Occupy Miami: After May Day Arrests, Has the Movement Completely Burned Out?

Categories: Occupy Miami
occupy facebook.jpg
Occupy Miami's Facebook page
May Day was supposed to mark Occupy Miami's reemergence as a force for good. Instead, it raised questions about how much longer the movement will survive in Miami.

City police arrested three protesters during yesterday's downtown march, leading to another late-night protest outside the county's pretrial detention center. Yet, while arrests are nothing new for a movement that often practices civil disobedience, videos of the incidents show the event as a small group of protesters screaming insults at police. And, according to a police report, it was a protester -- not cops -- who threw the first punches before his arrest.

Videos and the report below.

In a statement sent out after the arrests, an Occupy Miami spokesperson said that protesters were provoked by the police "running cars and bicycles into the peaceful marchers."

"Miami police escalated what was a peaceful protest by pulling three individuals out of the crowd of 100 in front of the Wells Fargo and beating them with fists and batons," the statement says. "They also punched our live stream media in the face and nearly broke his phone."

Alfredo Quintana, ;Occupy Miami's 24-year-old livestreamer, was one of three protesters arrested yesterday. He faces the most serious charges: three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer and one count of resisting arrest with violence. Miami police say that the protesters did not have a permit for their march.

According to his arrest report, Quintana began pulling cops' arms while they were detaining another protester.

"When he could not get his friend free, he began to punch at the (officer), hitting him in the head one time," the police report says. Kevin Young, an Occupy Miami spokesman, says Quintana was just trying to film the arrests.

The report also seems to confirm, however, what Young told New Times yesterday: that cops had punched Quintana.

"I attempted to gain control of the subject but was pushed back in the chest," the arrest report continues. "While falling back, the defendant was struck in the face twice by me." The report says that when the cop fell down and cut his leg on his bike, Quintana left the scene only to be spotted by officers later and arrested.

Here is the video of Quintana's arrest (but not the punching incident):



And here is earlier footage of another protester getting arrested:



While the videos don't reveal anarchy on the streets of Miami, they do show a small, angry crowd yelling "fuck you" at police. They also show several protesters -- including Quintana -- appearing to resist arrest.

In light of our recent reporting on Occupy Miami's chaotic Overtown "safe house," it's fair to ask where the movement is headed.

Some members are wondering that themselves. Here's an abbreviated exchange from the group's Facebook page:
Whisper NH M: "So who is 'running' OM? I use to try to help where I could, food ETC. returning to the Apts when I can. However, it is nothing to be proud of. I recently went to offer my help and I was robbed not once but several times of my property then mocked by the lil crack heads in the corner. The same ones who pushed their way in front of each food line. What the police said was very true. It goes to show what type of people are really there. Of course no one there took responsibility. It's pittiful. How are you trying to create a movement when the one you got going on right there is a pit. Then the ones who do try to help are mocked. Oh but things get rough who got alot of calls? So I ask who is running OM?? I hear of the GA meetings how blah blah blah. Pull your S*** together before you go out and expect others to respect anything you do."

Occupy Miami: "We do appreciate your help, and please remember that Occupy Miami no longer exists in one physical location. The apartment building in Overtown is one of several projects, and though a number of Occupiers live there, it is not to be construed as the only representation of the movement. We are more focused on putting events together (rallies, teach-ins, entertainment, etc) around the city than occupying one space...."
Alfredo Quintana - Occupy Miami Arrest Report

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.
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18 comments
Timothy Struska
Timothy Struska

This "go to the streets and pick a fight with the police" tactic never wins support. This guy obviously refused to obey. Since when does a peaceful protest involve screaming expletives and refusing to back up from police who are making an arrest?

