City Cuts Deal With Occupy Dallas After Filing Brief Explaining Why They Can't Sleep in Public

Categories: City Hall
OccupyEverything.jpg
Photo by Chris Howell
Well, we were going to go to Earle Cabell at 10 this morning for The Big Showdown: City of Dallas versus Occupy Dallas for the right to pitch a tent in Pioneer Park, in the shadow of the convention center. Because, as you recall, Occupy Dallas made its case Wednesday night in court documents: The city's insistence upon an insurance million-dollar insurance policy infringed upon its "right to peaceably demonstrate in public forums" in the city limits.

To which the city responded late yesterday with this: "If Plaintiffs want to protest around-the-clock, they can," according to a brief filed by Dallas City Attorney Tom Perkins that's on the other side. "The City only seeks to enforce Section 31-37 of the Dallas City Code, which prohibits persons from camping and otherwise occupying the convention center grounds (including Pioneer Plaza) between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., and Section 31-13 of the Dallas City Code, which prohibits persons from sleeping in public."

But per Roy Appleton's pay-walled account of a late-night confab between Occupy Dallas's pro bono attorneys and some 100 camped-out protesters, a deal's been cut: They can occupy Pioneer Park till 5 p.m. Sunday, then will move to a spot near Akard and Canton -- behind City Hall and the convention center, more or less a block from I-30 -- where they'll be able to stay till at least December 12, with the stipulations they don't make any campfires, don't use City Hall's bathrooms, keep tents to under 200 square feet or get in anyone's way.

In a related note, on his Facebook page yesterday Mayor Mike Rawlings posed the question: "What do you think about the OccupyDALLAS movement?" To which someone responded: "More importantly, Mr. Mayor, what do YOU think about it?" To which Rawlings responded: "I believe individuals should be able to express their views within the framework of the law. Thanks for asking." City Response to Occupy Dallas

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57 comments
WW
WW

 A-TEN-HUT !!

DOUBLE TO REAR ..LEFT FLANK ..RIGHT FLANK ...LEFT OBLIQUE..RIGHT OBLIQUE ..

MARCH !!!

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

"don't use City Hall's bathrooms"Oh sure,  protect your on bathrooms but leave business and other facilities to fend off the hoards of libtards who will abuse the productive citizen's facilities.Want to protest?  Get a room.  Find a flop house or find a jail cell.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Ruh-roh. City has sent  a precedent. However, they did pop the balloon of a few of the OD'ers, who were just hoping to make the news. After all, what is the point of sleeping in a park, if not to get on the news? They have yet to show me--part of the 99%--how they have changed my life for the better--or will. All you get (Chris Danger, thank you, as you write well, but...) is vague ideas of what SHOULD happen. What COULD be done. NOTHING firm, nothing solid in law--no actual laws--ready to go in search of a sponsor. As an old woman who has done her share of real protesting and advocacy for change in laws, policies and procedures, here is the best lesson I learned from the Army--after "always check that the chamber is clear..." : "Do not go to the commander with a problem. Go to the commander with a SOLUTION to a REAL problem. Anything less is whining."

There is a GOP horse race going on. You could actually influence it with do-able, workable solutions that the middle of the roadies like me could agree on--although I am a Dem.Work like hell to get the under 25 crowd to like, you know, freaking VOTE!!! Hitting a bongo drum does not equate with a well-organized voter drive and follow up turnout push. Get your little thinking caps on to create jobs--What is there to lose? Hell, if you can sleep in a park in the rain, you can start a business and hire two people, provide insurance and benefits for them and challenge the economic status quo. Which areas of job growth? Daycare in low-income areas. Low cost summer camps for inner city kids, run on a shoestring!  Hospice and in-home care for the indigent elderly. You all have SOME sort of talent, so create a co-op of services for hire!

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

The "Occupy" movement = the final death rattle of personal responsibility in the US.

Every situation is somebody else's fault.  Every problem is because "they" wouldn't let "us" do what is best for "us.

The one fact in the US is that everybody is exactly where they are in live due to one thing and one thing only -- The decisions that they made in their life.

You can't control your situation, only your response.

Personally, I will continue to choose to work for my corporate employers, help fill their coffers full of cash and exchange most of my weekdays for an acceptable paycheck and decent benefits.  I will save some of it and spend some of it for my satisfaction; and at some point, I will retire and work for myself

If you feel that you don't have the same opportunity, go have a look in the mirror and discuss it with the person who is holding you back.

My first sales manager had an appropriate saying:  "You want a raise?  Get to work.  It will become effective as soon as you do."

