Occupy arrests over weekend include reporter in Nashville

Tampa's 11 arrests is one of the lower figures nationally.

Arrests at Occupy rallies were made throughout the weekend in other locales, including in Denver, where police in riot gear apprehended 15 demonstrators.

In San Diego, police arrested 51 demonstrators Friday after declaring an unlawful assembly.

In Austin, police arrested 38 people in Austin, Texas, who had set up a table with food and other items outside City Hall two days after the city issued rules saying food tables at the event must be put away between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. When the group was asked to leave the area, the 38 refused and were arrested, police said

In Portland, police arrested more than two dozen people who refused to leave a park in northwest Portland, Oregon, after warnings that the park closed at midnight, police said.

In Oakland, the site of a chaotic street scene last Tuesday that resulted in an Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen critically injured, protesters are calling for a general strike across the city Wednesday and are urging other groups nationwide to organize similar events (Olsen's roommate says that Olsen is expected to make a full recovery).

Going back to the scene in Nashville, police initially charged reporter Jonathan Meador with public intoxication and criminal trespass.

Meador's boss, SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell, called on Saturday for the Governor of Tennessee to "acknowledge the mistake, apologize for it, and assure the citizens of Tennessee that he would uphold the Bill of Rights."

After the arrests of Meador and 25 others early Saturday, a Judge ordered their immediate release, denying troopers’ warrant requests and rejecting the legality of the state’s newly imposed curfew.

The A.C.L.U. of Tennessee said it planned to file a lawsuit challenging the curfew at the downtown plaza.

Over the last week and a half, the goals of the local Occupy Tampa group have been subsumed by their interactions with Tampa Police and the first local arrests in the month long movement. That included the first felony arrest last Friday morning, in a disputed case in which either an officer was pushed down by a protester (the TPD version), or the officer "slammed" into one of the activists, who fell onto another activist (that's Occupy Tampa's account).

Regardless, that action seems almost like child play in comparison to the massive amount of arrests that took place at Occupy rallies around the country this weekend.

In Nashville state law enforcement officials arrested 26 people on Saturday, with the issue being a curfew imposed last week that barred protesters from inhabiting a downtown plaza near the State Capitol. Included among those arrested was Nashville Scene reporter Jonathan Meador. The Scene is owned by SouthComm, which as of earlier this month became CL's new owner.

You can see (or more accurately, hear) Meador's arrest captured by his flip camera.

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