Atlanta, GA–(ENEWSPF)–November 6, 2011. Chris Siedl and another person arrested last night were taken to Grady Hospital for injuries inflicted by the police before being taken to jail. Alisen Redmond from the KSU Sentinel, Judith Kim from the GSU Signal, and Creative Loafing photographer Stephanie Pharr were arrested despite wearing press credentials. GSU professor Diana Eidson was among those arrested, as well as a staff member from a well-known local church who missed Sunday services as a result. Matt Lane, who had stopped by Anatolia for a late night snack, was arrested when he emerged from the restaurant. Matt was not previously part of Occupy Atlanta but is now considering joining up.
Before the arrests occurred, Occupy Atlanta participants had mostly withdrawn from Troy Davis/Woodruff Park and began a short march around the park. They turned off of Peachtree St. onto Auburn Ave. in order to complete a circuit around the park when police showed up in large numbers. Officers on motorcycles pushed the majority of protesters back onto Peachtree St. between police on motorcycles and on horseback. At that point an officer on a motorcycle charged the crowd, striking and injuring one person. Other people surrounded the motorcycle in order to stop it and tipped it over. The officer was unhurt.
The Atlanta Police Department has a history of brutal and ill-considered actions. In this instance, they seemed to be actively trying to incite a riot, which Occupy Atlanta successfully resisted. Occupy Atlanta participants remained peaceful and disciplined even in the face of assault and random arrests. They chanted “Who do you protect, who do you serve?” “What about your pensions?” and “You’re sexy, you’re cute, take off that riot suit” as well as “The right of the people to peaceably assemble” and “Separation of corporation and state!”
Arresting journalists and random bystanders has historically been a tactic used in police states, not in open democracies.