Occupy Everything! Even New York City Criminal Court! That’s sort of what happened this morning when dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters who were arrested in the fall were forced to show up to 346 Broadway for their mandatory court appearances. At least it’s warmer than Zuccotti?
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who was famously arrested at Zuccotti Park last year and who continues to be a loud supporter of OWS, was among the crowd at court today. Runnin’ Scared missed out on the fun this morning, but got a chance this afternoon to chat on the phone with Rodriguez to hear about what happened at court.
Turns out, not much.
As these things seem to go, it was pretty much a mundane appearance (technically a “status hearing”) with some bureaucratic shuffling. Rodriguez and his lawyers have asked the court to dismiss the charges, which are resisting arrest and assaulting government officials. He and all the other protestors who showed up today for similar charges will have to come back for a second court date on March 9, the councilman told us.
Though it’s a pain to take time out of his day and head to criminal court (he does represent Upper Manhattan after all!), he’s happy to continue to stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, Rodriguez said.
“I am proud of the Occupy movement,” he said. “I wasn’t looking to be arrested. I was not interested in being arrested, but now we need to appear in front of the judge…I believe in the justice system that we have, and I have no doubt that at the end of this process, the charges will be dismissed.”
According to one of his staffers, there were dozens of protestors with court appearances today as well as other OWS-ers who were not arrested but showed up for support. Apparently, there were around eight court officers from some kind of “special response team” on the scene, Rodriguez’s office also told us. (Just in case anything crazy happened?)
“We are ready to go as far as we have to to see justice in this case,” Rodriguez said.