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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Occupy a jail cell?

Members of Occupy Lansing say they are facing jail today after refusing to leave Reutter Park despite numerous citations

by Sam Inglot

MONDAY, June 25 — After piling up 10 citations for refusing to leave Reutter Park, two members of Occupy Lansing expect to be hauled off to the slammer Monday night.

Saturday and Sunday night, Raphael Adley and Linda Zarebski, both members of Occupy Lansing, racked up eight citations between them for refusing to vacate the downtown Lansing park across on Capitol Avenue across from the Capital Area District Library. They both also received a citation in May for the same offense, bringing the total to ten.

Reutter Park closes at 10 p.m. A citation for refusing to leave carries a penalty of $500 and up to 90 days in jail per ticket.

The two protesters stayed in the park through the night Saturday and Sunday and continued to remain in the park today.

Saturday and Sunday, after the park closed, Adley and Zarebski remained on the property fully expecting to be arrested. Instead, the Lansing police wrote them citations for not leaving. The group believes the situation will come to a head Monday night.

The protesters said they received a visit Monday morning from Lansing Police Capt. Mike Yankowski. After a conversation with him, Adley said they feel that arrests are likely to occur Monday night.

“He seemed to communicate a new determination to get us out of the park,” Adley said while sitting in the shade of tree at Reutter Park Monday afternoon. “Of course, we’re not going to go. We’re willing to show how serious we are.”

Yankowski could not be immediately reached for comment.

The group believes when the case goes to trial that a jury, which they requested for the May violation, will nullify the charges.

Occupying the space is “largely symbolic,” Adley said. He believes being arrested is symbolic of “sounding the horn” against the many injustices that the group has outlined, including a growth in wealth disparity and the emergency financial manager law.

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