Occupy Phoenix Has Cost Taxpayers (99-Percenters Included) More Than $200,000 in Less Than Two Weeks

Categories: Occupy _____
brewerwhore.jpg
James King
City taxpayers have shelled out over $200,000 so this chick can walk carry a sign calling Jan Brewer a "lying whore."
The occupation of downtown Phoenix may not have shut down Wall Street (shocking, we know), but it's definitely putting a burden on city resources -- to the tune of more than $200,000.

Phoenix police tell New Times that since the "Occupy Phoenix" demonstration began at Cesar Chavez Plaza on October 15, the protest has cost the city about $204,000.

"Most of the cost were incurred on October 15th and 16th during the National Day of Protest,"  Sergeant Trent Crump says.

The $204,000 price tag, according to Crump, includes the costs for additional police, firemen, park personnel, and what it's cost the City Prosecutor's Office to deal with the 50 "occupiers" arrested during the protest.

As one "99-percenter" told New Times last week, the occupation will go on "until ever" so these costs will definitely increase as the movement wages on.

On the first day of the demonstration, there were more than 1,000 protesters carrying on at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Since then, the number has dwindled -- we counted 16 when we dropped by the Plaza last week.

Tucson's occupation has been slightly more successful in terms of the number of "occupiers."

Tucson Sergeant Maria Hawk told New Times yesterday that her department has made more than 350 arrests since the occupation began the same day as Phoenix's "occupiers" took to the streets.

Hawk estimates that on any given weekday, there are about 100 "occupiers" demonstrating in city parks. On Tuesdays -- when City Council meetings are held -- and on weekends, that number increases to up to 1,000 demonstrators.

See our complete coverage of the "Occupy Phoenix" movement here.
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73 comments
Stephen Ebeling
Stephen Ebeling

go home  you all wish to be in the one percent . don.t bitch that someone rose to such a level  bitch at obama for funding such bullshit

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Not ONCE did James King or the New Times print one word about the cost to the City of the protests held by the Tea Party - that corporate controlled "public" movement.  James King, unless you get on your horse and do a story pretty quickly that compares the two costs I'm going to assume that you are indeed a conservative hack and ask New Times, a paper I helped start as a volunteer distribution center operator in the 1970s why they are paying for hack writing rather than actual investigative journalists.  Why, you're about as "Fair and Balanced" as Fox news is.

Saundra
Saundra

PRICE OF PROTEST One hundred thousand dollars of our taxes are funding this localized protest every week!  Wake up protestors—you are wasting your life, foolishly spending taxpayer money, and losing your virginity (like we need to know that).  Do something of value—volunteer at an animal shelter, a homeless facility, or a religious organization.  It’s appalling to see grown men and women walking the streets day after day in blind uselessness with no practical result.  An old adage springs to mind, “We long for immortality, yet we don’t know what to do on a rainy day”.  It’s sad to see so many rainy days when the sun is shining daily.

spectrewriter
spectrewriter

And to think it could have been virtually free, if they'd just minded their own business and left peaceful assembly alone.

novenator
novenator

This is bullshit.  Law enforcement agencies are *using* #ows rallies to try to justify exorbitant OT.  The protesters are peaceful, fully capable of policing themselves, and there is no justification of this false expense charge.  

I have spent a lot of time at #OccupyMN in Minneapolis.  The sheriff set up a 6 poled covering there, and is charging $600 PER DAY for it.  We never asked for it (we asked for our own tents), and we certainly never asked for the dozens of authorities that patrol all day and all night.

The author of this article needs to get his content in perspective.

Mene Tekel
Mene Tekel

The cost doesn't surprise me and it shouldn't surprise New Times either -- of course the police would mismanage their spending in this area, just like they do all around. You don't need so many cops or arrests at these things.

Bobby
Bobby

Notice how astute I was. Not bragging just fact. It has transpired that, as I said weeks ago, the OWS(aka Phoenix) movement is a leftist group afterall. Proof: They just allowed the racist hispanic, OPEN BORDERS power groups to "join". They want to be associated with them, since the OWS movement is, despite what it claims, for open borders, and the depressing of wages down to the lowest level. That's what open borders is all about, afterall.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

I was wondering about that.  The same negative forces are destroying all of our lives regardless of point of origin, this problem exceeds US borders and this battle will need to be fought internationally, not just domestically.  So I for one am grateful for those who can see and join the battle for a saner world.  

SI SE PUEDE!

kingsanass
kingsanass

The real question here is why the NewTImes is paying King to waste our time with a propaganda filled article.  Where's your integrity New Times?  And Mr. King-your journalism skills are sorely lacking.  Better articles are in my kids school paper. 

