published Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Two members of Occupy Chattanooga movement willing for arrests as act of civil disobedience


by Andrew Pantazi
Landon Howard stands atop a garbage can and reads about non-violent protest to those gathered along the sidewalk in the 600 block of Chestnut St. in downtown Chattanooga Thursday.
Landon Howard stands atop a garbage can and reads about non-violent protest to those gathered along the sidewalk in the 600 block of Chestnut St. in downtown Chattanooga Thursday.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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    November 01, 2011.Captain Roddy of Chattanooga Law Enforcement talks with members of Occupy Chattanooga in front of the Hamilton County Court on Tuesday night. Roddy tried to keep the mood light with a few jokes and even returned a high five of one of the protesters.
    Photo by Alex Washburn.
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An hour after choosing to legally protest on the sidewalks in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse, two members of the Occupy Chattanooga movement announced they were willing to get arrested in an act of civil disobedience.

Landon Howard and Heidi Davis, both of whom said they'd never been arrested before, decided that after the Chattanooga City Council told them they could not stay in a public park after 10:30 p.m., they would instead camp on the lawn in front of the City Council building at 1000 Lindsay St.

Howard, 29, received his bachelor's in social work from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2010. Davis is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her 7-year-old daughter while her husband, Eric, works.

They said their plan was to get arrested so they could challenge in court a city ordinance enforcing a 10:30 p.m. curfew in all parks.

"We're not doing this in spite," Howard said. "We're nice people who just stand up for justice."

Davis called her husband before heading to the City Council building. "Be careful and don't get hurt," he told her.

"I've tried to live my life in a way that I wouldn't have to be arrested for anything," she said. "But when it comes to this, … we realize that there are some rules we don't feel they should be able to hold over our head, and you realize the consequences, then it's up to you to stand up for it if you feel it's that important."

Davis and Howard marched, holding hands, from the County Courthouse to the City Council building while Chattanooga Police Officer Mark Shelton followed them in a squad car.

When they arrived, they approached Shelton to tell him their plan.

"I don't know how to tell you this," Howard said before telling Shelton that they planned to break the law.

Ultimately, Shelton sent the information that two people brought out sleeping bags up the chain of command, and after two and a half hours, and after his superiors and other police officers arrived to talk about the issue, he and the other cops left.

As of 2:30 a.m., the two had not been arrested, but they planned to continue camping in front of the City Council building.

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about Andrew Pantazi...

Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...

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tomatoketchup said...

I thought the 10:30 curfew was instituted to prevent thugs from hanging out at night and shooting people who contribute to society and whose lives are actually worth something. Why are we trying to challenge that policy?

November 2, 2011 at 8:24 a.m.
jd2011 said...

Threatened to be arrested for being in a place that their tax dollars go to pay for. Hmmmmm.... yet people that don't pay taxes, run around shooting each other on sidewalks every week and nothing happens........

November 2, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
inthemiddle said...

Should the police add truancy to the charges? How is she going to be able to home school her child when she's camping out trying to get arrested?

November 2, 2011 at 8:43 a.m.
jimfromthebay said...

ya ever have a substitute teacher educate you... or is the idea novel ?

November 2, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.
67melissamb said...

So it is vital to break the law to get your view heard? Who is really watching at night ANYWAY! I mean, maybe a little more news coverage? You can be there LEGALLY till 10:30 pm. This city dies after that time anyway. You can be back before most people are stirring. I don't get the logic!? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to get proper rest and be revitalized for the next day? I am all for freedom of speech but...REALLY?

November 2, 2011 at 1:51 p.m.
Legend said...

amb said... So it is vital to break the law to get your view heard? Who is really watching at night ANYWAY! I mean, maybe a little more news coverage? You can be there LEGALLY till 10:30 pm. This city dies after that time anyway. You can be back before most people are stirring. I don't get the logic!? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to get proper rest and be revitalized for the next day? I am all for freedom of speech but...REALLY

Slavery was once the law too. If Americans always abide by the laws throughout history, they'd be no better than those countries U.S. supports NATO in bombing. Some peeps didn't get the logic was to why so many, whites and others, saw the practice of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and the laws protecting such an institutions as immoral and inhumane. Just think if those people and others throughout American history chose to just obey all the laws of their times? He*LL! Some Americans would still be hunting down Native American Indians and decedants of slaves using them as target practice.

November 2, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
Oz said...

Most of these people believe Wall Street is a Pink Floyd album and they are headed to a big party.

November 2, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
joneses said...

The Times Free press and WTVC are giving these looters way to much attention.

