Occupy Houston Protesters Hit with Felony Charges for Port Incident

Categories: Courts, Crime

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Stiffer charges reinstated
It seemed a little bogus when Occupy Houston protesters got hit with felony charges for their typical blocking of a street during a Port of Houston event earlier this month and, indeed, the serious charges were quickly dropped.

Any celebration has been short-lived, though: A grand jury has now reinstated the felony cases, because the protesters used PVC pipe while taking their stand.

That means, according to the indictment, that they used "a criminal instrument" and therefore the charges get upped.

Protesters stick their arms in the pipe to make it harder to be handcuffed.

Occupy Houston says the tough charges are a sign that their relationship with authorities is changing.

Occupy Houston recognizes the aggressive response to the action at the Port of Houston as an effort to intimidate and discourage future expressions of political speech in the city. Since early October, Occupy participants and the HPD had enjoyed a somewhat positive relationship relative to the other violent crackdowns on occupations seen in cities such as New York and Oakland.

However, Occupy Houston has been highly alarmed and deeply critical of the recent behavior of local police, including the placement of tape over the names of officers on uniforms and the use of a large tent to conceal the actions of police from media coverage during the arrest of protesters at the port. As strong advocates for accountability and transparency of government and public officials, Occupy Houston believes these actions are a clear violation

The group will hold protests about the events later today.

"Occupy Houston also calls on Harris County, the City of Houston and the Houston Police Department to cease their campaign to suppress the free speech of local citizens through fear and intimidation tactics, legal and otherwise," the group said.

As we reported earlier, HPD said it gave verbal reprimands to cops who taped over their badge numbers during the port protest, but would not say how many or release their names.

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15 comments
Strong_Girls__28
Strong_Girls__28

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Anthem281
Anthem281

A major invasion of trolls has occurred today on HP.  Anyway, felony charges are way out of line and amount to unconstitutional repression of free speech through intimidation tactics.  These sort of tactics will draw more public attention to the Occupy movement and therefore this really amounts to a win for the protesters.   

big red
big red

These Occupy Houston nimrods do not even know what they are protesting. They just seem to want to bitch about everything they don't like. Stay on the sidewalk and quit interrupting business that supports the ones you supposedly represent. Their protests are tired, stupid, and frankly have become a total pain in the ass, especially to taxpayers who have to pay for keeping these idiots guarded, fed, and under observation.

Evan
Evan

A felony certainly does seem over the top for something like this. Whom did they hurt? What damage did they do?

Writer for a Free Fishwrap
Writer for a Free Fishwrap

Those poor, poor selfish whiners! I guess the four of them should've just held hands in their little cry for attention.

Anthem281
Anthem281

Sounds like you are drinking too much of the Faux News Kool-aid.

Writer for a Free Fishwrap
Writer for a Free Fishwrap

The Grand Jury thought differently.

Another question you should ask is how much $$ did they make port workers and/or truck drivers etc. lose with their selfish publicity stunt?

Anthem281
Anthem281

Interesting assessment.  Please elaborate on this one.

Evan
Evan

A grand jury could indict a ham sandwich. 

Anthem281
Anthem281

Interesting response that leads me no closer to the meaning of your "joke" assertion.

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