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Occupy San Diego will march from the Civic Center to the San Diego Police Headquarters on Broadway Ave and 14th Street at 6:30 tonight in protest of what they’re calling “police brutality” at the ongoing peaceful protest which began in early October.

San Diego Police Department officers arrested nine protestors around 2 a.m. the morning of Monday December 5. Most were charged with California Penal Code S148 (resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer), California Penal Code S647 (illegal lodging), and San Diego Municipal Code S54.0110 (unauthorized encroachments), which Occupy San Diego media liaisons have called “unconstitutional.”

According to an email from Occupy San Diego media volunteer Kali Katt, the protestors arrested were watching a DVD of Michael Moore’s Capitalism- A Love Story when the raid, the fourth since October 7, took place.

Katt says that no warning was given to disperse before officers began arresting protesters, including a member of the occupations media team who filmed the arrests. Over 100 protesters have been arrested in San Diego since the first arrest on October 14, one week after the occupation began.

Katt says that San Diego Police Department spokesman Gary Hassen’s claim the raid occurred in response to protesters camping on the plaza is false.

A recording of the morning’s Ustream (at 01:09:00) shows the protestors without tents and watching a movie when the officers moved in.

"It has been become routine for SDPD to enforce municipal codes at whim, without prior talks or mediation, and often resorting first-hand to violent tactics, to prevent, deter, and intimidate protestors and all San Diego citizens within this city from exercising their first amendment rights," writes Katt.

“During the first raid on October 14, SDPD was aggressive with protestors and sprayed hazardous chemical agents upon numerous people simply for having tents. A member of OSD’s media team documenting the second police raid on October 28 was arrested for Penal Code 408 unlawful assembly for standing in the middle of the street and Municipal Code 59.5.0401 excessive noise for using a megaphone.

The 51 protestors arrested during the second police raid on October 28 were subject to police brutality and inhumane conditions at the jail with even the San Diego County Sheriff’s Deptartment admitting the protestors were forced to urinate and defecate in the buses while being transferred to jail.

“In the following weeks they began heavily enforcing California Penal Code S647 (illegal lodging), which means very aggressively arresting people for allegedly sleeping, or just laying down in a sleeping bag, - even a homeless man in a wheelchair on Thanksgiving morning. During the November 16 raid they arrested another media team member while he was documenting action for San Diego Municipal Code S83.0203 (pedestrian standing on the sidewalk).

Then yet another member of the media team was arrested, this time for registering voters, on private property under a citizen’s arrest from the owner of the Civic Center - CB Richard Ellis. They continue to arrest protestors for simple things such as allegedly tearing police caution tape and calling it vandalism.”

Occupy San Diego is calling for the resignation of Police Chief William Lansdowne by petition for the way he has handled the protests. Occupier Julie Kramer has begun a hunger strike until Lansdowne publicly apologizes for his treatment of protesters.

“There have been a slew of human rights violations at Occupy San Diego, and we have videotape evidence,” writes Kramer via email.

“In response to the continued harassment, brutality, and abuses of power the SDPD has subjected us to, I am currently on hunger strike pending a public apology from Chief Lansdowne. I have attached my flier announcing my hunger strike, along with several other OSD fliers that show the harassment, unjust arrests and brutality at the Civic Center. The most compelling and documented case is this:

"On November 12, I witnessed one of my best and oldest friends be harassed by police for laying in a sleeping bag, then arrested for sitting on top of it. As the cops were standing him up, Officer Michael E. Sweet put my friend Bob O’Grady in a chokehold, slammed him to the ground, and choked him for thirty to forty seconds, while he was restrained by three officers. That video has been watched by over 20,000 viewers and can be seen here:

"Here is a different camera angle of that same event:

"You can also read a full account of Bob’s arrest here.

"I would very much appreciate any help I could get publicizing my hunger strike, as I don't have much weight to lose and I feel that we have enough evidence to warrant an apology. It is my hope that my hunger strike will bring awareness to the police misconduct at Civic Center.

"I have filed a complaint against Officer Michael E. Sweet, who is shown choking Mr. O'Grady in the above video for 30-40 seconds, and yet he has returned to duty at Civic Center. On the news the chief said he would be transferred. This was a lie.

The officers are becoming increasingly violent towards us, and arresting people for filming. We have a mountain of video evidence. I started a blog to document the reasons I am on hunger strike. Here you can see links to video evidence. I will add more videos each day, as we have PLENTY to share. Below you can see my email to Chief Lansdowne asking for an apology. “

Begin Kramer's email.

'Hello Chief Lansdowne,

'I am writing to respectfully inform you that I am on hunger strike pending an apology from you directed at the Occupy San Diego community for the continual police harassment, police brutality and unlawful arrests we have been subjected to. I am not asking for anything more than an apology, which we absolutely deserve. Here is an explanation of my claim. Please note that my hunger strike will be well publicized, and I sincerely hope we can come to a speedy resolution, because I have already been on hunger strike for 36 hours.

'In the past two months I have been completely taken aback by the actions of the San Diego Police Department. Protesters at Occupy San Diego have been subject to unlawful arrests, police brutality, unprofessional conduct, discrimination, and constant police harassment. Occupiers have been ticketed for ridiculous offenses such as ashing cigarettes outdoors, and jaywalking when not jaywalking. Occupiers have went to jail for misdemeanor infractions such as jaywalking or spitting on the sidewalk.

'Media has been jailed for filming the police on at least two occasions. At this point there have been close to 200 arrests at Occupy San Diego, very few of them valid. Many people simply practicing their freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are jailed for the crime of “obstructing a peace officer”, a vague charge. This is a travesty to our first amendment rights. Most seriously, Occupiers are being hurt. There are countless videos of police misconduct, brutality and unlawful arrests. I am tired of watching my fellow OSD protesters get hurt and feeling helpless about the situation.

'Therefore I am on hunger strike. I will end my hunger strike when Chief Lansdowne apologizes for the gross police misconduct, police brutality and police harassment Occupy San Diego has faced. I am not asking for anything but one simple apology. I have plenty of videos documenting my claims, and I will present it all to you over the next few days. Here are a few to start:

'On November 12, I witnessed one of my best and oldest friends be harassed by police for laying in a sleeping bag, then arrested for sitting on top of it. As the cops were standing him up, Officer Michael E. Sweet put my friend Bob O’Grady in a chokehold, slammed him to the ground and choked him for thirty to forty seconds, while he was restrained by three officers.

'This particular incident is particularly upsetting because despite multiple complaints Officer Sweet has been allowed to return to patrolling Civic Center and has engaged in intimidating behaviors with the Occupy San Diego protesters. When told by one protester “You choked Bob for thirty seconds” he responded “Actually is was 40 seconds”. He then demanded to know if Bob had returned and if he was there. This is in no way appropriate behavior for a peace officer.

'Last week Ray Lutz, the 2010 Democratic Candidate for Congress in California’s 52nd congressional district, was arrested for setting up a voters registration table. He is filing a lawsuit for the unlawful arrest. I have personally seen voters registration tables inside the Civic Center on two occasions, and no arrests were made. This is a perfect example of how the SDPD has targeted Occupy San Diego protesters.

'You can see the video of Ray being arrested here:

Here is an article detailing the events.

'Last week another occupier named Hex was arrested for allegedly tearing caution tape. He alleges that the police officers intentionally pinched his skin while putting on handcuffs. In this video notice the look on the officer’s face right before Hex begins howling in pain around 48 seconds in. Hex also alleges that he was pepper sprayed in handcuffs in the back of the cop car, which we do not have on film, but we are working on finding witnesses.

'The video can be seen here:

'In one of the more famous incidents at Occupy San Diego peaceful protesters were maced. There are many videos of this incident, however we saw nothing like the outcry that U.C. Davis saw when their protesters were maced.

