structures and signs” being built on-site; trash not being picked up; gas and fuel stored on-site; and when “more than four” protesters visited City Hall unannounced Tuesday asking for a meeting with City Manager Mary Suhm.

Read the full notice below:

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  • Susie Kasper

    It is about time…I am glad the City of Dallas did this. It was time for them to move on and out.

    • Webfish

      Most of these people were crushed by the collapse of the system Susie. FYI, 3 million families were thrown into the streets since the housing bubble of 2006. 1 million in 2010 alone. The national unemployment is almost 10% and you want them to dress in business attire? LMFAO. Susie you need to add a little more reality to your 5 dollar Starbucks on your way to work. These people that camp there had everything taken from them while corporations like big banks got multi-billion dollar bailouts that us, as still employed tax payers, are paying for. Wake up and read what the hell is going on in this world. Our government is owned by corporations. How the hell does Wells Fargo pay only 1.2 million in fines for laundering over 387 billion dollars of Mexican drug cartel money. That was less than 2% of the profits they made on it and not one person went to jail. What would happen if you or I did something like that? Where would we be?

  • City Evicts Occupy Dallas From Encampment Near City Hall — Me and the Chicks

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    Oh Susie-Susie-Susie…!

    • Susie Kasper

      They don’t need to camp out to exercise their right to free speech. They can walk a picket line from daylight to dark each and everyday. I don’t care just as long as they don’t infringe on my right to come and go as I so choose to do. If I want more information I will stop and ask one of them…don’t try to stop me and tell me something. Also, dress as though you are going to work because this is the job you have chosen for yourself at this time. Do this the correct way. If I were in charge of this movement I would require business attire for each person, sign-in sheet and absolutly no children involved for any reason at anytime. Respect yourself first and then you will have respect.

  • jack

    This “occupy” movement is just stupid. How man weeks has it been going on, and I still don’t have a clear understanding of what they are suppose to be accomplishing, and I bet if you were to interview them, they would have no idea either. People are just there because they think this is the “new” bandwagon to jump on. Most have no clue what they are doing. They are just going to leave a mess that tax payers will have to pay to clean up.

  • Jo Blo

    So now its time to take to streets in a different way. Now is the time to try a different way of dealing with all this mess. I believe that Occupy was a peaceful way. Now I believe that people will be under the cover of secrecy. Well the US govt does it why not the US public. Godless Amerika!

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  • Daren I.

    Thank you City of Dallas! About time they kicked out the people protesting and complaining they should have more, but not lifting a finger to earn it like everyone else. Being born in America does not entitle you to a life free of work with everything handed to you. Utopias like that just don’t exist, nor can they.

    • Webfish

      Another Neanderthal mentality. Get an education sheeple.

      • Oh Really

        Yes, we of the knuckle dragging people need to go get edjamacated instead of toiling away at our jobs paying our bills. No, we must get the edjamacation and then we will be smart enough to complain about how we can’t get the jobs we _THINK_ we deserve because we got the edjamacation. Ugh!

        Of course I know that writing this will draw the expected responses of how I’m blind by corporate media; of which I ignore and use my own common sense to determine the topics and seek out the facts; -OR- how Corporations own America; To which I say… bull puckies… cause you’re in business to make money.. which we seem to be losing just like the rest of the world; -OR- How I just don’t see the big picture or the truth; Never really saw much truth in camping other than you’re outside and not working; -OR- (insert your own knee-jerk comment) ; Odd how the majority of comments are the same cut-out rhetoric every time, just from different posters. Even stranger is the fact that that rhetoric is the exact kind of response they claim the government is giving us and we are blind to. (How ironically thought provoking)

        The truest truth that seems to be over looked is the fact that the protesters complaints against ‘corporate greed’ lose any credibility due to the fact that they all seem to cherish and own Apple products (That’s one of those evil corporations they seem to like complaining about) as well as numerous other electronic devices to record their every activity and so-called freedom (Also items produced by those evil corporations) and also seem to enjoy referring to the evil government attempts to silence them and take away their protected freedoms (granted that same government that is in place, grants them such freedoms provided they actually follow the laws set forth by those that came before them, but seem to think such laws don’t apply to them)

        The so-called 99%???

        Last time I checked… less than a third of the population had the ability or was able to afford to go to college… much less had the time to sit around and not work. Try renaming yourselves to the 30% seeing as how that would include those that attended college and thought they were guaranteed something as well as the current unemployment rate. (and no you can try and count the college unemployed twice.)

        By that count you have:
        1% the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil rich and corporations
        30% that want everything handled to them
        4% that have valid grievance and voice it, whilst continuing to work
        65% that represent those that actually go out to jobs they either hate, dislike, or barely tolerate whilst they continue looking for a better job to pay their bills and live in a lifestyle they can afford

        Those are the simple facts and the so-called ‘99%’ are greatly outnumbered by those that look down from their lofty heights and by those that are just shaking their heads in disbelief and dreading the fact that they will obviously wind up paying more in taxes to support them, whilst hoping for the day they too can look down from the lofty heights having proudly EARNED it.

