What a day to pick to attend the weekly Downtown Pachyderm Club meeting! These guys and gals haven’t had this much fun since, oh, I don’t know, maybe since the Roaring 20’s? Why, you ask? Because the fine young men and women camping out at Tranquility Park, otherwise known as Occupy Houston, don’t seem to know that the Harris County Republican Party passed a resolution against the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act that includes a provision allowing indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, an unconstitutional act. And because the Occupy Houston folks didn’t bother to check it out, they decided to invade the meeting and let the people already against this provision know that they too were against it. Or something like that. Check it out:
Alvin Walker over at Harris County Conservative Politics also had a bit of video:
What did Occupy Houston accomplish today? Well, besides making a lot of us have a good laugh, nothing. I thought it was awesome, even if it was illegal – you know, trespassing on private property, and in one case, a little girl slapping someone’s hand. Most of the attendees were laughing, reliving their youth. Fun stuff.
Speaking of Occupy Houston, I was there Monday when the Houston Police Department totally botched a simple protest at the Port of Houston. Their show of massive force, use of large animals to push people standing on the side of the road, covering their names and badges with duct tape, and using a large red tent to hide their activities was totally unnecessary. Two cops from Pasadena could have handled the 60 or so protesters that attended. Add another two from La Porte to arrest the 8 people that came to be arrested and you could call it day. But nooooo, HPD has to bring out an equal or greater number of troops, including Harris County Sheriffs and Houston Fire Department members, to handle it. Methinks perhaps the mayor wanted to look tough after an embarrassing election?
So anyways, I thought that you might want to know a little bit about the PVC pipe used to chain together the people that were supposed to be arrested. It is called a “lockbox” and is made from 4″ Schedule 40 PVC like this:
They were making these pipes at Tranquility Park in broad daylight before the protest. There were some pictures of that up on Facebook but for some reason Donald took them down. If I can find one, I’ll add it later. Here are a couple of pictures that show bolts on the ground and PVC pipe split in half by Houston Fire Department.
Worse, HPD or HFD brought out a large red tent like structure to hide their activities. The first excuse, reported blindly by ABC13 and the Houston Chronicle, was that it was to protect people from sparks as they cut the bolts on the PVC. The problem with that is that the tent was also placed over six protesters that were linked only by their arms. Subsequently, the Houston Chronicle says it was so that they firemen weren’t “distracted”. Sure. The biggest problem is that it opens the door to vast conspiracies, especially when you see some type of compressed air/gas canister in this video that is making the rounds (forward to the 3:10 mark):
And here is a short video of HPD using horses to push people around on the grass, not in the road:
I’d suggest that HPD Chief McClelland call up the chiefs in Pasadena and La Porte the next time he hears of a protest.
Here are some photos from the Occupy Houston protest Monday, 12/12/11, at the Port of Houston: