Friday, October 19, 2012

Police Join Occupy

Atlanta police officers join Occupy Atlanta as activists resist eviction of retired police detective Jacqueline Barber from her house.  Officer Barber is also fighting cancer and lives in her Atlanta home with her four grandchildren.  They are facing eviction since she fell behind on medical and mortgage payments.
On Monday night, several police officers attended a meeting with activists at Barber's home south of Atlanta, and 20 or 30 former and current officers have spent time at the 24-hour Occupy camp there, according to activist Shabnam Bashiri. Occupy Our Homes activists hope support from local police could prevent an eviction.
Barber and several activists are committed to civil disobedience to defend the home, Bashiri said. An eviction could lead to an awkward clash between Barber, her former co-workers and law enforcement officers who carry out evictions.
Barber worked as a detective and undercover narcotics agent for the Atlanta Police Department until she was hit by a car and forced to retire in 2001. She was later diagnosed with myeloma, a type of blood cell cancer. Paying for the aggressive treatment needed to fight the cancer alongside skyrocketing mortgage payments became impossible.
 More here at truthout and here at Occupy Our Homes.  In the below youtube, flanked by community activists, Officer Barber speaks to cameras in front of her home.


Occupy Atlanta (which appears to have a more active site here on Facebook) has previously joined with Georgia police officers blocking evictions.  In November 2011, activists occupied the foreclosed home of a suburban sheriff's department officer and his family of five outside Atlanta in Snellville, attempting to prevent an eviction.  The family was later evicted.  This appears to be the first time they are defending an Atlanta police officer's home.

In Atlanta, where Mayor Kasim Reed has ruled, peaceful occupiers were thrown out of the city park in an extraordinarily massive show of police force - like an army - with even the head of the police department at odds with the mayor's decision-making, and the police arresting long-time civil rights and religious leaders, a senator and city council member, alongside occupiers.

Occupy Atlanta (more blogged here) has focused on foreclosures and evictions, with post eviction occupiers also joining the homeless at threatened encampments by city vents frequented by people without homes for warmth.

No comments:

Post a Comment