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

The ironic part is that the Police precence is not free, and I doubt the Occupation is reimbursing the City, what programs will Dallas cut to make up the budget deficit? Do you think those cuts will affect the 1% or 99%?

Albert
Albert

It doesn't much mater what this handful of people do in Dallas. Tha national news denters on the big protests, like the 300 in NYC, and the gang in Boston.

Looking at videos and reports, it's becoming what I predicted. March of the dumbasses, the anti-semetic, the spit-on-the-military crowd, just another generic grievance club, but this time marching on behalf of their President Hugo Goldman Sachs, who's flying around the country collecting donations from the 1%.

Meanwhile, the planned expulsion of the mob from the privately-owned park for cleaning has been nixed, because the owners (big dem donors) have been threatened by city officials. Gee, that sounds a little like tyranny.

And since Obama couldn't get all democrat senators to vote yea on his "Jobs" bill (union jobs, that is), he's contemplating bypassing congress and the democratic system to effect the political payoffs. Gee, that sounds a little like dictatorship.

That's what these people want. Tyranny, dictatorship - as long as it is benevolent to them and sympathetic to their worldview.

Maybe they'll manage to get enough people to rival the line at the Apple store, and maybe more prominent leftist democrats will rush to endorse these fringe nutters.

One can only hope.

ThaDude
ThaDude

Fact: Yesterday, City Hall's stance was that Occupy Dallas had to get a permit, provide liability insurance and only had until this Sunday. Today, no permit, no insurance and 60 days to occupy a park just a few blocks from Pioneer. 

Mike
Mike

Good luck when the weather turns. That field is exposed on all sides. Additionally there are no retail outlets of any kind for five or six blocks. I assume they'll be filling up the rest rooms at City Hall or with the homeless at the Main Library. Council and staff will love it. The fire station is next door and it takes some time getting used to the 2 am emergency calls. Someone needs help almost every night. The bridge is just down the street, but it usually has a line and they search you. I expect you will get used to the I-30 traffic except for the frequent motorcyclists that think a muffler challenges their manhood.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

1mansopinion
1mansopinion

Weren't people complaining about the homeless sleeping in the parks just a few months ago and wanting the city to enforce codes/laws?  Well which is it?  Homeless people that don't voice an opinion and trash the park- kick them out.  People who voice a variety of opinions and happen to trash the parks as they set up home there- they can break codes and laws as they're expressing their freedeom of speech?  If the fight is for equality and fairness, then we should expect the city to treat all park sleepers the same right?

Facebook User
Facebook User

We went down to the park yesterday and it is absolutely trashed. Trash everywhere, ruined turf and it generally stinks. To compare the struggles of African Americans like Martin Luther King to the people squatting in Pioneer Park is pretty offensive. To compare their actions to Gandhi is plain silly. I would be willing to bet that King and Gandhi wouldn't be supportive of a group where the only thing they agree on is their desire to 'occupy' public land for their own benefit. The Occupy Dallas agenda is one of selfishness - they are occupying public land not for a cause, but simply to protest. It is perhaps the most vapid movement in history.

Marks Powers
Marks Powers

Yes, City Hall trying to hide them. But they can protest during the day anywhere they like.  

Seems like a good solution.  And if they continue to sleep at Pioneer Plaza, then they will be arrested and thrown in jail which is likely what a few of them want anyway. 

Pamela
Pamela

Two thoughts, 1) WOW! non-violent protests. Ghandi, MLK et al would be proud.  2) Not that familiar with the area, but isn't there a homeless shelter right across the street from the new location. On Cadiz or something?

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Sadly this precedent will come back to bite the city.  Yes, it is kinda of retro and cute when wanna-be 1960s hippies whine about government and Wall Street.  But the next few groups who will want the same lenient treatment will not be as cute and probably 180 degrees away from JimS's views and will get scorn from the Observer.  

chad armstrong
chad armstrong

Maybe they go there to sleep but during the day they should be marching. I'm planning to go down there part of the day Saturday and Sunday and help as much as I can.

Also, near I30 isn't such a bad deal, banners can be hung from the over-passes

dallasmay
dallasmay

I hope they don't take the deal. This is City Hall trying to hide them. 

Dear Occupy Dallas,It's called Civil Disobedience for a reason. The point is to Disobey. Make them clear you out. Make them prove that they only care about kissing the butt of the 1%

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Seeing that the most of the 1% in this area live in Highland Park, University Park, the Willow Bend area of Plano or Southlake; only the few hundred or so that live in the Preston Hollow area are even partially contributing to the Dallas tax base.

