Sunday, November 20, 2011

Felix! For crumb sake!

I know a woman who I've always liked. ( I know it's "Whom". Get over it, I'm not into putting on airs tonight) She is one of the most opinionated, obstinate, and abrasive people that I know. I would imagine that is probably why I like her. You never have to wonder what she is thinking, just ask her and she will tell you. I have a tendency to judge people by how they treat dogs. That being the case, I've often said that if I ever have a chance to do life all over again, I want to come back as Felix's dog. She practically packs them around on silk pillows. She is very slightly built, and she has a few joint problems, so she is not likely to be kicking anybody's butt. She describes herself as: "I'm a very loyal friend and a bad enemy." Truer words were never spoken.

So.... I wasn't suprized to find that she ran afoul of the law during an "Occupy Demonstration". I find it best to let you hear her tell it in her own words, Please find them printed below:

 "My take - for the record is: I had 2 banners clothespinned to inside the fences on the 101 overpass (they could not fall into traffic and I didn't have to hang over the fwy. to to put them up) one faced north, the other south. They said "HAVE YOU BEEN OCCUPIED?". The lettering was quite large and was not causing any hazard to read.

A cal-tran's woman pulled up and told me I couldn't do that. I refused to take them down. She said she'd have to call the cops. I said go for it (we shook hands even). If she was still there I'm sure she was horrified as to what happened....hopefully HER camera was not molested and I can find her. Short, nice redhead about my age - anyone?
I refused to take the banner down for the CHP too. Cops all over the country are ripping signs down - I wouldn't have tried to stop them................but I wouldn't do it.
They asked if I had any weapons in my bag and, as I was handing it to him I said "Yeah, sure.....". This BIG nazi looking fuck freaks, snatching it. I also told them there was a teency tiny leatherman on my key chain that had a blade maybe an inch and a 1/4 ("She told them she had weapons twice" they said on the News).
I'd had my camera running (in video mode) from the beginning of my conversation with the cal-trans woman and after cop #1 (hey, that's how they signed, "1 of 2; 2 of 2) so over- reacted to my (I thought obvious) sarcasm, I lifted the camera to get a shot of his face. He jammed the camera into my face like someone the paparazzi is abusing and wham they threw me to the ground. I don't believe the word arrest had even been spoken. Now I'm on my face, tangled in my camera strap and with my left arm pinned underneath me. My "resistance" was my inability to comply with the order to give them my left hand for cuffing. With one cop standing on my feet and the big Nazi grinding my face into the pavement and kneeling on me in an anatomically inappropriate way. It was impossible. They knew they'd fucked up and took me to the hospital. They x-rayed me and took blood, cause somehow they can tell if you've got internal bleeding going on (with a blood test? Makes no sense to me, but I'm not a Doctor - but they knew they'd hurt me bad if they were looking for internal bleeding). They needed to stick me 3 times to hit a vein - inexcusable on someone as thin as I am - really piss-poor phlebotomy!
So they took me all the way to Eureka for fingerprinting. They told me people had been calling - but they didn't tell me there was someone on their way to pick me up (Sonia Bauer). So I got a straggling 'Occupier' to give me a ride to a friend's.  Anyway, his phone wasn't working so I was just stuck there.
Made for a long painful bus ride yesterday...............and that's about it. Except for the fact that they failed to mention my camera in the list of my possessions. "Black, 'personal item" - when they had even noted the COLOR of the thermal underwear I was wearing. Though they did return it - they either deleted the incriminating video - it was running as I struggled, not to get away, but rather to attempt to get my arm out from under me - or screwed up my camera as it hit the ground with me. It would have been a very incriminating piece of video- but it seems unrecoverable.And now here's where you 99 %ers and pals come in - my first court date is Jan. 20th - HERE IN GARBERVILLE! Please PLEASE fill the courtroom! Can anyone afford to get some 'We are all the 99%' T-shirts? If not, I can make a stencil.
Please - they came to us this time - we want representation in County government? We're gonna have to SHOW them we're NOT just apathetic hippies. I'm sure it is not true of ALL of me help save the world. It's showtime folks!

                     Peace OUT!

Maybe she made some poor judgments when dealing with the cops. But, I think that the cops are going to find that they made some very, very poor judgments by jumping on her.

I often disagree with some of Felix's causes, but I think that I could have dealt with her a little more gently than the cops did. I will be at her hearing in Garberville, if for no other reason than to witness some of Garberville's history, and acknowledge my friendship for her.


Kym said...

Ernie, I'm glad you posted this. (Although, rats, I wish I had done it first!) What I'm curious about is the Garberville court date. Since when is the Garberville court operating again? That is good news.

Ernie Branscomb said...

You can still make a post. More people read your Blog than mine. I'm seriously interested in finding out if we have cops that don't know the difference between a gun and a camera in broad daylight. I think that it was probably Felix's attitude that pissed them off. They are trained to control the situation at all times. I think that they badly misjudged how much control that they needed to use. I'm shocked that both cops apparently participated in this.

This is a difficult stance for me to take, because in most cases the cops are right, and we depend heavily on them to protect us and keep the peace. I’m not sure what went wrong, but something DID go wrong. Happily nobody got killed. But, there was enough poor judgment to go around. First, I would never argue with a cop, but as a cop I would never have thrown Felix to the ground and then jumped on her. Bad mistake!

Anonymous said...

Keep us posted on this Ernie. Interesting and hope for the best outcome.


skippy said...

Felix getting thrown to the ground and hurt when it’s not necessary is clearly not right. However, putting up signs on the highway overpass and confronting/refusing the cops is somewhat risky business in itself depending on how one handles the situation. That's a delicate line to tread. Your second sentence may lend a telling clue, Ernie.

NY women demonstrators pepper sprayed behind a barrier, UC Berkeley students batoned in the gut, a veteran hit in the head with a projectile while another is beaten and hospitalized with a lacerated spleen, and UC Davis students pepper sprayed while passively seated are some examples of questionably excessive and unreasonable force. How Felix was treated is also suspect.

The succinct words Jen wrote on her site summed it up for me:

I can agree to disagree on some political issues. Not all protestors are noble, not all cops brutal and not all American economic policies a conspiracy to destroy the middle class and enslave the poor. But the stance people are taking against systemic economic inequity is based in facts. That many cops are abusing their power and hurting people not threatening to them, is accurate.

To fail to acknowledge that the Occupy movement as a whole has righteousness on its side is to deny reality. And when you reject truth, that’s where you lose me.

Robin Shelley said...

Do we know who the cops were? Glad to hear you are going to be in the courtroom, Ernie. You're a good friend. This one will be interesting, no doubt.

Kym said...

Ha, I beat you to the post this time;>

Seriously though, Ernie, if you go to Felix's court date tomorrow, will you take photos? I'd love to be there. Next best would be to see Garberville court serving SoHum residents in a photograph. I didn't even know we had one day a month.

Kym said...

Shucks, I forgot to give you the link.