Occupy Fort Lauderdale Getting Kicked Off of City Hall Property

Categories: Politics
occupy-fort-lauderdale-fist.jpg
According to a communique received from a protester with Occupy Fort Lauderdale, the group will be kicked off of City Hall property (100 N. Andrews Ave.) at 5 p.m. today.

The Occupiers find it reprehensible that the city would do such a thing on Thanksgiving Eve, when most people are busy with holiday celebrations and their legal counsel -- Ron Gunsberger, an attorney with the county property appraiser's office and son of Broward County Mayor Sue Gunzburger -- happens to be out of town.

An email making the rounds among Occupiers says:
"Today they they posted a New Rule/Regulation telling the people of Occupy Fort Lauderdale that their belongings will be thrown in the garbage at 5 pm tomorrow and if they are not holding their protest signs in their hands, personally, and do not take down their storage tents and sun shades with mosquito nets that they will be arrested for trespassing."

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler and City Manager Lee Feldman could not be reached around midnight. People attending Tuesday's Light Up Las Olas festival on Fort Lauderdale Beach noted that the mayor was at least two hours late for that event, perhaps due to these developments. A communications officer at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department said they would not have any information until morning.

The protesters say they have managed to remain at City Hall until now by maintaining that the land is a public space but technically not a park. (Sleeping in parks overnight is not allowed.)  Last night, however, protesters say, the city announced it had created a rule for its Policy and Standards manual. The new rule permits constitutionally protected activities in the space but adds new time restrictions: It will be closed between 2 and 5 a.m.

The email goes on to say that "Issuing this new regulation is a direct attack on our rights to peaceably assemble at a traditional location intended for expressing free speech. We are just honest, hard working individuals who want to gather together to generate solutions accessible to everyone and inspire all to participate in a process of DIRECT DEMOCRACY not a process of committee meeting failures paid for by millions of dollars from corporate lobbyists. We would do it with suits and ties on and with well made signs fastened to the inside of the walls of climate controlled multi million dollar buildings but because we have no money we choose to do it outdoors while sitting on camping chairs and because we have no political ties to the two party oligarchy we can't petition to get a room inside of the City Hall to have our working group and general assembly meetings like Sunshine Republicans do."

Some Occupy Fort Lauderdale members intend to risk arrest and stay at the site. The group  is asking people sympathetic to their cause to come to City Hall by 5 p.m. to join the protest. They add: "Bring cameras." See their Facebook page for updates.   





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31 comments
Ftlauderdaleoccupier
Ftlauderdaleoccupier

Chas Stephens has become so irrelevant that he is now trying to hijack the Occupy movement.

Very sad, Chas.

Veteran Taxpayer
Veteran Taxpayer

I say love it or leave it. I fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and these people spit in my face when I cornered them about what changes they propose. They are against our country and elected officials. We need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of control like New York. This is not free speech, it is domestic terrorism. I hope they get removed soon so they can go get a life and stop making our city look bad. We rely on tourism here in Lauderdale and the last thing we need is these people scaring away our economic base. 

miami beach apartments
miami beach apartments

 Its really true. I totally agree with your statements. Nowadays this have been become the common problem every where. Its really a good effort made in this post.

Sarahb5z
Sarahb5z

How disappointing that Fort Lauderdale made this decision with very little notice so the  occupiers could find a new place.  Hopefully the General Assemblies will continue and another place will be found. They are couragaeous to take this stand for what they (and many others) believe in.  Don't quit occupiers.  You are needed!

Barry Sacharow
Barry Sacharow

This shows what kind of sneaks these elected and hired "officials" are. How about public review of these regs? Due Process? Fairness? Not that it matters much, but is "Jack" a Democrat or Republican? Is this how "they" act in the face of Occupy protests? What does the mayor's puppeteer Judy say about free speech? My message is voters WILL remember both the actions and people was behind this... 

BTW Cops, Fire & Rescue and City Employees are next with this kind of tactics ... A holiday harbinger of things to come ...

FtlresidentJsmith
FtlresidentJsmith

The Mayor was not late for Light Up Fort Lauderdale Beach. He flipped the switch at the announced time and gave a speech to a huge crowd. Your sources are not very reliable.

