Occupy Dallas Sends a Mayor Mike, City Officials a Note: They're Gonna Be Here a While

Categories: City Hall, News
OccupyDallasTents.jpg
Via Occupy Dallas
We went to the Mecum car auction Saturday after all, where a '68 Corvette sold for $565,000, and as we were driving away from the Dallas Convention Center we espied a small encampment of sorts set up next to Robert Summers's 49 bronze Longhorns in Pioneer Plaza. There was one dude sporting a Guy Fawkes mask at Griffin and Young, but the rest of the gathering looked rather, ya know, college-quad -- just a bunch of folks sitting on blankets, tossing around the Frisbee, hanging out.

Turns out, they ain't going anywhere: The Occupy Dallas folks, who took their first steps Thursday, have sent a letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings, the city council, City Manager Mary Suhm and the police and fire chiefs in which they explain their mission ("our grievances are as numerous and diverse as our supporters"), say they're going to be there who knows how long, explain how they're good for tourism and and invite 'em all to come down and hang for a bit:
Come take a walk throughout our campsites and talk with the citizens of Dallas to see for yourself what Occupy Dallas is about. Visit our Food Tent, filled to the brim with donations from local supporters and local businesses. Come play with the children at the Occuplay tent. Visit the Medic Tent and speak with the doctors and nurses who have volunteered their time. Visit the media tent and speak with the writers, bloggers, and journalists who are covering our cause. Attend a General Assembly and see direct democracy in action. Most importantly, come shake hands with our marchers and protesters, and find out for yourself what it is that we stand for.
But if they need to move indoors, well, the Omni Hotel right across the street does open one month from tomorrow, with $111 grand-opening rates. Just a thought. Anyway. Read the whole letter here.

Update at 4:50 p.m.: Frank Librio, City Hall spokesman, just sent a statement concerning Occupy Dallas and a permit for Pioneer Park. It reads in full:
The City is working with members of the Occupy Dallas group to obtain a special use permit for the Pioneer Plaza area near the Convention Center. The City is balancing this group's first amendment rights with a focus on protecting the protestors and the public -- like many other cities across the country experiencing similar protests.

The Dallas Police Department has only utilized on-duty resources to address the Occupy Dallas demonstrators. This is consistent with other demonstrations that have occurred in the city in the past and a function of the police department that is part of the current operating budget. The Police Department has provided a uniformed presence during the demonstrator's marches to ensure there is minimal disruption in traffic flow, no disturbances or violation of law and that counter protests do not develop that could lead to disorder.
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david
david

one of the things that protestors are protesting is the lack of jobs and the gross negligence of our elected officials to recognize the poor and working class. If we had greater income equality maybe u wouldnt need the homeless ordinaces because they could sustain themselves

david
david

Hooray for the dpd. Its important for us to remeber that they are protesting for public sector job equality also.

Rachel Burks
Rachel Burks

It's fitting that the city is requiring the group to purchase insurance in order to exercise their 1st amendment. Have a complaint about corporatocracy? Pay the man to express it!

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Dang, I thought they were just camped out waiting for the iPhone 5 to go on sale....

RTGolden
RTGolden

I wonder if they will smash up their Iphones, Ipads, other cellular devices, get rid of that awful, polluting, gas guzzling generator, trash all their advanced medical supplies in that medical tent (and go back to using willow bark as a pain reliever/fever reducer, though that might also require a permit) and you know, just rid themselves of the accouterments produced by 'corporate greed' to satisfy OUR own demands for constant innovation at unsustainably low consumer costs?I'm not saying they should do all that, but it might clear up that 'muddy message' they're putting out.

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

@7a70dce4926e9d3e2b75028380f82fda:disqus  I don't fault you in the least for remaining anon, and I wish you all the luck in the world for your lawsuit. Though the internet is a valuable source of both accurate and sorely  incorrect information, it's also the home of some pretty horrendous acts and I'm sorry that happened to your family. :/@72ba213b6b5128cd56236be4141a8e97:disqus Thank you so much for your service! Judging solely from the comment, it looked like a generalized, uninformed statement, and I apologize for any offense my reply caused.As a single parent who has had to accept such assistance in the past, I do appreciate the work you have done, on behalf of those of us who aren't just living for the booze. Really. Thank you. <3

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Ms Gonder, blogs are, sorry to say, full of generalizations, snark and foolishness. I know, I've done all of those things over the years.

My family had to accept assistance at times while I was growing up. Not due to demon rum, but bad luck and poor choices can catch up to just about anyone.