Jasper Flyingeagle
Jasper Flyingeagle

Had to leave a comment like my friends before me on behalf of someone we all love and care for. As a Native sister and a Advocate for our people. 'Whisper' had always had a heart for those less fortunate then she. Most times doing things the rest of us do not understand. It hurts me to see this on line with this Character Chris Escobar, taunting her for having a good life. it's clear his maturiy level is lacking. So who is this Occupy Miami? I have seen what the real Occupy movement did in D.C. even N.Y. but what I am reading for Miami is just shameful. Michael did a good thing in reporting the facts of the case. I am glad he reposted 'Whisper's' comment off facebook. It shows a real light on how these people really are. If that weren't enough this Chris wants to try and make her look bad. As Natives we dont take too kindly when one of ours are hurt. She did you all a favor by not allowing us to know how you victimized her there at your 'safe house'. I promise it won't happen again. She doesn't stand alone in anything. Now that we are all made aware of what you have all done to her.

Vista Ripley
Vista Ripley

MIchael Miller you hit that one right on the nose! Great job on the report! To call yourself a movement is to do something you strongly believe in and are very proud of. Sounds like these people who call themselves Occupy Miami are a bunch of clowns who woke up one day from a high and said "Lets play protest"! Shut up get jobs and stop slamming those who make a living! I feel for 'Whisper'. You live and you learn. As for that Chris Escobar, what a LoSeR! Must be a kid to speak like that about another human being robbed and mocked. A lady no less! So she rides in a Limo! Jeolousy gets you now where. She should of called the cops, let them mock her while trying to post bond! team Whisper

Native Princess
Native Princess

I stand behind what I said regardless of the threats I had receved from the hand full of OM's for speaking the truth. When I had first came accross OM at the Govenment center I thought I found a group of people like myself had been done wrong by a GOV. dept at one point or another. After donating not only my time and money, but just the energy into what???I know there has to be some of the OM's out there who think like I do, However it's not there.I DO NOT scare easy! All I do see there are a group of Squaters who call themselves OM or a movement. Getting high and drinking, then knocking on others doors with their hands out for food. Not helping my dear friend Peace who has been trying to create this dream of peace city. A place to feel safe and free to express yourself in a positive way. Stealing, fighting, drugs and drinking are on a all time high. Then when things get rough who is called??? The same people who they protest against and hit and call out names to! Where is the honor or movement in that?? Word to the ones who are actually trying to make a difference, time to cut the fat. Its all in the press. So if you all want to lash out at me for speaking the truth?? If the police are your enemy then why are they on your speed dial! LOL

Chris Escobar
Chris Escobar

This shit happened right in front of me. This cop had one of our guys on the floor on his back and was doing a full on UFC ground and pound. Our livestreamer ran up with his phone and was immediately punched in the face though he had never been involved in the struggle. And that whisper lady came in a limo to overtown to mock us all. Of course she robbed and mocked as our occupiers do not chill on the corners here. Overtown's corners are populated by drug dealers.

Bruce Wayne Stanley
Bruce Wayne Stanley

As someone who was an eyewitness to the events mentioned here, the level of misinformation on display is staggering. From reading this article, one would think that the protest was deliberately antagonistic towards police, as there is no mention of the fact that police were escorting and blocking off traffic for the majority of the march, which wound through Downtown and Brickell and was on its way back when a lone straggler at the end was erroneously targeted. (When he called the rest of us over to witness what was happening, the charge of "inciting a riot" was added.)

"The def. left the area before he could be taken into custody." That's funny, because we have archived video footage of Alfredo remaining on the sidewalk for a full 15 minutes AFTER the alleged incident occurred, in full view of the police including the officer who claimed he was assaulted. They managed to take down two others at the scene for far lesser charges, and yet they are just going to DECIDE, over an hour later at a different location to arrest him for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest with battery? You won't find any of these questions in this article, just a verbatim echo of the police report.

Michael Miller: The journalist who's not interested in gathering the facts before reporting his opinion on them.