FQS9000
FQS9000

So sad, now they have to go back to living with their mommys.  And after all the good they've done.

Sacred Franchise
Sacred Franchise

"Love it or leave it" is the stupidest cliche ever created.

How about "If you love it, fight to improve it"?

By the way, not to knock veterans in general (my father is one), but "Support the Troops" is the second stupidest cliche. The troops drafted to fight in Vietnam came home and got spat on by the 1960's hippies, while the volunteer army we have now MUST be supported simply because they have chosen to take up arms as a job? 

How about this: everyone who professes an opinion like yours and picks up a gun to make a living--some of whom because they're too stupid and unskilled to do anything else--should be forced keep fighting as long as our country is at war overseas, and not get to come home until we stop attacking other countries. 

Forget letting people join the Army, fight two or three years, then giving them government handouts for the rest of their lives while the rest of us pay for it with our tax dollars. That is nonsense.

Maybe if that was the way it worked the majority of my fellow Americans would stop being such a warmongering bunch of mindless followers..

Also, I second everything Chaz says. It's amazingly well spoken and 100% true. 

Accept reality and quit being a troll, Vet Tax.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Patriotism is defined, by dictionary.com, as “devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.”

That’s it; that’s all there is to the definition of patriotism. There is no sub-clause in that definition stating that a patriot must support the troops in the exact same fashion as the vocal majority or minority. There is no clause that demands a patriot must be Republican or any other political party. In fact, the definition says “love of country” - not of government or policies or leaders or figureheads.

The calls to action within the definition of patriotism are simple; support, love, and defend your country. The greatest truths are often deceivingly simple and elegant – and usually worthless as a result. Just so with the definition of patriotism. It’s so simple that countless possible definitions could be applied. Thus it becomes meaningless at any level except the highest.

It’s as simple as supporting, loving, and defending my country. And as complex as that.

Since patriotism is such an open-ended and subjective concept, we must, all of us, decide what it means and how to best act upon it. You, me, your co-worker, your spouse, your siblings, your friends; we must all decide for ourselves what patriotism really is and how (and if) to act upon it.

How do most Americans, the teeming masses, define patriotism? Typically they choose the path of least resistance and define it the same way everyone around them does. That’s a dangerous and troubling realization if you stop to consider it. People don’t consciously define patriotism: they blindly follow the mob within which they find themselves.

I’ve ranted and railed about how the average man or woman on the street displays an astounding lack of critical thinking skills in my blogs. I’ve agonized over the split between science and religion. I’ve decried the use of pseudoscience to gain false validity for decidedly non-scientific disciplines. I encourage debate and differing opinions on my blog and on Facebook. But I was never called unpatriotic – until just recently.

There is a wave of patriotism devoid of critical thought sweeping this nation. Blind patriotism. It revolves around the United States military and the troops who put their lives on the line. It’s all over the social networks and I’m sure you’ve seen the messages floating around, virally growing and feeding as people blindly agree and forward on to others. The most common message, now seen on bumper stickers as well, is “If you don’t stand behind our troops, stand in front of them.”

There is no room for discussion about these messages and viral emails. There is no latitude to define how (or if) you support the troops. You can’t comment that you don’t support the reasons, the government rationalizations, that put our young men and women in danger. You either support the troops or you do not. There is no middle ground. That, people, is a False Choice Fallacy.

The false choice is that if you don’t support the troops (or at least appear to) in exactly the same fashion as everyone else, you are unpatriotic. I learned that lesson and was labeled unpatriotic when I tried to leverage my critical thinking skills in a debate on Facebook. I had the gall to ask the participants for specifics, for clarification, for facts. I had the nerve to break from the herd and speak out. I didn’t just blindly accept the viral and trite messages being bandied about.

This was all in reference to the proposed 1.4% pay increase for troops in Obama’s budget; the lowest troop budget increase in recent years. And yet, it aligns perfectly with the national growth in the private sector, as reported by the Army Times. I simply asked, “In a time of recession shouldn’t that be enough?” I pointed out the fact that 1.4% was small, but millions of Americans who don’t have housing guarantees like soldiers do, don’t have basic allowance for quarters, don’t have stipends for children, and don’t have guaranteed health care are also only averaging 1.4% (if they even have a job).

