BY RICHARD L. FRICKER
Occupy Tulsa organizer Daniel Lee has told The Observer the group has changed its Saturday demonstration plans to include a visit to the Center of the Universe in downtown Tulsa. The Center of the Universe is located between the Bank of Oklahoma and the Brady entertainment area.
The actual CotU is on a walking bridge over railroad tracks separating the two sections of the city. Lee said the group does not plan to occupy the bridge but will use the Center of the Universe as a dispersal point after their demonstration.
The Saturday demonstration is being held in conjunction with demonstrations in over a thousand cities supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. In addition to the Occupy Tulsa demonstration, an Occupy Oklahoma City group has established a base camp in a park in the downtown area of the state capital.
Both Oklahoma groups say they are planning on using “flash” occupations at various banks and public areas to draw attention to their movement.
Demonstrators complain that Congress is unresponsive to the needs of the country while being gridlock over ideology. They also complain that the Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to make unlimited campaign donations as “Corporate Citizens” has gutted to political process leaving only the wealthy with a voice.
Additionally, Occupiers say 99% of Americans are unrepresented in the political process which is controlled by 1% of the population. Demonstrators around the country often refer to themselves or their movement as the 99%.
Police in various have begun arresting demonstrators camped in public parks and along roadways. Some arrests have been confrontational while others amounted to nothing more than the issuing of citations.
The most confrontational arrests have been in Boston, Des Moines and New York. The Des Moines and Boston arrests took place in the dark of early- to mid-evening as officers surrounded demonstrators, often times without warning, and began using force to detain various groups.
While Saturday’s demonstration is designed to be peaceful, according to organizers, the Tulsa group does have a plan should arrest occur. Lee and other organizers say it is their plan, depending on individual preference, to not post bail.
Lee said it would be the Occupy tactic to flood the jail and overload the municipal courts with demonstrators. He qualified his statement noting the group has been working closely with the Tulsa Police Department to ensure the demonstration is as peaceful and non-confrontational as possible.
Occupy Tulsa is slated to begin its demonstration in front of the Bank of Oklahoma civic events center at noon Oct. 15. According to Lee, the group with march in the downtown area, disperse at the Center of the Universe and then retire to their base camp at Phoenix Rising, located at 3rd/Phoenix near downtown.
– Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Martian Llama Racing Explained, is available at http://www.richardfricker.com.