November 2, 2011 at 9 p.m.
SoundOff said...

This movement does not care about anyone's First amendment right but theirs ( Mayor Quan in Oakland was not permitted to address a group of protesters because they boo her out).

That said I don't think the City of Chattanooga will be able to evict the protesters from public parks even with the curfew laws already in the books. A flat curfew that prohibits such (peaceful) activities after a certain hour would not hold water at the Supreme Court Level. The City of Chattanooga would not win this case.

Let's see what happens...

November 2, 2011 at 9:10 p.m.
DarkSky said...

joneses said...

"The Times Free press and WTVC are giving these looters way to much attention."

Link one case of looting that the OWS movement has commited....

November 2, 2011 at 9:20 p.m.
DarkSky said...

SoundOff said...

"This movement does not care about anyone's First amendment right but theirs ( Mayor Quan in Oakland was not permitted to address a group of protesters because they boo her out)."

Being boo'ed out is the same as being tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets?

November 2, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.
Oz said...

Here is a link for sexual assault. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGFeJ6...!

November 2, 2011 at 10:15 p.m.
67melissamb said...

@ Legend FYI.. I am simply asking the question, what message do some of Occupy Chattanooga hope to relay by disobeying city ordinances? You compare sleeping at ROSS' Landing to SLAVERY? Never once did I say you shouldn't have freedom of speech. In fact, I stated there SHOULD be that freedom. If I had said,"We should stifle all protest" then what you said might have had merit! What I DON'T find important is to break laws when you can accomplish the same goal legally! What is really going to be accomplished in the 8 hours between 10:30pm and 6:30am? ESPECIALLY on a weekday! There is NOTHING happening and NO ONE out at that time near Ross' Landing. That is why I said wouldn't it be more beneficial to be well rested for the next day.

November 3, 2011 at 2:29 a.m.
Rezsia said...

@67melissamb Personal rights and freedoms are an American citizen's right and duty to protect for this generation and those to come. Our forefathers fought for the right to assemble and free speech. It seems to me that these two are honoring those who sacrificed to give their children and all American's these two important freedoms. I find nothing wrong with them standing up for principles that made this country a true inspiration to others. As for them staying the night, it's all about the principle of the matter. The city government has taken away a private citizen's right to peacefully assemble by passing an ordinance. If you don't understand this, then I feel sorry for you.

November 3, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
joneses said...

Hey stupid! You can challenge this curfew law without getting arrested.

November 4, 2011 at 3:54 a.m.
joneses said...

Obama's Wall Street cabinet 6 April 2009 A series of articles published over the weekend, based on financial disclosure reports released by the Obama administration last Friday concerning top White House officials, documents the extent to which the administration, in both its personnel and policies, is a political instrument of Wall Street. Policies that are extraordinarily favorable to the financial elite that were put in place over the past month by the Obama administration have fed a surge in share values on Wall Street. These include the scheme to use hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to pay hedge funds to buy up the banks’ toxic assets at inflated prices, the Auto Task Force’s rejection of the recovery plans of Chrysler and General Motors and its demand for even more brutal layoffs, wage cuts and attacks on workers’ health benefits and pensions, and the decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to weaken “mark-to-market” accounting rules and permit banks to inflate the value of their toxic assets.

November 4, 2011 at 4:11 a.m.
67melissamb said...
<p>@Rezsia..the city did not take away there right for peaceable assembly. That needs to be clarified! They are not saying they can not assemble...just the location after a certain time. So if a group just decided to set up camp on your lawn, you would be ok with that...if so, send the group a message and invite them to do so. Did the city say that Occupy Chattanooga could not assemble?....NO. Did they say they are not allowed freedom of speech?...NO. Did they say they are not allowed to violate the city ordinance?...YES. If you let one group violate, you might as well let all...right? I mean, that would be the fair thing to do. So if one of the prominent gang affiliates wanted to have a "campout" at Ross' Landing and as long as as they were quiet, it would be ok (no telling WHAT would happen, if a rival gang caught wind of it)...after all, you can't pick and choose who and what organization is WORTHY. So...if you want to talk about something you should really look at the facts. You talked about two very important freedoms of this country...freedom of speech and the right to assemble. NEITHER which the city is disallowing. The city curfew order is for protection of the citizens. Surely, you don't really think that this city ordinance was put in place so that people couldn't assemble peaceably? You have to look at the bigger picture, Rezsia. Don't feel sorry for me, Rezsia. I don't need your "sympathy".

November 4, 2011 at 12:14 p.m.
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