I stayed at the site for the duration of the action, from June 1st to the early morning of the 13th, training people how to climb and build tree structures. I trained 20 people altogether, and we built 7 platforms, 5 of them fully kitted out with food, waste buckets and bedding.
The space we created was beautiful, and we were poised to make it the next big encampment. However, we were raided prior to our planned 3 day festival, and the cops arrested we 3 in the trees as well as 5 on the ground. The raid came at 2 in the a.m., and I was dismayed that they had breeched our perimeter so quickly. (turned out to be sabotage).
Our (former IRA)comrade was beaten from his perch, Che fell from his (cops may have cut his line, video still being studied) and I was pulled from my perch after a several hour stand-off. I attempted to negotiate prisoner release of our freinds in jail and presented the coppers with a set of demands, among them the guarantee of safety and amnesty, proper accountabilty of our equipment and belongings, a phone call with the chief of police and $5000 for a peaceful surrender.
This stalled them for most of the night, as we bandied back and forth. When the sun began to rise, I cut my rope and threw away my mega phone,indicating to them that negotiations were over. Then I remained silent for hours, as they tried to sweet talk me down, using basic little psy-ops like:
"C'mon man, vet to vet, this is a battle you just cant win"
"Gee, Pirate, you seem like a good guy, what are you doing this for?"
They started using my first name in an attempt to build familiarity, having picked it up from the chants of supporters outside.
Precious Keystone Cop moment:
Cop1; "Hey up there! How many of you are up there?"
Me: "Just me,myself and I..."
Cop2; "that's three, right Sarge?"
Cop1; "Did you get that all down?"
As of today, all of us are walking around free, development has halted at the site due to the presence of crow eggs (but is on total lock-down) and the court date is July17.
We are still getting our stuff back, slowly but surely, and not even all of it.
My bike was returned, but I lost the CB radios,several copies of the movie and climbing gear, as well as my main piece of heavy ordinance, the mega phone.
All in all there were 5 veterans on hand throughout the action, but I was the only one to stay in the tree. The others were there for their own reasons, but as a unit, we maintained safety and provided logistical and gate support.
It is unfortunate that more veterans were unable to make it out to the action. Perhaps if we had more people on the inside, the cops would not have got us so easily.....I will be posting regarding the Role of Veterans in the Revolution in a day or two. The past week has been damage/spin control and tracing people and gear.