Truth
Truth

"And since Obama couldn't get all democrat senators to vote yea on his "Jobs" bill..."

Do the math, fool: GOP Senate Filibuster required 60 votes to pass the bill. 

There are 51 Democratic senators.

Had the GOP Senators allowed debate before a vote the bill could have passed with a simple majority vote (which it received).

Even if all 51 Democratic Senators passed the bill it STILL would have failed due to the GOP filibuster.

FACT:  GOP Senators filibustered the bill requiring a Super-Majority to pass then all voted as a block to prevent the 60 votes required by their filibuster thus killing the bill.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

I that this is the point I have been trying to make. They should obey the rules just like everyone else. I really don't give a rat's ass about their message, however they have right to deliver that message. The sleeping in the park is not essential to that message.

The problem is, they have put the City in a tight PR spot. Currently, to the media they are an unorganized group of hippies. But, if the City uses force to remove them then they are activists in the media's eye. In my opinion, they need DPD to kick them out. If you read the national news, Occupy Dallas is never mentioned. We hear about Wall Street and Boston because of the conflicts with the police or sheer numbers. Occupy Dallas has had neither.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

um, I believe the general consensus is that Corporate greed and access to our government has created a %$#*load of problems for 99% of US citizens (not to mention the rest of the world).  That is the general, and in my opinion, worthy uniting cause.  The rest gets a little muddled, but that is the central sticking point.

Disparity in executive pay versus employment levels/wages, lack of government regulation and accountability towards corporations, etc.  Some of the other demands are plain silly, some of them are spot on, not all of the points are united...but the Occupiers are.  About time our citizens stop being apathetic--in case you didn't know many retirees, wishful retirees, college grads and people all over the age, race, and education background have little hope (and little to survive on) right now. 

Nobody else is holding our government or corporations (which are one and the same) accountable...kudos to Occupy!

therrick
therrick

Well yeah then they get a couple of free meals and a shower.

Facebook User
Facebook User

I would disagree. Gandhi and King are rolling in their graves. Gandhi was fighting for the freedom of the Indian people. King was fighting for the freedom of African Americans. The Occupy Dallas folks are fighting for what? They can't agree on much except that they want to use our public park for their campout.

PLFarmer
PLFarmer

Unless you are part of the top .01 percent, they are, in part, doing this for you.You sound like your Dad.

ElieVanHalen
ElieVanHalen

Is it close enough to the overpass that I can hit hipsters with hot coffee thrown out the window of my bimmer?

Emm
Emm

1:30 pm meet at Pioneer Plaza for a march on Goldman Sachs.

CrustyOldGuy
CrustyOldGuy

Well, it seems to be that green space over by the horseshoe parking lot. I was down there the other day with my smarta$$ed sign and truly Pioneer Plaza is off of the beaten path. I'm using it as a starting place to make conversation about the things that disturb me. Our Frankenstein's Monster of a corporate law system is at the top.

ElieVanHalen
ElieVanHalen

Great idea.  A pointless confrontation with city officials and law enforcement will provide an excellent opportunity for more attention-whoring.

Facebook User
Facebook User

Is this really civil disobedience? The protesters seem to want the property of others to be given to them. The protest will end when I give them my house? When is it over?

Facebook User
Facebook User

If you listen to MSNBC or NPR today you will hear that Republicans in the Senate killed Obama’s jobs bill. You might be surprised to learn that the vote against the jobs bill was bipartisan. In fact, the Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid along with Democratic Senators Ben Nelson and Joe Manchin voted with Republicans against Obama’s jobs bill.Reuters has reported that “Washington is likely too paralyzed to take major steps to spur hiring“. Their assumption/belief is that Obama’s plan would create jobs (in my estimation it is not clear at all that more spending will create more jobs). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell noted that there were 1.5 million fewer jobs since Obama’s last jobs bill back in 2009.

The real issue is the 2012 election. Obama, along with Democratic Senators, crafted a bill purpose built to create campaign issues in the presidential election. Obama has said, time and time again that if you vote against this bill you are against jobs and for millionaires. Nice argument, but it isn’t true. If Obama and the Democrats truly wanted to create jobs they would sit down with the Republicans and pass the parts of the bill that both Democrats and Republicans support. Of course it is MUCH better to be able to say Republicans hate jobs.

Albert
Albert

It would have been nicely symbolic if all the dem's voted for the bill, eh?

But the incredible shrinking President is no help to moderate dems.