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

Yeah...and the City of Phoenix didn't have to use hundreds of police and a helicopter for 40 non-violent American citizens sitting in a circle chanting "we love you" and grabbing one young girl by the throat who wasn't even resisting ! This is on them ! They (the City of Phoenix) decided that they would break the United States Constitution by trampling on the First Amendment that night ! No one was yelling: "fire" in a crowded theater that night except ironically for the City Manager Cavazos and the lying mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon ! Why don't you talk about Gordon's re-appointing of the Arizona president of Bank of America to the Sky Harbor Aviation Board.  A public position now filled by a filthy bankster !You call us lazy? Well, all I know is that my mama isn't on welfare but your big banker is !Leonard ClarkArizona Native,Persian Gulf/Iraq Vet10-28-11

Tubes Fan
Tubes Fan

Turn the firehose on these losers, what's a little water cost?Go home, dummies.

mirele
mirele

How old are you? Maybe you need to google "Bull Connor" and come back and report on what you learn.

Concerned Citizen / Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen / Taxpayer

People need to go see the movie "Margin Call" and then come back here and post what you think. Should people protest or simply remain silent and let the greedy (those without a conscience or soul) and arrogant continue on their merry path destroying America we once knew?

Restitutiontouscitizensfirst
Restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Not in my budget but I can still answer the question.  Why would the movie change my answer?  I am not remaining silent - I post here.  I am protesting in the way that is available to me.  If I could go to Occupy Phoenix I most certainly would.

Former Republican
Former Republican

James, While you're at it, what has the AZ Bar disciplinary hearings against ex-former Maricopa County Andrew Thomas/ex-deputy county attorneys Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander with their team of attorneys cost the taxpayers?  Those are the hundreds of millions of $$'s that have have wasted of taxpayers $$'s with no end in sight, along with the damage they have done to so many innocent people. Focus on this! We're glad to finally hear people speaking out and that there are people who will risk arrest to have our voices heard -- the 99%.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

if you want to look at government waste, and spending look no further then the I-17 widening project. For political reasons they widened the easy part to the south of Anthem, instead of doing the hard part, which was supposed to be done first. when will it be finished? who knows.. maybe 2047 the rate they are doing it at.

Restitutiontouscitizensfirst
Restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Touche'!

Been here too long.  Do other regions of the nation have these protracted expensive battles going on too?  Is it all over or is AZ special?

Anon
Anon

We attended the Occupy Phoenix, parked on an empty street with meters. Got a $70.00 ticket when we returned. So Phoenix also made money -- tally that!  Expensive parking tickets on the week-ends when no one is around discourages people from coming downtown to the restaurants and activities. Maybe the ticket was to discourage the Occupy Phoenix visitors.

mirele
mirele

I went down to Occupy Phoenix last night and noticed that all the meters on the north side of the 200 block of Jefferson are now locked up with "no parking" bags on them. They weren't locked up last Sunday morning. I ended up parking on Washington just past Central. There's no reason for the meters to be locked up except that the city doesn't want the occupiers there.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

it's to trap people easier. So when they run they are funneled. Kent State Ring any bells? Only difference is it was the stupid national guardsmen that go themselves trapped.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Clear streets make police work easier I imagine.  I wish police and firefighters would realize that what happened to their pension fund is OCCUPY worthy.  I have a bad feeling about this.

Restitutiontouscitizensfirst
Restitutiontouscitizensfirst

That is disgusting and I think against the law.  But we know about the law and the enforcement of it.  And we know about broke municipalities getting money any way they can and we know about utilities scamming people any way they can and there is no justice for us - OCCUPY it!

Joe Hines
Joe Hines

Is Phoenix New Times the only alternative newspaper in the country that doesn't support the "Occupy" movement?  (Don't know, just askin'.)  Jesu Christe, even the alt papers here are right wing.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

considering NewTimes(Phoenix and other cities) are owned by ... The Village Voice, I highly doubt they are right-wing. In fact look at all their other articles that attack republicans can come back and tell me they are right-wing.

And btw journalists have a right to do their jobs as they see fit.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Good question.  Wanna take a look around and report back?

Upper left, click "News" button, then click "National" and go to those other alternate papers (some also owned by the same group that owns this one - and check for their local "occupy" coverage.

Joe Hines
Joe Hines

What you suggested didn't offer much, so I put "alternative newspaper occupy movement" in my search engine and found dozens of articles in the alternative press.  The headlines for each seemed to be universally positive.  It appears that the Phoenix New Times is unique in being, to put it kindly, an apologist for the status quo.

Restitutiontouscitizensfirst
Restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Thank you.  Most media that most people have access to is not giving complete or favorable coverage at all.  Not everybody has access to internet anymore and even if they do - they don't have time to become informed.  Although honestly I believe that even if working at it full time - most of us would still not be well informed.  Too much garbage to slog through.

mirele
mirele

James probably sees himself as a contrarian, maybe even a curmudgeon, and not as a right-winger. But if he were serious about this story, he'd be asking how much of that $200K is really caused by the "Occupy Phoenix" people--and then maybe ask if it's perhaps an overreaction on the part of the powers that be. I'd argue that it is.