[VIDEO] Proof that Alfredo remained livestreaming at the scene, contrary to the assertions of the arresting officer is archived here: Part 1: http://bit.ly/Ir05q6 Part 2: http://bit.ly/IGtr3J Part 3 http://bit.ly/IWi8Sn

Juan Andres Morales
Juan Andres Morales

Michael Miller reaching new lows of bottom feeding journalism. Could I meet you? I have a strong entomological interest.

Thecatinthehat
Thecatinthehat

I took a video that proves this officer is lying, lying, lying. 

Aria Anderson
Aria Anderson

I saw with my own eye the African american officer twice the size of the young occupier striking 4 punch at him wile he was on the floor.This is police state. We were peaceful chanting and marching as always, the police waited until almost all of us was far enough to start messing with one of our guys. When we realize that Rolando was getting arrested, we all run back and they took Brian, but this time they were violent and that is when we start yelling at the police.

nanook5
nanook5

it's fair to ask where MNT draws the line on attack pieces disguised as journalism. 

AllanDonald
AllanDonald

just as David implied I'm amazed that you able to make $5939 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this web link===>>Grab the link in my name

Sara Henderson
Sara Henderson

So this is what our Anya was wasteing her time on? After reading press reports, pubilc police records and their FB page. It's amazing how much trouble you cause then turn and say you are victims! What do you suppose was going to happen when you go screaming and punching the police? For this little punk Chris Esocbar! How dare you! because my friend lives a good life she deserved to get robbed and mocked?!?! Sounds like a bunch of jealous punks! Poor excuse of a little boy! Can't call you a man that would be stretching it! Plus she was turning to us to help save that slum? Where can I donate to the police who'll remove their lazy asses from that neighborhood? Police reports state they are NOT welcomed there anyhow! Using the bathroom on the building? No running water? Seems like you are just a bunch of homeless druggies who want to call yourself a movement. Truth be told it is just embarrassing! Coodles on the news report! Call them out, now get them out! someone please tell me where I can donate to have them removed! Watch who you talk about!

Missy Ziler
Missy Ziler

Splended! Had to come on this and read the whole thing for myself once it was forwarded to all of us. Great videos BTW! Who is the winny one screaming in the videos? Must be Chris Escobar who thinks its ok for a female to get robbed because she lives well!  See what will happen if you ever come into my neighborhood!

A REAL MAN
A REAL MAN

Ok....So what did that accomplish? You odviously went there looking for trouble and now you are all on line crying wolf?? That Whisper lady is a dear friend of mine and though we never understood why she would waste time on people such as yourselves. I mean come on look at you. Just made asses of yourselves and you are on here crying around how she travels. Oh but in your head she was mocking you? I guess she was doing that when she took all that food over there and fed you all all those times? Its not in her nature. Sounds like you all need ot pack it up and go home if you have any. Im not going to sit back and let you slam a good person. For what? You robbed her and shes not suppose to speak out? Where can I sign up? Real man! Slamming a female on line!

Native Princess
Native Princess

LOL Chris I am sorry the way I LIVE and ROll bothers you all! NOT My problem! You stay focused on how I Roll. If it makes you all feel better! Trust me you all were NOT on my mind when I rolled out of there in my limo!! The only drugs I seen is coming from you all! Or is weed now legal in Miami?? How was this protest planned? Odviously not by the ones with a sober brain in their head! Maybe you are ALL not watching the same video the rest of us see! The only ones I see acting a fool are you all! Like I said before I hope all the things you all took from me you were able to use. If it were a big deal to me you would of all been sitting in jail! Do not think for one moment that a hand full of high squaters can scare me. I dont come there for you all. I come to help those who try to help themselves. Move on! next subject! Focusing on me and trying to scare me is NOT going to erase the fact YOU ONLY YOU are making yourselves a JOKE!! I feel really do feel for those OM's who really want ot make a difference. Do you really think by slamming someone on line makes you look like you are POSITIVE? or doing any good at all? Sober up and try again!

Br
Br

Shut up. Before you cry bias, rsearch what it is bumbass.

nanook5
nanook5

 research the english language and then i'll get back to you.

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