A demonstration in Montreal in solidarity with the people of Syria. -- photo by M A via Wikimedia Commons
A group of Syrian-Americans and their supporters are holding a protest Sunday against the Syrian government’s bloody crackdown of the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The protest will occur from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Torch of Friendship in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.
Dr. Doured Daghistani, of the Syrian American Council of South Florida, is one of the event’s organizers. In a message called “A Small Country Looking Down A Deep Hole”, Daghistani explains his position and invites other South Floridians to join him in protest on Sunday.
The green space that some Midtown residents want to see become a playground. --photo by Jared Goyette
When real estate developer Alex Vadia and his company Midtown Opportunities bought 16 acres in Midtown in December, he told a Miami Herald reporter that he saw the potential in the neighborhood and that he would keep the community’s interest in mind when looking for ways to develop the property.
“We’re evaluating anything that will enhance the community,” Vadia said.
Since then community activists that have tried to reach him say they’ve been ignored.
Occupy Miami is a nascent local movement whose primary issue is the corrupting influence of corporations on U.S. politics. An offshoot of New York-based Occupy Wall Street — which has attracted international attention and featured police violence and mass arrests — Occupy Miami met for the first time on Saturday Oct. 1, at Bayfront Park. The updates below, by Jared Goyette (JG) and Matt Preira (MP), were posted in real time from Occupy Miami’s third protest/assembly, on Oct. 15.
Sunday, 10:15 a.m.
There is a Facebook event page for a fourth general assembly meeting today at Government Center from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 4:02 a.m.
Bruce Wayne Stanley, one of Occupy Miami’s most outspoken participants, says there are 22 tents set up at Government Center and between 50 and 80 people are spending the night there. “Not all FIU students,” he says.
JG: A small group of FIU students has set up tents to the west of Government Center, in effect commencing the occupation. Charles Heck, member of the Occupy Miami media group: “I would say that the occupation has started, fait accompli. There are people who I think are going home and preparing to come back this evening.” Heck also said that the encampment will serve as a “staging ground” for occupations in other part of the city.
Not long ago, a few police on bicycles rode by and met with some of the protesters who were setting up camp. The cops shook hands with the protesters and moved on. No perceptible tension.
This is likely the last update from today’s gathering.
FIU graduate student Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper explains why she is taking part in Occupy Miami: “… you have all these wars being waged and all these invasions and occupations — in a different way — of other supposedly sovereign nations, and … they are cutting back on funds for social programs and education for American citizens and residents. That’s a big problem.” More from Dougé-Prosper:
Protester Charles Heck, 35, on where the location of the occupation might be: “Mainly [we've discussed] Government Center, where we’re at now. And there’s been some discussion of city properties that are up for sale that have not been sold yet to private actors. One of the problems we’ve been running into is we don’t have any public spaces anymore. The city keeps selling them off. The bay front is good for meetings but you can’t do an occupation there.”