Mr. and Ms. Smith go to court

Eleven of the 12 protesters who were arrested at Hartford’s action that blocked the Broad St. I-84 on-ramp on Thursday went to Hartford Community Court this morning.

The protesters (the 12th could not be in court today and will appear later) were charged with disorderly conduct in violation of Section 53a-182 of Connecticut law. Before they could agree to be arrested, the dozen went through training to know what to expect, said Tom Swan, who was among those arrested. He said 40 more people were anxious to volunteer to be arrested, but they hadn’t been trained, and it was important this go smoothly.

This morning, the protesters were given one day of community service apiece. They will return to court on Dec. 9 to find out what that service might entail.

Community court was started in 1998 in no small part because of the involvement of Judge Raymond Norko, who is known for his creative community service orders, like sending people to shovel the snow from the sidewalks and porches of people who can’t shovel for themselves, or sending people to follow parades and clean up after horses.

In his chambers this morning, Judge Norko told me he would consider sending them to the Occupy Hartford encampment to do clean-up — though the site at Broad and Farmington is pretty clean already.

Thursday’s action was not an Occupy Hartford event per se, though members of the Occupy movement were there. It was, instead, sponsored by the Connecticut Action Alliance for a Fair Economy.

Over all, from the police involvement to community court, one of the arrested protesters, Daniel I. Medress, of SEIU, said everyone had been extremely professional and courteous. Hartford is emphatically not Oakland.

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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10 Comments

  1. Susan, from your link to “not Oakland,” I noted these nuggets. Also, do you have any idea how much those protesters cost the City?

    Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters.

    “When you start picking up human bodies, you risk hurting them,” Kelly said. “Bodies don’t have handles on them.”

    After reviewing the video, Kelly said he observed at least two cases of “active resistance” from protesters. In one instance, a woman pulls her arm back from an officer. In the second instance, a protester curls into a ball. Each of those actions could have warranted more force, including baton strikes and pressure-point techniques, Kelly said.

    1. Hi, Former. Do you have any idea what these protesters are protesting against? I believe that Hartford has been handling this movement — both Occupiers and others — very well. I do not believe the same can be said of Oakland. But I enjoyed the giggle over the quote of bodies not having handles. Here’s more on the effects of pepper spray on those bodies-without-handles: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/188069.pdf

  2. No, actually, I don’t. Once I figure that out, however, I bet that what they’re protesting against can’t be solved by hanging out on an I-84 onramp. Do they really think that the people whose lives they’re disrupting (i.e., commuters who have to find an alternative way home) are causing them harm? Do they really think that costing the City money is a good idea, or that it will help advance their goals?

    I’ve never met anyone who thought that sitting down on an I-84 onramp was a good idea, but these people don’t seem to have very much common sense. (For a lot of reasons.)

    1. We disagree! On this and maybe other issues! Like saying things like “these people dont seem to have very much common sense” and then not backing it up. But OK. I know you’re probably in the majority for not appreciating having your escape route cut off in Hartford (if that is where you work). A lot of people expressed that concern, though if you’re protesting something, I also understand the need to do so publicly. As for what they were protesting, here’s more on that: http://www.ctmirror.org/story/14544/twelve-arrested-i-84-ramp-economic-protest

  3. Sitting down on a highway onramp is always a stupid idea. What more do you need to back that up? Should their next protest be held on the Amtrak tracks?

    As for costing the City money, that’s another stupid idea. Hartford is broke and these protesters are making it “broker.” I’m all for protesting — but don’t jeopardize your own safety and don’t cost the City money in the process. That’s counterproductive and will only lead to fewer jobs, not more, in the City.

    I’m definitely in the 99%, not the 1%, but these clowns don’t speak for me.

  4. That’s fair, and I apologize to them. That wasn’t very nice of me.

    I think their hearts are in the right place but I also think that their actions will make accomplishing their goals more difficult, not less. Ask yourself this: if you’re a middle-class parent trying to race to day care after work to pick up your child (many day cares charge by the minute if you run over), and you have to take a detour because 12 people think it’s a good idea to sit down on a highway onramp, how does that make you feel about this “movement”? Not well. You’ll lose that voter and all of his or her friends.

    Now imagine that you need to take your child to the hospital, but again, you had to take another detour because of a protest. Don’t laugh, a child once died in the back of an ambulance with an adverse reaction to a bee sting, while stuck in traffic on the Q-Bridge. These things happen. If that happened to my child due to some “protest,” I’d sue the 12 for everything they had, and show them where to put their signs.

    1. No, I’m not arguing that this was the most effective means of protest. I am in the uncomfortable position of seeing both sides of this — a rarity for me. And though I’m not rushing to a day care center to get a child any more, I did that plenty of evenings of my life and understand the anger that might be directed at someone or someone(s) who get in the way of that. They did run the risk of alienating the very 99 percent for whom they say they’re acting. That is a horrible story about the death of the child on the Q-Bridge. I drive that daily and under the most benign circumstances imaginable it’s a crappy stretch of road. And I was just being a pill, calling you on the “clown” thing. I call names, myself, and am often a fan of name-calling. From your screen name, did you once live in Hartford?

  5. Here’s a story about that awful death on the Q-Bridge.

    http://articles.courant.com/1999-07-14/news/9907140382_1_stung-allergic-reaction-sting

    It looks like the child probably would have perished even without the traffic, but this story makes me panic when I’m stuck in traffic with my own family.

    As for me, yes, I left for the suburbs. I would have preferred to stay, but the allure of better schools, safer neighborhoods, lower taxes and lower insurance rates was too much to turn down. I couldn’t afford to stay and live in the type of home I wanted for my family.

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