When the initial outrage grew over my questions, the participants began inferring that the troops deserve more simply by virtue of being soldiers. I pointed out that the bulk of our soldiers do not join for purely altruistic or patriotic reasons, but for the benefits and education they receive. These help them get a fast track on career and life. We don’t have compulsory service in the United States and serving is a job choice.  Admittedly, it’s a job that can be highly dangerous; just as statistically a trash man holds one of the most dangerous job in America. I respect our soldiers. I support them – but I do not blindly give them entitlements just because they are soldiers working a job they chose to accept. I try to make sure my support can stand on the legs of logic – otherwise it doesn’t have any legs at all. The soldiers who fight for my freedoms deserve no less from me.

Those statements caused quite an uproar. You would have thought I was Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, and the Anti-Christ all rolled into one. I was attacked, told I had put my foot in my mouth, and it was suggested that the only reason I can even have such a “shitty” opinion is because of the soldiers who fight for my “ungrateful ass”. (which isn’t true at all; people in suppressed societies have opinions all the time – but it can be dangerous to express them)

I realized immediately that most people aren’t patriots; they are followers. Patriotism is like religion; you’re supposed to do it like everyone else and not question it. I’ve never been good at that.

People in the thread started pulling out “personal credentials” to impress upon me how firmly entrenched their patriotism is. They had relatives who had fought in three wars. They were married to a soldier. They had served three tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. They berated me and told me they felt sorry for me, but they supposed that even someone like myself deserves the right to an opinion.

I still ask questions, though, despite my “credential-laden” patriotic background. Does that make me unpatriotic? Do my attitudes mean that I, in fact, do not support the troops?  How do I really feel about all of this?

Simply, I feel as I imagine Albert Einstein felt when he stated, “Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!” I love my country. I think the idea of the United States of America is an amazing one. I grieve for the troops who are separated from their families; who fight and die – not against a country, but against a concept called “terrorism.”  You can’t win a war against “terrorism,” any more than you can win a war against drugs. As neither terrorism nor drugs can be eliminated, because of basic human nature, we have a perpetual and never-ending war machine that funds itself from the very blood of our children.

I find it extremely hypocritical that the same people who claim I don’t support the troops never, ever, stop to question who or what those troops are fighting against. They have so completely bought into the concept that War is Necessary that they blindly support any and all military activities overseas, as long as they see CNN’s sanitized view of it. They resist with every fiber of their being the notion of peace or negotiations, or of acceptance of different cultures. These same people who label me unpatriotic don’t even question whether or not war is just, let alone necessary. These are the same people who support the “viral patriotism” movement sweeping our nation; the thoughtless acceptance and endorsement of hate-filled propaganda without any logical or critical thought behind it.

It was Malcom X who said “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” It’s wrong to denounce our President for being a diplomat who wants to wage war at the negotiation table instead of in the streets. It’s wrong to give up your liberties for the illusion of temporary security, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin. It’s wrong to send our troops to die when there may be other options available to us. It’s wrong to label someone who questions the government as unpatriotic, since patriotism has nothing to do with government and everything with country.

Do I support my country? Yes. I work, I vote, I debate, and I use my brain to weigh issues and question our government; just as every loyal American should.

Do I love my country? Yes The United States of America is, in my opinion, the best nation in the world. From sea to shining sea the United States is a beautiful country, founded on amazing ideal, and has been a shining beacon for the world to follow for generations.

Do I defend my country? Yes. While I can never be a soldier, I do what I can to support our troops by keeping their IT systems working professionally and, through my vote, by making sure our government doesn’t cavalierly send them into conflict.

Do I support our troops? Yes, I do. There are times and reasons why we have to send our troops in harm’s way. There are valid reasons for the wars we are fighting today. We are too quick, though, to send the troops into harm’s way at times.

Ultimately, I think the concept of “nations” is nothing more than “tribalism.” I long for the day when borders are no longer necessary and we speak not of nations, but of humanity, but that day is not today. Until then, I choose to support, love, and defend the United States of America in the way I see best.