I appreciate your response and tip my virtual hat to your continued civil contributions here. And hey, snark away if the muse strikes.

best regards,DDG

Boogieking
Boogieking

Maru Shum????  We got a new city mgr.... Yayyyy!!!

CR
CR

Author: "There was one dude sporting a Guy Fawkes mask at Griffin and Young, but the rest of the gathering looked rather, ya know, college-quad -- just a bunch of folks sitting on blankets, tossing around the Frisbee, hanging out."

Wow, your interesting notes have so improved my understanding of this event!   Maybe between bong hits you could zoom in from merely being a casual observer and giving us this "just happen to be in the neighborhood" crap.  Here's a novel idea if you are going to pretend to be a journalist:  Try talking to the participants and ask why they are going to such trouble and what is their personal stake in this issue.  Remember JOURN 101? where, what, when, why, and how.  Shaking any cobwebs here?It's obvious that the author of this article has contempt against this nationwide event and that his coverage is so pathetically flippant that some readers are boiling this event down to a homeless issue.  Though no doubt many families in America have been made homeless or in other financial ruin due to Wall Street and their bought off politicians.  But if you are not capable of writing about serious issues and their impact on people in sympathetic, or at least objective manner,  maybe you should stick to writing about beer and car shows and your other bachelor flavors of the week.  Just a thought.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Fail.

Mr. Wilonsky is a fine journalist.  You should try reading more of his work before making such harsh criticisms.

Didja possibly consider that he was off enjoying time with his family yesterday, had some observations and used his position on the DO to briefly write on his observations, thus giving others the opportunity to continue the discussion?  And you rip the man because he didn't abandon his time off to do a deep journalistic dive into the situation?  Really?

Get a life, man.

cp
cp

Diane Birdwell made the most cogent point over on Shutze's "Git Offa Mah Lawn" thread from Friday. [paraphrasing]... if you want to have a strong impact and truly scare some people, have a clear and directed message, march quietly and dress well.

What kind of a message does camping illegally in a public space, sitting in a drum circle tossing around a Frisbee all day convey? What are you all actually DOING here?

CR
CR

Obviously protest rallies only apply to the Tea Party folks with the corporate sponsorship to reserve an outdoor stadium in Plano.  Of course, all those freedom riders on Harleys were dressed to the nines.  This is a political event, not homeless people looking for a place to sleep (like you and the author are trying to make out to look), so it doesn't simply qualify as a loitering in the park.  But just in case, maybe the author taking pictures of the participants and talking to them in a respectful manner would clear up whether this a shanty town happening overnight.  The organizers message was clear in the OccupyDallas press release but the author decided to cherry pick his observations to skew public opinion towards his disrespectful view of the event.  As PlanoDave stated Robert Wilonsky is a "fine journalist" in that he's skilled enough and knows exactly what he trying to do with this piece of crap reporting.

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

Thank you for investigating that further, Mr. Wilonsky. :)

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I wouldn't be so sure about that. Also, from Dallas City Hall spokesman Frank Librio, via email moments ago: "A park permit is required and it is my understanding that they are in the process of obtaining that permit."

Buckeye
Buckeye

You aren't gonna make many friends here bad-mouthing the great Robert Wilonski.

cp
cp

Firstly, it doesn't take a corporate sponsor to get a special events permit like CitizenSam suggested above. This is no longer a protest but is now a special event. I don't care where or when the Tea Party people have an event, as long as they do it the legal way, which they have. Why is this concept so difficult for y'all to wrap your heads around?

And before you start calling me a teabagger bent on handing out special tax-breaks to my wealthy cronies, FTR, I am a Dem precinct chair and I am currently unemployed. I agree with your many ideals but I believe your message is muddied. Nothing pisses me off more than the attitude that just because what youre doing serves a great ideal of purpose than you get to break laws doing it. If you want to be better than than your opposition, then you HAVE to do it all by-the-book. Otherwise you are a hypocrite and are showing contempt for all your neighbors in the City of Dallas (and, by extention, every American) and you come off as elitist. DO IT THE RIGHT WAY OR DON'T DO IT AT ALL!

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

"our grievances are as numerous, diverse, and incomprehensible as our supporters."

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

Maybe they should *all* be shown the door. 

Albert
Albert

That is what the voting process is for.

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

Blah blah blah.

Have we already forgotten that real unemployment and under-employment rate is approaching 20%?Has it slipped our minds that for every 4 job seekers, only 1 job exists? Can we not recall the trillions in liquid capitol that multi-national corporations are hoarding, waiting for the magical moment when they can "risk" their investments with no danger to their pocketbooks?