        Bravo for those in the city of Dallas that supported and helped this action

        As for A. Hunt … shut the ‘F’ up if you want to keep your job. Because the voters will decide whether you do or don’t.

        And now the _real_ sheeple goes…

  • RussP

    As long as this group (which is actually far less than 1% of the population despite their claims) doesn’t start to act like the NY group and start to block streets and find other ways to disrupt the lives of the real 99% of the population; I’m glad Dallas finally decided to enforce the law and clean this area out.

  • Blue4u

    so where does it say that these people don’t work for a living.? Typical response from ignorant and brain washed Texans, who think no one works but them. A few of these people are homeless, they rest are just exercizing their right to peacefully protest injustice. What the Hell is wrong with you people anyways. Cops in “riot gear”? They are not in danger, the protesters are. Freakin’ ground troops. There is no freedom of peaceful assembly, or freedom or speech in Dallas. Have you ever seen the streets when the Tex/OK rivalry games are overwith. Trash 3feet deep all along Greenville Ave. Why is that allowed? Where are the kpolice in riot gear then?

    • aFreetexan

      “…ignorant and brainwashed Texans…” aptly describes the protestors which I have spoken with. Thank you City of Dallas and the DPD for putting an end to this fiasco.

      • Webfish

        I seriously doubt you have actually spoken to any of them. You just watched the propaganda circus of big business on your tv. When not at work or school I am always down there as part of the education team. If you had talked to me, you may have a difference of opinion.

      • Susan Winters

        You have done nothing of the sort, you have been speaking to tea party members.

  • blue4u

    It would be nice to be able to read this when typing, but it is so light , you can’t correct your typo’s because you can’t see them. Jeeze

  • aFreetexan

    It seems to work fine for everyone else. Blaming others for your deficiencies seems to be the mantra of the OWS folks.

  • Machine

    Hey Angela Hunt they are having tacos outside of Mary Suhm’s door for lunch today! Get a grip.

  • Bildeberg Perry

    Freetexan???? You wouldn’t know the price of freedom, you dimwit. You are allowing the paramilitarizing of the police force and the destruction of our first amendment rights. This is how Nazi Germany started. Freetexan…please, you Nazi sympathizer.

    • Jeff D Johnson

      Destruction of first amendment rights? Camping and squatting in parks is not covered by the first amendment. They have the right to gather and protest every day if they choose. But city laws prohibit camping and sleeping in public parks. And you might want to be very careful before you start throwing out the Nazi references.

      • Webfish

        Jeff you are right! I just read the Constitution and it clearly states you can only gather and protest between the hours of 5am and midnight. Seriously? I have been down there almost every day and I have never been there where there were nobody walking around to answer questions about the movement. The reason the people were thrown out per the letter given to the lawyers stated that they breeched the contract by using bathrooms in the city office and cooking food on site. Imagine that protestors making a stand for our freedoms weren’t aloud to have port-a-pottys or use bathrooms and were not aloud to have warm meals unless you walked two blocks to McDonalds. I think that is also in the Constitution that Jeff read.

    • zingbot

      Why, because YOU say so? You must be mistaking me for someone who cares about what you think. Try revisiting some of the history lessons which you obviously slept through, then get a clue and a life. You are mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence.

    • Skull and Bones

      It’s BILDERberg.

  • hookt1965

    Good Riddance

  • Chris McPhail

    So if you are homeless and without a job the Police will help you find shelter rather than take you to jail where monetary fines will apply. But if you have a home and a job the Police take you to jail so the city can attempt to generate revenue through the court systems. These people’s right to protest is protected by law. So the Police just violated their civil rights by taking away their lawful right to protest. We are losing Rule of Law in America.

    • Jeff D Johnson

      Please study the Constitution. Their right to protest was not taken away. Only their ability to camp and squat in the park. The only people arrested were the ones that refused to leave the park. You might want to check the facts before you rant.

    • RussP

      Folks need to quit making up “rights”. There is a constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech and expression, not to violating existing laws, not to interfereing with other peoples freedoms.

  • Don Wells

    One day the Sheeple are going to realize that its gonna take a LOT more than some silly protest to get any real results.

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  • OccupyYourMind

    We celebrated this spring when the Egyptians, Lybians, Syrians, and others in Arab countries took to the streets to demand their rights and stand up to their repressive governments. Now, here in America,, when our youth take to the streets to stand up against what they believe is right and make a statement against what has become an unfair and unjust economic system, we want them silenced, rounded up and hauled off to jail? What America is this? More of us need to take to the streets and join them. Most of you have jobs to go to and lattes to buy so you don’t care, but when its your turn on the unemployment line, when you lose your job or your house, maybe you will feel a little more empathetic. I for one wouldn’t mind going to jail for what I believe in.

