Vex Harrow
Posted: October 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Subject: Occupy Wall Street Visits Mill Avenue #OccupyPhoenix #OccupyTempe

occupy-mill-avenue

It looks like Occupy Wall Street has come all the way down to the Sonoran Desert and even visited the red bricks of Mill Ave. Saturday evening a few dozen protestors gathered right in front of P.F. Cheng’s restaurant—you might know it: the spot with all the weird block-shaped artwork sticking out of the ground.

MyFoxPhoenix.com ran a video addressing the protest (however, it cuts off right in the middle of some woman’s speech…) From the article accompanying the video,

A few dozen demonstrators showed up in Tempe Saturday afternoon for an Arizona version of “Occupy Wall Street” protests, and their message was the same as everyone else’s — they want our nation’s damaged economy fixed.

A cry of solidarity could be heard for miles as valley residents readied to “Occupy Tempe” and kick corporate America out.

The group gathered at the intersection of Mill Avenue and University Drive for a street action to raise awareness — a peaceful protest they hope will bring about change.

Occupy meme protests have spread across the entire United States. While the initial protest emerged in New York a few blocks away from Wall Street, I have seen reports of protests at Seattle, WA (#OccupySeattle), Portland, OR (#OccupyPortland), Boston, MA (#OccupyBoston), among many others. One is even planned for Phoenix, AZ (#OccupyPhoenix) that involves a march that will start next Friday, wind through downtown and then finally come to rest and occupy Ceasar Chavez Park.

As I haven’t been able to get down there this week (most of my fares have me driving through north Phoenix lately) I’m not sure if #OccupyTempe is still across from the newly built CVS.

Don’t bring your own chairs people: City of Tempe apparently has an ordinance against it

Recently, a few friends of mine decided to run a D&D session on Mill Avenue–last Friday in fact–according to their accounts, they were approached by three bicycle police officers. They were told that the City of Tempe does not allow people to sit on unaffixed chairs on public property. The officers then went on to also tell a nearby busker with a guitar that he could not use a chair either.

I am told they’d set up three chairs, a table, and some tabletop gaming paraphernalia in front of the US Post Office on Mill Ave and 5th St.

The game continued even after dismantling the chairs and table–although on the ground instead.

For the curious, I’m told that it’s a floating 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons game.

Questioned, one of the participants stated, “We just want to bring a little weirdness to Mill Avenue.” The spokesperson police officer nodded, then responded, “Oh, it certainly doesn’t need any more of that.”

As a fan of Mill Ave, I think the cop in question certainly shows little regard for what is good and proper weirdness.

Does anyone else believe that this police attention to chairs on Mill Avenue—which had not happened to previous D&D sessions with chairs on the Ave—might be part of a reaction to attempting to avoid an Occupy movement to appear in Tempe?

Perhaps the officers have received a memo to be on the lookout for people with chairs and shoo them away (or at least their chairs.)

The timing seems suspicious.

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