Spitting at the Police??? And CodePINK Magick!
I was leaning over the baby carriage, parked on the sidewalk alongside the window of the MRS, attempting to undo the straps so they wouldn't be so tight, when a police officer approached from behine.
I was grabbed as I bent over and twirled around by Officers Kelly later assisted by Mathis, arrested and whisked off to jail in what seemed like a matter of seconds for "spitting on a " - which in jail morphed to "battery on an officer" with " " and "trespassing" added on!!!
Astounded, I told the jailers I guess I am very lucky (not to mention white-appearing and female) for this is the first time in my almost 58 years on this earth that I have been falsely arrested and trumped up charges added.
My bail was set at $5211 - yes that is five THOUSAND+ - and I was unhandcuffed, searched, photoed and fingerprinted yet again, shoes slipped off, socks turned inside out, bottoms of my feet examined, and laces removed! My possessions spread under the harsh light on the gray counter before me, cash counted, cell phone, recorder, papers identified and all stuck in little blood-oil plastic zip-lock baggies.
Court was set for 2:00pm the next day.
First of all, I do not spit. I am not capable of spitting. I had a girlfriend years ago who attempted to teach me how to spit in case of emergency - like no handy-dandy tissue lying around! I failed miserably.
Even if I did know how to spit, it would not even cross my mind to spit at a police officer or anyone.
Second of all, if these particular officers of the Berkeley Police Department were attempting to intimidate, criminalize, silence, or in any other way discourage myself and other activists from protesting at the MRS, their plan has severely backfired!
For even as the police were hauling me away, awesome CodePINKers were springing into action! Amy and Judy with Cippy, stunned as they were witnessing the whole false arrest, began making phone calls and implementing a plan of action! Cynthia Papermaster responded & showed up immediately to help out. This is the 3rd or 4th time I've witnessed Cynthia stepping up to the plate to do awesome jail support - and this is the second time it has been for me!
Medea, who herself was in the middle of being man-handled and physically harmed at the Commonwealth Club almost the same time I was being arrested on the other side of the Bay, contacted lawyers and began raising bail. Soul got on the phone, calling everyone she knows from the Mayor and council members, and then all the press!
My public defender Rebecca, from a previous arrest at the MRS, called the jail to check on me, found out they were not going to cite me out, and left a message that she would BE THERE to meet me in court tomorrow before I get arraigned!
Judy jumped into the huge CodePINK truck and drove it for the first time ever, stick, low on biodiesel and all, back to the office! Then Cynthia drove Judy and Cippy to the jail, where B and Amy were already out in front protesting! B had made big signs "Stop Berkeley Police Harassment" and "Stop False Arrest of Protestors" and they were marching up and down the sidewalk in front of the jail!
Andrea made phone calls and somehow got bail together and was on her way to jail to bail me out.
I was in a tiny cubicle making phone calls from this weird silver box with a big black button and red light that turned green when your call which-may-be-monitored-and-or-recorded was connected when I received the word - I was going to be cited out! And in a few minutes!
That's what I call CodePINK MAGICK!!!!
When I was released moments later, Judy, Amy, Cynthia and Cippy were inside the hallway waiting to greet me - Amy spread rose petals at my feet - and B was outside still holding signs!
We gathered outside and decided to immediately return to the MRS to continue our protest there.
I want to thank so deeply all of the amazing, fierce CodePINK womyn - many I might not even know about - who kicked into high gear and worked your magick to get me out of that jail in less than three hours!!!
Knowing you are all there and experiencing your willingness to put so much on the line for me, touches me so deeply, fills me with strength and courage, and gives me the greatest hope that TOGETHER WE WILL END WAR NOW!
They can arrest me - or any of us - anytime, for we are prepared! As Sherry says, "Take that!!! Berkeley Police"!