    • Jeff D Johnson

      Once again, no one is saying for them to not voice their opinion or exercise their right to assemble. Just not break the city laws about camping and squatting in the parks. I do have a job but spent damn near a year out of work. I didn’t cry about how unfair the system was or blame everybody else for it. I got off my backside did little low paying lowend jobs until I was able to get a job that got me back on my feet. And as far as making a statement, most of the ones that I have heard speak, have no clue what they are protesting.

      • Oh Really

        Thank you for that.

        I congratulate you on getting back to work and for earning every last penny you did.

        I am glad that there are others out there that still have a work ethic and willing to do what it takes to make it through.
        ^5 to you

  • Webfish

    Sorry Jeff, but until you educate yourself on our current paradigm you will just be a mindless sheep put here to perpetuate the system of cyclical consumption. We are all little pawns on a game of monopoly where all the properties are already bought and we just keep rolling the dice and collecting our 200 pass go until we die while the top 1% which owns 40% of the wealth in this country lives off the working class and keeps rigging the rules of the game to their favor. I hope one day you educate yourself and reach a new level of understanding. Here a place you can state. Youtube Zeitgeist Addendum and learn how the monetary system works.

    • Jeff D Johnson

      Educate myself? You are so condescending in your beliefs that you can’t see that others are just “enlightened” as you are about what goes on in this world but have a different perspective. I have worked since I was 16 years old. I have never believed it was anyone’s duty to give me a damn thing. You want to blame banks and big business for your troubles and the economy? I say look at the people that wrote the tax laws that allow the businesses to practice the way they do. Start putting pressure on the elected officials that write the tax codes and are bought by the businesses. And in my perspective you are one of the sheep being led by a group that has no idea what they are truly mad about.

  • Jeff D Johnson

    Webfish, please show me where in the first amendment of the Constitution that it states protesters are allowed to break city ordinances. The city allowed the protesters to stay in the park and go against c ordinances as long as they kept to an agreement, which they did not. Those protesting can go back to the park and hold up their signs and chant whatever they like. But once the park closes they must leave that piece of property. That is in no way a violation of free speech rights or the right to peaceably assemble. You are trying to put things into the first amendment that are not there. Camping and squatting in a park are not covered by the first amendment. Why do you think the city has ordinances against camping and sleeping in the park? Or cooking in the park?

    • PoliticallyDirect

      So you recognize that “The City” (meaning a few people sitting in an office that my taxes pay for) is arbitrarily deciding which laws they want to ignore and which laws they want to send a paramilitary force against on a whim…and you cheer them on?

      You defy logic. You’ve been fooled into believing that “what feels right” and “what IS right” are the same thing.

      • Jeff D Johnson

        The city decided to allow the protesters to stay in a park as long as they followed the agreement. They could have kicked them out the first day for violating the city ordinance. You obviously didn’t care that the city was allowing them to violate the law as long as your agenda was being furthered. I doubt that if it was a group of protesters voicing their opinion about something you were against that you would care if they were kicked out. And you probably would cheer it.And if you don’t like the way the city officials handled it, put pressure on them by voting. The problems these people are protesting started with the elected officials that made the rules that allowed the evil businesses to do what they do.

      • PoliticallyDirect

        Don’t pretend to know anything about me, Jeff. This is not “my agenda”. I haven’t been involved in this movement at all.

        I’m just baffled by the fact that you openly cheer for a government that arbitrarily breaks its own laws. You keep calling them “The City”, but you ARE aware of the fact that it’s one person who is calling the shots, right? And that one person is allowed to break laws when he/she feels like it, but if you cross him/her, that’s it! Laws are enforced, and people are jailed!

        “I was being nice when I decided to let you break the laws, but now you’ve made me mad, so I’m going to immediately start enforcing the laws, and call my goons in to shove you around…because there’s nothing you can do about it!”
        -Jeff D Johnson’s role model

      • Oh Really

        “(meaning a few people sitting in an office that my taxes pay for)”

        Might want to correct that comment by stating those “elected” officials that were elected by a majority vote that represented the peoples of said city.

        Oh wait… doing that would totally take away any argument you have thought you had

        My bad

        Now excuse me while I search the web for the ‘paramilitary force’ you mentioned and those ‘Nazis’ someone else mentioned, because I missed those.

        Bound to be 100’s of dead people because that’s the tactics used by those 2 groups, they don’t arrest they kill. Mainly because they don’t have to bother with obeying anything as pesky as laws or ‘rights’ … just ask someone from a 3rd world country or a Holocaust survivor and they’ll tell you

  • PoliticallyDirect

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out…because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out…because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out…because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me…and there was no one left to speak for me.

    -Martin Niemoller, Protestant Pastor who spent 7 years in concentration camps for opposing the Nazi regime.

    This government was formed to serve the people. Now the tail is wagging the dog. Stand up for somethiing, or you’ll fall for anything.

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  • Sara

    I was going to comment but after reading some of the comments I find it pointless. You can reason with unreasonable people.

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