Just because my definition of patriotism is not the same as the mindless, viral, masses doesn’t mean I am unpatriotic. I could argue that I am more patriotic, because I think about and have consciously chosen the reasons for my patriotism.

Don’t be blindly patriotic; think about it. Decide why you are patriotic. Above all, question everything. As Howard Zinn said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

FQS9000
FQS9000

What they need are jobs, a desire to work for a living and to quit whining for a handout.

Ftlauderdaleoccupier
Ftlauderdaleoccupier

The Mayor has been very supportive of Occupy Fort Lauderdale.  However, the Mayor has also made it clear that all laws need to be complied with and, if the City allows the Occupiers to pitch tents and camp out, then the City has to allow the homeless to pitch tents and camp out. Our Mayor has been a champion on free speech and first amendment issues, so please do not confuse the issues.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

You said;

"BTW Cops, Fire & Rescue and City Employees are next with this kind of tactics ... A holiday harbinger of things to come ... "

What does that mean?

FQS9000
FQS9000

You do not need a 'trial' or 'due process' to evict a trespasser.  Ya just have to catch 'em.

The 'Occupy" weasels can rant and rave to their hearts content anywhere they want, but they gotta go when the parks close, just like everybody else.  They absolutely have 'free speech', but lack the ability to say anything intelligent.  How sad for their mommies and teachers who have miserably failed them.

Oh how horrible.  The police are enforcing the law.  That is a real horror, especially during the 'holiday' season.  Try calling them by their true names, Thanksgiving and Christmas, if you can gag those hateful words out of your mouth.

Perhaps the Cops, Fire & Rescue and City Employees should take the next month off.  I bet you'd be ranting about that.

Icenzi13
Icenzi13

You are on the wrong side...These protestors are everyday Americans. The press wants you to believe the are hippies and troublemakers so they can spend their resources to commit brutality against these citizens. The command  is given to the mayors of these cities from the Department of Homeland security who had meetings with these mayors to show them how to stomp out the protestors. So who gave the orders from the top? Who has the most to lose from the demands of the protestors?

Angelaheller45
Angelaheller45

It is so sad that you are so silly to make such a comment.  99%'s are all ages, from young to seniors who are looking for justice for all.  Good for you, you must have a job and bow down to them.  Most people lose their jobs after 20 or so years, with no fault of their own.  Get informed and then you will have the right to comment.  In a year or two (if you are lucky) you will also be the 99% (unless you have a RICH daddy). 

GuntherZorn
GuntherZorn

I'd bet that your personal heroes are Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney.

luvfreedom
luvfreedom

FQS9000 is even worth listening to..He is obviously ans "Ass Kisser" and his comments proove that if he cant see how "young and old"  the employed and unemployed are victims of the 1%... your so obvious...lol .lol

Sacred Franchise
Sacred Franchise

Hey Ron Gunzburger, let's get real here.

Your mom hasn't been supportive at all. Neither have you. 

In fact, you've both done more damage to the local Occupy volunteers than good. 

What you have, in fact, done is use this national movement to further your own small-time political agenda. While you've fooled a handful of people into believing you are on the Occupy side, the vast majority of us are well aware of what you are really up to. You are a wolf in sheep's clothing and a liar.For anyone who hasn't already figured this out:

Ron and Sue Gunzburger, Broward's own little nepotistic mother and son political team, along with a group of other local dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, have been voicing their support for this movement for their own selfish reasons with no regard for the real ideals behind the Occupy movement.

Among other selfish motivations, Team Gunzburger has been serving the elder Gunzburger's political career by allowing the local government (both the city and county) to escape responsibility and the accompanying bad press that usually comes with repeatedly evicting the local group representing the most powerful, truly grassroots movement to ever appear in our lifetimes. 

Ron has been the good cop to the city father's (and mother's) bad cop.

Ron Gunzburger is the person behind each of the failed "occupations," first leading the group out of Huizenga/Bubier Park up to the Gay and Lesbian Center in Wilton Manors with false assurances of our being allowed to stay there indefinitely, where we were then kicked out after less than 24 hours, then setting up the utterly ridiculous faux-occupation in front of City Hall (a misguided move on so many levels I won't even start breaking it down here for lack of space).

At the end of the day, Ron and Sue Gunzburger have done nothing constructive at all for the Occupy Fort Lauderdale Movement.