The number of protestors and their allies grow everyday. The number of American who have been left on their ass by corporate goons who only serve their investors (be those investors American citizens or not) is astounding. Even the leadership of Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Ben and Jerry's have stood up to denounce the failures of leadership that permeate America's corporate culture and the constant demand for short-term profits that always seem to come at the expense of labor, R&D, and the environment.

We should all be thankful that the Occupy protestors, the City of Dallas, and the Dallas PD have remained civil and maintained honest communications with one another. In fact, Dallas PD shout be applauded, at least, for the professionalism they've demonstrated. If the right to protest and assemble peacefully were not guaranteed by our Constitution, one can only imagine the true hell that would arise were that 20% of the American workforce told to sit down, shut-up, and be 'thankful' to be poor in this 'great god-given land of opportunity'.

Perhaps those in opposition to these protestors can organize a counter-protest with Herman Cain leading the front? How swell a sight it would be for tens, if not dozens, of button-down oxford dressed lily-white 1%-ers to march through Dallas with Cain, chanting "if you're unemployed and not rich, blame yourself!"

There are no riots ongoing, nor have there been any riots ongoing. Any fool who thinks these people are 'mobs' and are 'rioting' should be sat down and show footage from the 1967 Detroit and 1993 L.A. riots "Clockwork Orange" style.

I extend that same sentiment to those idiots who complain incessantly about the homeless population in and around Dallas, but have never devoted a dime or a minute of their time to resolve the problem. If you vote Republican and support that State's nearly complete withdrawal of funds from education programs, mental health programs, housing and public healthcare programs, and family planning programs, then you have no right to complain about the homeless. Just crawl back into the hole you squirmed out of and stay there.

Albert
Albert

" If you vote Republican and support that State's nearly complete withdrawal of funds from education programs..."Please look at this graph and tell us more about our underfunded government school system.

http://wac.0873.edgecastcdn.ne...

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

Those are NATIONAL statistics representing FEDERAL FUNDING you moron.

Anybody with a half a brain who knows anything about TEXAS' educational system knows that the overwhelming bulk of funding for these schools come from local property taxes and state sales tax revenue.

Given that the economy is effectively depressed outside of the financial industry, it should come as no surprise that sales tax revenue is down alongside weakened property tax revenues resulting from the failed mortgage scams the national banks were peddling. What should come as a surprise is the state's willingness to slash funding within educational programs that benefit the private sector alongside the public.

http://www.investintexasschool...

http://www.texasbudgetsource.c...

Mavdog
Mavdog

Yes, a chart of state expenditures for education would look different, state expenditures for education have increased about 50% of the federal spending growth shown in the CATO graph you linked. State spending (until this year's appropriation, which was a decrease and will lower the average) has increased about 7% per year over the last quarter century.

While increased spending per student has not been shown to produce commensurate increases in student performance, there is a clear connection between low spending per student and low average student acheivement.

Yes, I am very familiar with the Community Reinvestment Act, and how the right attempts to link the CRA to the housing bubble. I challenge you to show how the CRA is in any way responsible, as the CRA:- did not mandate that ANY lender make a loan to an unqualified borrower, - or make a loan to ANY borrower without requiring verifiable financial info, - or how the CRA forced ANY lender to fund loans at inflated home values, - or influence how the rating agencies failed to adequately underwrite the CMBS that Wall Street peddled.

Those are the causes of the housing bubble and collapse, the CRA had nothing to do with any of it.

The point of these demonstrations is that a pervasive amount of greed has permeated out nation's business and government policies. They are not anti-capitalist per se, they are for the most part desireous for what is being called Conscious Capitalism.

Alber
Alber

Mr. Willis, the testosterone treatments seem to be working.

I'll pass on the debate, thank you. Huffy idiots are such a bore.

Albert
Albert

Mr. Willis, are you teething?

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

Lucidity isn't an obvious trait of yours, or 'Albert', or much of the American Right. You pick fights, and I'll take the liberty of finishing them for you.

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

There are no federal standards for education. Curriculum is a matter left up to the states. If you, an abject moron, are going to complain about school funding, then you have to view in the context of the state legislatures. The federal Congress only complies with requests for funding. It doesn't set any academic standards that state schools must meet.

CRA?

You mean the Canada Revenue Agency? Or the Computing Research Association? Or how about the Community Reinvestment Act? Maybe Charles River Associates? Perhaps the California Redevelopment Association of the Cigars Rights of America?

Get your facts straight and be specific. You moron.

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

Name calling just feeds the trolls, hun. They're very willing to respond to anger, but not to polite discourse.

Hope to see you downtown soon, have a lovely afternoon <3

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

" ... you moron. "

"Anybody with a half a brain... "

Great job encouraging lucid conversation, Mr Willis.

