March Against Monsanto Participant to Appear in Court After Petty Arrest, ACLU Pledges Support
| WTF News |
Kristen “Kryssi” Jones, the leading local organizer in Ann Arbor, MI for the May 25th March Against Monsanto campaign will be appearing in court next Monday, June 17th to be arraigned on charges stemming from the emotionally charged atmosphere at the protest. She was arrested for using “amplified sound” in the form of a bullhorn at Hanover Park in violation of city ordinances.
It was suggested that the arrest was in response to the protest itself, which was unauthorized as the organizers paid almost $1500 for a permit that was subsequently denied. The arrest was not made for the lack of a permit, nor was the protest shut down by the police.
Kristen Jones kept her sense of humor about it as fellow marchers pooled their resources to raise approximately $250 in bail money for her and she was released later that day.
Afterwards, she had this to say.
“After my arrest, the cops sat there through the rest of the protest. Other people used the megaphone and it was no big deal”
“I am thankful no one else got arrested but there were no arrests that needed to be made. Now if I was acting like an ass and not being peaceful, I could understand. That wasn’t the case.”
“The police told me I had at least 30 people come to the station to bail me out.”
The case is an example of the petty tactics aimed at outspoken activists who protest against government and corporate corruption, as they often find themselves arrested for minor code violations. The issue at hand is whether Jones was in fact using the bullhorn in the park hosting the march, which the police allege, as opposed to the adjacent street as claimed by Jones and others in attendance.
It’s said that nearly a dozen others also used bullhorns that day but none were arrested nor harassed in the same manner that Jones was. Another protester, Paul Swiss, was ticketed for the same offense but Jones was taken away by 3 cops, leaving the crowd chanting “let her go”, to no avail. According to Nick Bernabe, the worldwide coordinator of the march, the police appeared to be targeting Jones as they asked around to find the leader of the protest. The only plausible explanation is that the police intended to send a message by targeting the leader of the group.
The American Civil Liberties Union has agreed to help with her civil suit because of the questionable nature of her arrest.
Simone Cromer uploaded a video of the arrest which corroborates the accounts of witnesses. Cromer had this to say about why Jones was singled out for arrest.
Using a megaphone, or specifically, using ‘amplified sounds’. She was the only one arrested. About 7 other people used the megaphone before and after her arrest, in full view of the cops who continued to stand around and watch us. Why did they single her out and not arrest anyone else?
Another user, Brandon Shelton, uploaded an alternate viewing angle.
Kristen Jones will be discussing her arrest on the Anti-Media Radio via UCY.TV Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11pm ET/8 Pacific.
The March Against Monsanto was a highly successful event that featured at least 2 million participants worldwide in at least 40 cities.
For more information on upcoming activity from the March Against Monsanto, visit their website and Facebook page.