Is it the “last stand” for the Occupy movement in New Haven? A judge ruled that the city can evict the group from a public square by noon today after nearly six months. The Occupiers plan to appeal.
Some of the agitators are going “underground” to “dismantle capitalism from the ground up,” whatever that means. A local journalist was taken to the new digs…blindfolded:
In an effort to announce the launch of their new project and say a final farewell before disappearing, one of the organizers called the Independent last week to set up the interview.
He told me he’d pick me up on Friday and take me to the “Appleseed” movement’s new home base. He said I’d have to be blindfolded. I suggested I could just keep the location off the record.
But wouldn’t it make for a better article if you were blindfolded? he replied.
At 4:30 p.m. on Friday an organizer pulled up in a gray Kia Sorrento outside the DelMonico hat shop on Elm Street. He had a black bandanna over his nose and mouth, as did the woman in the passenger seat, who trained a cell phone video camera on me as I climbed in the backseat. A third member, in the back and also masked, pulled out a black bandanna decorated with skulls-and-crossbones and tied it over my eyes.
“Coyote at home base, this is Snake. We have the package,” one of the masked men in the SUV said into a cell phone. “Coyote at home base, this is Snake. We have the package.”
Skrillex’s “First Of The Year” blared from the car stereo complete with the disconcerting chorus of someone shrieking “Call 911 now!”
Meanwhile, a rape suspect accused of sexually assaulting an Occupier appears in court today:
The man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a tent at the Occupy camp in March will appear in court on Tuesday morning.
Police said a woman went to check on another woman she had not seen, went to the woman’s tent and called for her, but there was no answer.
At that point, she looked inside the tent and found the woman, who wasn’t able to respond, police said, so the witness yelled out to other Occupiers to call police and emergency medical services.
At some point, the victim told the witness she had been raped in a tent at the camp, police said.
Police responded to the camp and charged England Gamble, 53, of New Haven, with first-degree sexual assault and first-degree unlawful restraint.
…Members of the Occupy movement said neither Gamble nor the victim are members of the movement. They said both are homeless and set up a tent nearby.
Police have not classified Gamble as homeless, but said if the Occupy movement was not on the green, that Gamble would not have been able to set up camp there.
The attack happened as the protesters were in a battle with the city about occupying the New Haven Green.