They have only provided lip service and have mislead a bunch of clueless but well-meaning kids--almost none of whom are even from here--and in the process squandering the energies and efforts made to support the local Occupiers over the past 6 weeks. 

Everyone seems to realize this except for a small handful of truly clueless zealots who wouldn't know the truth if it maced them in their misguided faces.

Hey Ron: OCCUPY WILL NEVER BE A DEMOCRATIC "TEA PARTY" SO STOP WASTING YOUR TIME TRYING TO MAKE IT ONE.

Sarah Reeve
Sarah Reeve

Again FQS9000... It is NOT trepassing. City Hall is public property. And was discussed with city officials PRIOR to the occupation beginning to ensure it was a suitable occupation site. If the City Manager does not agree with the Occupy Movement, then he has every right not to agree with it. However, he does NOT have the right to make up rules on a whim after two weeks of peaceful occupation and stomp on the first amendment rights of the residents of Fort Lauderdale and the People of the United States. Please do a little more research. And by that, I mean turn off Fox News, and turn in to unbiased news sources. 

J
J

"You do not need a 'trial' or 'due process' to evict a trespasser.  Ya just have to catch 'em."

The problem with that statement and the entire rest of your argument is that these people weren't trespassing, and haven't harmed anyone or anything in the month+ they've been there. A new regulation was put in place, in secret, with the sole intention of screwing these people over. Rights, including the first amendment, aren't rights if someone can secretly take them away in the middle of the night. You have NO rights in this country... you have temporary privileges. Carlin was so right...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I'll be sure to pass the word on Facebook to my friends in Ft.L so they know who to vote out in the next election. We don't need anyone in office willing to strip away civil liberties

Sarah Reeve
Sarah Reeve

I am not looking for a hand out FQS9000. I am looking for corporations to get their HANDS OUT of our government. This has nothing to do with what party you side with. 

FQS9000
FQS9000

The occupiers are merely looking for a handout for THEMSELVES from YOU.  Most people change jobs every 7 years or so without any bankers being involved.  BWT, I'm delighted to be silly, as it is a vast improvement to being foolish, deluded and a drooling liberal who thinks everybody but themselves is at fault for all their problems. 

FQS9000
FQS9000

No, Nixon was a liar and he, like Barak the fool, tried to seize control over the economy.  But Cheney was a patriot, an honest businessman, a decent father and a man who served his nation for many, many years without a hint of scandal, in spite the determined efforts of the press and Democrats to find anything at all.  Unlike most greasy, venial congresscraps.

But thanks for once again proving my belief that most liberals when they can't refute an argument, they instantly descend to personal insults.  Unfortunately for you, one of your arch demons is a decent man.  How sad and ineffectual for you.  

FQS9000
FQS9000

Its good to be educated & I am grateful.  That said, the occupoids have no constitutional right to squat in a public building.  The city manager has every right to change his mind without having a public hearing, lawyers and a trial.  He got fed up and has heard all he needs.  Good for him in clearing out the trash.  BWT, telling somebody to move does not restrict their freedom to whine.  They can still do that to their sniveling heart's content.   

FQS9000
FQS9000

When the unions get their hands off and quit buying congresscraps, then corporations should have their 1st admendment rights stripped from them.  Until then, just ignore the ads and hope that the fools who usually vote Democrat do too.  Sadly, most of the Democrats aren't too bright, which is why you are desperate to shut up corporations telling the truth. 

GuntherZorn
GuntherZorn

Your comments are nothing but insult. Nothing thoughtful, just right-wing talking points. Cheney is a war criminal who can't travel outside the country for fear of being arrested. Very telling that you worship such a despicable person.

"Sad and ineffectual?" Speak English much?

nanook5
nanook5

killing millions of people, illegally invading countries, shitting on constitutional rights, and fleecing the american taxpayer for hundreds of millions thru halliburton, is slightly more than a hint of a scandal. no personal insult required for tyrants, but just for the hell of it i'll bet he's a bad tipper too.

Sarah Reeve
Sarah Reeve

You started with the insults FQ. IF you knew the people that were occupying you would know they're not just people who "live with their mommys"

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