Albert
Albert

"Those are NATIONAL statistics representing FEDERAL FUNDING you moron. "

So you believe a chart showing local/state expenditure would yield different results, eh?

"failed mortgage scams the national banks were peddling.."

Ever hear of the CRA?

Have a nice day, genius.

Albert
Albert

"Can we not recall the trillions in liquid capitol that multi-national corporations are hoarding, waiting for the magical moment when they can "risk" their investments with no danger to their pocketbooks? "That magical moment will be when President Clueless and his "economic team" are shown the door.

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

It's good to know the President's opposition still believe in magic.

Just how, exactly, is the Presidents removal supposed to spur demand, innovation, and entrepreneurial endeavors? 

RTGolden
RTGolden

Not disagreeing with you here, you're dead right on the House Republicans' deplorable behavior.  Take a look at the Democrat-Controlled Congress at the end of Bush's tenure, same behavior.  I trust, as a person obviously concerned with the welfare of the People, you'll be just as quick to denounce the democrats as you are the reps.  The only bi-partisan policy pursued in Washington is the policy of preserving the status quo.  You want to see real change?  You want to upset the power structure?  Elect all first termers in the next 20 elections. Keep electing first termers and third party candidates until the old autocrats are wiped out.

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

They're not waiting out the Obama administration. The Obama administration is extremely predictable.They're waiting out the Tea Party whitetrash who turned out to be completely incapable of negotiating over anything of concern to the public or private sectors. They have done nothing worth mentioning throughout their control of the House and refuse to do much of anything that doesn't involve putting one of their own in the White House. Their only remotely remarkable success was their half-assed effort to prevent an expansion of the debt ceiling. Instead, they only succeeded in downgrading the United States debt load.

Albert
Albert

Investment dollars prefer some measure of predictability. Employers prefer some measure of predictability.

This administration is not predictable.

Many are waiting him out.

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

Thank you. Also thank you for having the balls to post your real name. It's funny how the people who stand up for Occupy have the strength to put their real identities behind their words, but I have yet to see a single person who disagrees with it do the same.Trolls gotta troll, I guess.Keep the peace, hun. <3

Edit: though I do respect the right to privacy on the internet, for real. I just choose to put a face to my efforts, and it's ok not to. I just found it funny that I have YET to see a negative poster use their real name. At all. Like a spambot, maybe. :o

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

This is a pretty negative article about a protest that has been nothing but polite and well-organized.Never thought I'd see a well-respected media outlet become nothing better than an outlet for Trolls.

" ... Come to our Mad Dog 20-20- wine tasting tent  ..." -- please send me pictures of the last time you directly helped someone who was homeless. Or really just in need.

"Hippy food is as bad as hippy love." - https://www.facebook.com/Occup... .. Most of the food was donated by local businesses who support the movement, surprisingly enough. :)

"So, if you are hipsters protesting it is OK to set up tents and sleep in city parks. However, if you are homeless (for whatever reason) and you set up a tent out of site under a bridge they will roust you out and destroy your possessions?" -- Interestingly, this is one of the things that are being protested, and  I invite you to reference the above Facebook page to see the stories about helping the homeless that have come forward in the immediate area, and about how they helped save the life of a homeless man who might have otherwise died of hypothermia in the rainstorm the other night. It's pretty swell.

Even if you don't agree with what you've read about the Occupy Together movement, or don't wish to eat the food, I still invite every one of you to come down and see what it's about. Because one way or another, I think it's obvious you're not getting any real information here.

<3 Have a beautiful day! <3

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Margaret Gonder, I do not have to prove a damn thing to you.

I have been very active serving food to the poor and homeless in downtown Dallas for over 10 years.  Active in financial support and in actually shaking their hand, sitting down to talk with them, and handing them a plate of hot food.

Having said that, I have met plenty of people who enjoy the hot meal but are also drunks and/or mentally ill and are wandering the streets. And, yes, they like the hot food but they live for the MD2020. 

Buckeye
Buckeye

"Hippy food is as bad as hippy love" is pretty funny.

Margaret Gonder
Margaret Gonder

I'll admit I giggled. Hippy food can definitely be questionable, I'll give him that :P

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

You can't even participate in a public form under your own name, because the only thing you can do is draw negative attention to that ultimately spills over to your kids. That's not participation. That's grandstanding. Try taking full responsibility for your own words and adopting a debate style that doesn't leave your children open to attack.

Albert
Albert

"the fact that your sloppy and misguided participation"

WTF does that mean?

"Does the presiding judge know you are engaging in the very same behavior that led you to the courtroom to begin with?"

Yes.

My behaviour is not at issue. Sorry.