James King's Conscience
James King's Conscience

This isn't journalism, so why is it being billed as such? Is there not enough integrity in the New Times to find people who will bother to actually cover the news without throwing around their personal biases? Of course protests don't change things overnight. These people are TRYING to do something about the situation instead of sitting around and hoping that their society will magically change without them while they write snarky articles about other people who care.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

They are not bound by the ethics of journalism because it is legally classified as an entertainment weekly?  It's not news, it's entertainment!

Anon
Anon

You must be talking about the local TV news which for the most part is not serious news. The covered Occupy Phoenix when people were arrested in the dark of night rather than cover the hundreds who attended during the day, giving speeches and raising their causes. The first week-end was great -- Phoenix finally came alive with all ages, all types of people that represent the 99%.

Restitutiontouscitizensfirst
Restitutiontouscitizensfirst

Who can keep up with all of it?  I did not know.  I saw about the fliers on TV cuz hubby had it on while I cooked dinner.  LIkewise I caught about the police and firefighters retirement funds gone due to criminality thanks to abc15 cuz that was what hubby was watching yesterday when I was cooking dinner.  So I think probably all the media do things sometimes in order to render their existence still relevant - just who has time to keep up with it all?

I think there are a whole lot of people who would be at Occupy Phoenix if they understood it - lots of my neighbors no longer have internet or TV or radio or cars or phones.

Gregg Harcus
Gregg Harcus

I would love to see the math that makes this up. Most of the costs are sunk cost of having police, park and DA employees on the payroll and not additional costs. The city does not have to maintain massive amounts of police until or if their is a disurbance. the 1% are responsible for the overreaction and should pay for this if it is a real out of pocket expense.

mirele
mirele

$200K worth of overreaction...we see where that kind of thinking got the city of Oakland.

Phxbry1990
Phxbry1990

james king your a fucking idiot

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

you are the idiot.

what are you some right-wing scum bag that like Sheriff Joke?

Ed
Ed

 Well, I personally do not want insult James.  He has been covering many important issues (in my humble opinion) -- we simply disagree on this one -- I think.  It's cool.

Maureen Bee
Maureen Bee

I really think out of all the replies, this is the best one. James King is a fucking idiot.

Maureen Bee
Maureen Bee

no one made them come out in riot gear, with a helicopter. No one made them not drop the charges. The city has made a decision to spend all that money themselves putting on their little circus. You should be mad- but not at the occupiers. 

Ed
Ed

They were bored -- clearly.  They wanted some action.

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

AZ police and firefighters should join the Occupiers now that we know what was done to their retirement fund.  This is exactly the type of criminality the Occupiers are protesting.  Police and Fire should feed and help Occupiers and put some signage with them protesting what has been done to their pensions.  At least protect the Occupiers who are doing it so you don't have to!  Or come down on your day off and join!

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/...

seeking the truth
seeking the truth

R, Well said. People in Arizona do NOT get activists, without them we (the 99%) would continue to be steam-rolled over by the right-wing extremists who "control" Arizona. We thank all the courageous people Occupying Phoenix and those who flew in from out of state to speak about their disastrous experiences while living in Arizona! 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I should start an OCCUPY Black Canyon City movement lolz, I live too far from Phx.

Anon
Anon

Those who have left the state were the fortunate ones.

Ed
Ed

 Well... I hate to say Maddoff was right, but the stock market does appear to be a giant ponzi scheme where the big boys can manipulate the market at will to suck money out of the little players -- such as these pension funds. 

I think the protestors are right to protest -- I wish they would get their message straight, but the system is designed to be so confusing that they don't even know what true reform would be needed; however, no one can deny that there is something inherently wrong with our current economic system, political system (a no brainer), our monetization system (the fed), our health care system, our inexplicable foreign policy, our loss of liberty  and basic human dignity (thinking TSA here) -- I mean -- it's a freaken circusauraus. 

People feel things are wrong and none of "our" supposed elected officials is lifting a finger for any real meaningful reform -- everything that comes out of Washington continues to benefit the corporations and the rich families that own them.  Everything they have done has only made the problems worse --- come on?  Endless wars -- healthcare that only forces you to get insurance but does nothing to control costs, bail outs -- and secret bail outs that go to foreign banks and corporations (of which we are not allowed to know). 

Washington really does feel like a circus act where Republican and Democrats put on a show but in the end the legislation passed is the same one that the big corporations wanted. There is clearly something -- I cannot fault the people for protesting -- they feel they are not being truly represented.

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