Here are several videos of that macing:

Aside from all of this we have been raided four times. I will have to blog about those raids another night but here are some videos of your tax dollars at work:



End Kramer's email.

Meanwhile, protester John Kenney is in his 25th day of hunger strike and is requesting that the City come to the table and discuss the right of Occupy San Diego to conduct protests in the form of an encampment. John has become sick and now has a wheelchair to get around.


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cheney08 Dec. 6, 2011 @ 5:02 p.m.

Its nice to see San Diego police doing their jobs by taking the trash off the street. The occupy movement is filled with nothing but self interested leeches of society looking for free handouts. All this time whining could be used for something more productive like FINDING A JOB, fixing their resumes, going to job interviews. But I realize its kinda hard to have a successful job interview when your a pothead stinky tent dweller without a purpose.


Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Dec. 6, 2011 @ 5:05 p.m.

Lose weight while you protest. It's brilliant!


politicky Dec. 8, 2011 @ 8:15 a.m.

I knew the obnoxious right wingers would have something to say. Thanks y'all, you never disappoint!


CrystalWilliams Dec. 9, 2011 @ 7:46 a.m.

I am so grateful for independent reporters. Otherwise atrocities such as those committed by SDPD against Occupy Protesters would likely go unnoticed, as mainstream media continues to refuse accurate reporting of these events. If "Peace" officers were in place to facilitate the protection of these people, who are doing nothing more than trying to adjust corrupted laws so that every American can enjoy the freedoms outlined in the Constitution, rather than to beat and unlawfully jail them, I would have no problem with SDPD's involvement in the Occupy Protests. However, it is clear to me that powers have been abused and I am very concerned that they will continue to be, at the expense of The People's rights and safety. I am also extremely supportive of Julie Kramer's stand against such frightening threats to American freedom, and I hope to hear an appology very soon, for her sake, the sake of all protesters who have been harmed, and for the sake of all San Diegans who could come into unwarranted harm just as eaisly unless something is done to stop the Police from abusing their powers like this. I look forward to more news on this as events unfold.


merlinawakend Dec. 9, 2011 @ 8:55 a.m.

i have to say i am a bit outraged that police chief Landsdowne said this morning on nbc that he was proud of the way his police force has treated osd protesters. pepper spraying people who are trying to voice their concerns about corporate greed in politics is not something to be proud of. an officer choking out a citizen for lying under a sleeping bag to keep warm is not something to be proud of. detaining protestors, stealing and destroying their personal property is not something to be proud of. starving people in jail because they are vegetarian is not something to be proud of. police brutality is not something to be proud of. the san diego police department has many officers that violate rights of not just the osd protestors but of citizens as well. officer michael sweet, has several instances of violence on his record aside from choking out bob ogrady at osd. i have even dealt with an officer, ron wies in ocean beach while i was street performing, and he violated my first amendment rights, which states i had a right to perform on a public space. selectively violated my rights as well considering he let people making jewelry stay while he forced me to leave where i was working. he has shown on several occasions that he doesn't know the laws, much less have regard for them. as long as chief Landsdowne allows criminals to be on the force, he is a danger to the public. he wont even bother to apologize for the treatment of osd, which is all one woman is demanding with her hunger strike. he could end her suffering today, but instead he provokes it saying he is proud of his officers.. i think we need a new chief, one who has a heart, and knows there is a time for pride and right now the police needs a cleaner image if they want to be proud.


mromano18 Dec. 9, 2011 @ 9:46 a.m.

I am so proud of her. When she feels powerless (as we all do) she got noticed. I hope you succeed really soon in getting that apology :(


bryan Dec. 9, 2011 @ 8:34 p.m.

If so they are overpaid for being trash collectors.

It would be much nicer if they were able to jail actual criminals, or even had an interest in doing so. However their general advice is shot them yourself (and I'm not kidding - I've had officers who advocate doing that).

But far be it for this society to provide jobs that pay a living wage, provide for those that are in need.

But as a reminder of where ths happened before:

"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."


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