Facebook User
Facebook User

Of course, those who create wealth will have more than those who do not create wealth. In Old Europe only aristocrats could create wealth. Our ancestors came to America so that they could have the opportunity to create wealth for themselves and their families. America allows anyone to start out as a penniless orphan, but in a few short years become the most wealthy man on the planet. This isn't possible anywhere else. Steve Jobs is a perfect example, his mother (an unwed mother) gave him up for adoption to a working class family (i.e. poor) and he went to college for a semester until he had to drop out for financial reasons. He started a corporation (i.e. something all Americans have the right to do) and turned it into Apple. You can be mad that you aren't making progress toward your goals, but you shouldn't be mad at those who have made progress. We all have the same opportunity to succeed. You want equality of outcome - and that isn't American - it isn't fair and it will you likely have to kill us to get it... Best of luck.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

99% of US Citizens? Exaggerate much?

Do some world traveling and get back to us about how 99% of Americans have a shit-ton of problems.

cp
cp

Wow. You people really can't make an argument to save your life. Facebook User said [paraphrasing] that the Occupy Dallas people are trashy, smelly, offensive and selfish and called this local movement vapid. You responded to that with [paraphrasing] something, something, corporate greed, wage disparity, something demanding something vague, education, hope and survival and holding the government accountable. You should have been a trial lawyer! 

DB Coopa
DB Coopa

Obvioustroll is very obvious.

CrustyOldGuy
CrustyOldGuy

I would go with the freedom of the rest of us from corporate serfdom. Did you not notice that the Supreme Court gave a inhuman entity natural human rights equal to or greater than your own? That is worth a protest sign and a little shoe leather, don't you think?

Facebook User
Facebook User

Um, I think they are mad at the top 1% and not the top .01%. Ironically, 99% of Americans are in the top 1% of the planet in terms of wealth and property. The protesters should FIRST give the 99% (most of them in Africa, China and India) their property before giving MY property away.

Taz
Taz

fortunately for the "hipsters" NO...since I-30 is a sunken freeway in that area, and throwing hot coffee is a aggravated assault..but if ur stupid enuff to do it,  which judging from ur post u r, then do it....nice to have an idiot further their cause....I see it already...Pathetic 1% woman throws scalding coffee on several protesters while speeding off in luxury car, hundreds rush into downtown to show support for victims, in other news several bmw dealerships are still on fire as angry protesters have taken to violence after todays horrible attack..

DB Coopa
DB Coopa

Speaking of attention whoring. Someone didn't hug you enough... or maybe too much. I don't think any of the doctors, attorneys or politicians we regularly host at our camp would consider themselves hipsters. You can commit any act of violence you'd like. We have the complete support of the DPD and I'd like to encourage you to commit these acts in front of them. You should at least drive by and yell "Get a job!" They like pulling over d-bags like you. If you'd prefer, this weekend we have an attorney teaching a class on constitutional law. I think a professor from UNT is bringing a class to observe our media team as well. We could educate you a little and then you wouldn't have to resort to violence like some kind of neanderthal every time you see or hear something can't comprehend. Remember to breath, fire is hot and don't stare at the sun or keep your mouth open while it's raining.

CrustyOldGuy
CrustyOldGuy

Nope, but if the police are neutral in their enforcement, you might expect an assault charge! See ya there!

Charles Hayden
Charles Hayden

No sir, any and all attempts to take the Peoples' Assemblies in a violent Marxist/Anarchist  direction have been resisted.  While I can't speak for everyone, I do believe there is a convergence in the Occupier movement of social-democratic capitalist thought.  In any event, Wall Street Communism is the enemy.

DB Coopa
DB Coopa

Are you offering your home... because a lot of people actually are. They invite the protesters over to do laundry, to shower or just to talk. I think that's very nice of you to make sacrifices on behalf of such a worthy cause. On another issue, I'd like to say that civil disobedience is only one recourse. Civil resistence techniques include things like boycotts, petitions, protests, arranging massive mailing or phone call campaigns and most of these are typically more effective than disobedience. Civil disobedience requires several things that Dallas doesn't have. A villified police force, a specific location that symbolizes and defines the movement, etc. Standing in the middle of the street won't create a very iconic image if there's no tank rolling toward you.

CrustyOldGuy
CrustyOldGuy

I think they want to use a public area as an organization central. Pioneer Plaza is the property of us all, being a municipal park and all. I've been fighting my mortgage company because of their mistaken accounting system, I'm afeared that these corporate drones will take my house in a malicious foreclosure before I'm afraid of those folks in their kumbaya camp tents in a city park.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

I do own my own company, and have employees, and am doing just fine.  It is a green company that helps the planet...employs people, and makes a positive difference to others.  And guess what--I grew up poor, etc. too.  I'm not mad about my progress--but I worry about others, like my parents and in laws, who have had their DIVERSIFIED retirement accounts stagnate (69 year old MIl has had to go back to work after her retirement funds collapsed), about recent college grads, about those who cannot afford health care, and have a medical emergency that puts them in bankruptcy, etc. 

