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Occupy Gainesville gains momentum, international attention

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Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 12:08 am

The arrest of Bo Diddley's son and three other Occupy Gainesville protesters has attracted international attention, and members of the movement plan to keep up its momentum.

Occupy Gainesville members are staying put on the downtown Bo Diddley Community Plaza during public hours but have to move to the sidewalks when the park closes at 11:30 p.m.

Jeremiah Tattersall, 25, an Occupy Gainesville participant, said members of the movement plan to go before the Gainesville City Commission on Thursday during citizen comment to ask to stay on the plaza after the park closes.

The Gainesville movement is a local branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has spread to cities across the globe, including Hong Kong, London and Toronto.

"We have a permanent occupation happening," said Tattersall, who is a delegate from the North Central Florida Central Labor Council. "A lot of people are angry."

Ellas Anthony McDaniel, the 56-year-old son of rhythm and blues singer Bo Diddley, said he plans to stay involved with the movement and has other plans in motion. McDaniel was arrested at 12:01 Friday morning for trespassing for staying on the plaza after public hours ended.

His arrest attracted attention from the The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, and Spinner.com, which is owned by AOL Music.

Prior to the arrest, Gainesville Police Department officers told the protesters that the park would close at 11:30 p.m. and that they would be arrested if they chose to stay on the plaza past that time.

Officers waited half an hour past the scheduled closing time to arrest protesters who didn't leave the plaza.

McDaniel was approached by an officer around midnight.

He was handcuffed, taken to a police car, given a notice to appear in court and released.

The notice counts as an arrest, but he was not taken to jail.

"The plans I've made regarding my arrest - I'm not sure if I want to speak about them because I never want to alert my enemies to the dangers that exist in the future for them," McDaniel said. "I am making plans."

Pat Fitzpatrick, 62; Ian Smith, 43; and Annette Gilley, 58, were also given notices to appear.

Gilley went back onto the plaza after she was given a notice to appear. She was taken to jail. As of Sunday, she was not listed in the jail database of current inmates.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Jeremiah Tattersall posted at 4:18 pm on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    Jeremiah Tattersall Posts: 93

    No, bmod76 I don't think you get. When you see social and economic injustice taking place you have to take action or be considered, at best, a passive supporter. If you really "got it" you would put boots on the ground for real, meaningful change.

    "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."
    -MLK Jr.

  • _Shaw2 posted at 3:22 pm on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    _Shaw2 Posts: 3

    Ellas Anthony McDaniel, 56, Pat Fitzpatrick, 62; Ian Smith, 43; and Annette Gilley, 58 I just wanted to point out that this is not just young people. It is people of all types and occupations. It is helpful and useful to do this everywhere possible until the problem is solved. Try to find out what it's about before you parrot the media spin. Goto occupygainesville.org then drop by to find out all the jobs that people have.

  • bmod76 posted at 2:24 pm on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    bmod76 Posts: 36

    not if you spend your time in a parking lot holding signs and wasting any talent you may have.

    listen, i get it. you are young people passionate about your beliefs. what you will realize, hopefully, is that the reality is different. you need to focus on what you can control, not what ultimately makes life harder for everyone.

    get back to work

  • Le Rouge posted at 1:39 pm on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    Le Rouge Posts: 97

    While I wholeheartedly agree with the Occupy Wall Street movement as a whole, it's kinda just stupid in a small "city" like Gainesville. Picketing Bank of America means you're just picketing your neighbors, and who cares about fifty people camping out in a plaza?

  • Jeremiah Tattersall posted at 12:50 pm on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    Jeremiah Tattersall Posts: 93

    A minor correction. I am a delegate to the North Central Florida Central Labor Council, not from.

    Also, bmod76, I am a biological scientists that studies, in part, the causal links between an STD and cervical cancer. Is this a real job? Is this a contribution to society?

  • bmod76 posted at 10:14 am on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    bmod76 Posts: 36

    nothing these people are doing is in any way helpful. get real jobs and contribute to society. what a joke

  • Bo Digitally posted at 8:29 am on Mon, Oct 17, 2011.

    Bo Digitally Posts: 3

    In the city of Gainesville, business owners and city officials enacted an ordinance that "closes" the Bo Diddley Community Plaza solely to prevent the homeless from camping out over night. Now, officers are exercising the "power" granted to them by arresting "criminals" who decide to become peaceful protesters. WHAT A JOKE.