Occupy Houston scores legal victory in court

December 14, 2011 5:48:07 PM PST
Whether you support it or not, the Occupy Houston movement Wednesday scored a legal victory in court, but that victory may be short-lived.

On Monday afternoon, Occupy protestors blocked traffic outside the gates to the Port of Houston. They were said to be showing their support for union longshoremen on the West Coast. Some joined hands, others were joined by PVC pipe that locked their arms which the Houston Fire Department had to saw off beneath a tent.

Police viewed the pipe as more than PVC and charged seven protestors with a felony -- manufacturing a criminal instrument. After a brief hearing Wednesday morning, the charges were dismissed by Judge Joan Campbell, which prompted a silent round of applause with hand waving.

"I can't even tell you how relieving it is. But we've already gone through so much, you know. I feel that we deserve every bit of this dismissal," said Natalie Atwater.

"Spent a good night in the county jail getting ready for this day, so just happy it turned out nicely," Ronnie Garza said.

Some Occupy protestors have said it was their intention to be arrested, but there's also a consequence.

"Just went through a night in jail and saw the horrendous conditions and saw the way the country treats people who are innocent until proven guilty and I found it disgusting," said Elijah Allred.

Three of the protestors were in court this morning, four more in jail will be released. Daphne Silverman is one of the group's attorneys.

"This is a very fair and reasonable judge. I've had good experiences with her in the past and good experiences don't mean all my clients walk out of the courtroom, but they all got a good day in court," said Daphne Silverman, one of Occupy's attorneys.

And so it ends for this set of arrests and back to the streets, as the Occupy protesters chanted outside the courthouse.

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