I don't want equality of outcome--I told you I want less greed (sucking people and planet dry) at the large corporate levels, less corporate welfare, and less corporate influence in our elections and government.

cp
cp

Soooo... he didn't kill himself right after Enron? He waited until after the tech bubble and then after the banking/mortgage meltdown? So are you being a bit disingenuous? 

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

He did have diversified--first Enron, then tech bubble, then banking/mortgage bankruptcies, and the average American is left with...not much after all that.

Congratulations on being a rich nasty miser. 

Facebook User
Facebook User

Why did he keep 100% of his retirement in a single stock? Why is this our problem? Financial advisers stress how important it is to diversify your investments across multiple asset classes. Additionally, most Enron employees knew the company switched to mark to market accounting and it was the reason their retirement accounts swelled. Without the fraud their retirement accounts would have been very small - so when they shrunk back to reality they didn't lose anything they never should have had. I am sorry if your friend killed himself, but you can't blame the 1% for his decisions...

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

At which street corner are you wearing your sandwich board proclaiming the world to be ending?

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

You have your head in the sand, which means your butt is exposed.  Be prepared to take it when it comes.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Please. Spare us the melodrama. The same capitalist society that you despise so much is the one that would prevent anything close to a third world. One man and a doomsday attitude are not 99% of the country's population. Present some facts rather than rhetoric.

Albert
Albert

Then keep an eye on the totalitarian types, amigo, the ones with a D next to their names.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

Tell that to my 60 something year old friend with a steady job his entire life...that committed suicide because his retirement fund was destroyed by Enron, et al, he was NEVER going to be able to retire, and he couldn't afford health care.

I've done some world traveling, I don't want to become Mexico or some third world country--I care enough to try to prevent that.  Do you?

Facebook User
Facebook User

Did you realize that you have the right to create a corporation? You can create one today. It can own property, pay taxes and employ people. I have created a bunch of them. I would suggest you build something. Why work for corporations as a 'serf' as you say, when you can own one and help support this great country?

PLFarmer
PLFarmer

You miss my point, but you make the point of the occupy movement very well. Paul Gilding said it very well.“Our system of economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet earth — our system — is eating itself alive. Occupy Wall Street is like the kid in the fairy story saying what everyone knows but is afraid to say: the emperor has no clothes. The system is broken. Think about the promise of global market capitalism. If we let the system work, if we let the rich get richer, if we let corporations focus on profit, if we let pollution go unpriced and unchecked, then we will all be better off. It may not be equally distributed, but the poor will get less poor, those who work hard will get jobs, those who study hard will get better jobs and we’ll have enough wealth to fix the environment. “What we now have — most extremely in the U.S. but pretty much everywhere — is the mother of all broken promises,” Gilding adds. “Yes, the rich are getting richer and the corporations are making profits — with their executives richly rewarded. But, meanwhile, the people are getting worse off — drowning in housing debt and/or tuition debt — many who worked hard are unemployed; many who studied hard are unable to get good work; the environment is getting more and more damaged; and people are realizing their kids will be even worse off than they are. This particular round of protests may build or may not, but what will not go away is the broad coalition of those to whom the system lied and who have now woken up. It’s not just the environmentalists, or the poor, or the unemployed. It’s most people, including the highly educated middle class, who are feeling the results of a system that saw all the growth of the last three decades go to the top 1 percent.”

PLFarmer
PLFarmer

Um, it is .01. 99.99 does not roll off the tongueThe scope really is that limited.

Over the last 30 years the flow of wealth is from the lower and middle class to the very top.I find that wrong, short sighted, and unamerican.I just want the trend to reverse.Your property is already going.  What I cannot fathom, is how that you do not understand that reality.

Charles Hayden
Charles Hayden

Residency area assumed is actually public property, not city land, and not part of the park. They have a first amendment right to be there at all hours of the night. And a natural right to rebel and establish a new form of government. Any civil disobedience that occurs now is firmly rooted in natural law.  This is a peaceful rebellion. Public spaces will be liberated for sake of providing refuge to those who dare speak out against the Corporate Oligarchy, the dejected who have lost hope, the idealistic who yearn for knowledge, & the victims of intolerable abuses at the hands of the American Corporate State. Tea Party people are welcome to join if they have share any common ground, whatsoever. We need your support.  Our enemy is Wall Street Communism.

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