Jarratt Willis
Jarratt Willis

I don't know whats worse: the fact that your sloppy and misguided participation in public debates resulted in other people taking action against your children, or that you continue to participate in these debates knowing that your actions have already endangered family members who were not participants in the discussion.

Does the presiding judge know you are engaging in the very same behavior that led you to the courtroom to begin with? It would be a shame to lose your court case should the judge ever learn that your conduct, which continues today despite your history, was the key factor in that endangered your kids.

Albert
Albert

Especially when I was a hippy, and doing the cooking :)

As for anon posting, sorry, but having participated in online political discussions under my real name, I discovered that those who disagree with me politically are quite fervent in their beliefs.

If you were to read the vile S** directed at my kids, by name, you might understand. (Lawsuit in progress, BTW)

CitizenSam
CitizenSam

You should check with your "comrades" for the real story on the "permit." Although inquiries were made to the police about getting such a permit, it wasn't needed for the planned marches and daytime gatherings, because for any peaceful protest march or demonstration on city sidewalks or in parks there are very few restrictions (protests, demonstrations, and rallies are considered a First Amendment right in Dallas) . However, to get permission for a special event involving tents, overnight stays, power generators and food or beverages on public property would need a Special Events permit from the Dallas Fire Department and the Dallas Office of Special Events.   The weekend with the OU/Texas celebration, the Meyerson center Latino event and the State Fair of Texas coincided with the group's plan to spend the night and a special temporary allowance was granted verbally from the city management.   

A Special Events permit was not issued for the tent encampment, but directions for the weekend were given to the police by the city manager's office to allow the temporary encampment because so many other situations needed to be monitored by law enforcement during that time.  However, continuing to have a growing tent city with overnight stays in a favorite tourist destination characterized by annoying drum circles, a noisy polluting gasoline generator, unauthorized food distribution and inadequate (non-existent) sanitation requiring ongoing police security simply is not acceptable and is in violation of our city's regulations. Plus it would establish a dangerous precedent for others to do encampments which would need intense police and fire department monitoring.

You can work to change any law which you believe to be inappropriate.  Every Wednesday the Dallas City Council has an open podium so that any person can present to the city council any issue of concern and both sides will have a chance to be heard equally.  

heart and soul
heart and soul

CitizenSam, these people are protesting corporate greed (among other things) and you think they should be stopped because they might get it the way of making a buck off tourists? Or because their presence might cost something?

CitizenSam, I'd say this protest is for you and every other person that thinks that money is more important than people. If they are getting to you then I would say they are being more effective than I thought. Good for them. I hope they stay through 2012!

cp
cp

See, this is where you get lost in your messaging. CitizenSam has not said one thing that even implies that he thinks money is more important than people. He didn't even say anything at all about where he stands on "corporate greed". For all we know, he might be very much aggainst it but simply thinks that this is not the best way to go about fighting it (in fact I would suspect that he's suggesting doing it through legal means, whetever they may be.)

He is complaining that a group of people claiming to be protesting are doing so illegally, breaking the city's rules and getting away with it. You can't respond to the breaking of laws with "but they're doing it for the good of the people..." So what? Y'all are not there camping out and serving food legally, period.

RTGolden
RTGolden

They are breaking a city ordinance, which is a law.  It is not lawful to sleep overnight in public parks, even if you do have snappy tents.  That's the reason the City is 'working with them to obtain a special use permit...'.  To use a public space in opposition of it's designed purpose you either have a permit or you're breaking the law.It doesn't matter how good the cause is, they're losing their message with their actions.  You can't protest against some people being 'above the law' when you are holding yourself 'above the law'.  That's called hypocrisy. 

heart and soul
heart and soul

They are not breaking any laws even though you think they are. If they were they would have already been hauled off. DUH!

heart and soul
heart and soul

I think if they are openly smoking weed and snorting coke and protesting on public property non-violently the police should arrest them for smoking weed and snorting coke. I don't think they should be arrested for protesting on public property non-violently. That is not against law.

cp
cp

I think it means that we are free to break laws and we are also free to be procesuted for the breaking of those laws. Just because you are on a great moral crusade doesn't mean that you are also free to break laws. We do have laws, you know. And we have them for reasons. If you don't like a law, then work to change it, but you don't get to break it and then ask for forgiveness later. As CitizenSam said above, City Council meets every Wednesday.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

So, by this logic, they could openly smoke weed and snort coke.  As long as they are on public property protesting non-violently.

Right?

heart and soul
heart and soul

As long as they are protesting on pubic property and are not violent they are legal. And it should be legal. We keep calling this a free country. What do you think that means? Just asking.

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