Earth First! and Occupy protesters blockade bridge in front of GAIM conference

24 Jan

Support for the bridge blockade gets the message out to a captive audience in snarled Boca traffic

More arrests underway as conference is disrupted by activists inside the resort as well

Palm Beach County, Florida—Protesters from the Occupy movement and Everglades Earth First! blockaded a Boca Raton bridge yesterday, snarling rush hour traffic during a cocktail party of corporate investors at the GAIM USA 2012 conference. Among them was Ana Rodriguez, an editor of the Earth First! Journal, which is also published in Palm Beach County. 

Camino Real bridge shut down with ease

Using colorful lockboxes, three activists, laid on the bridge effectively stopping rush hour traffic from 5-6:30.  Special operations police teams were called to the site to remove the lockdown devices that were linking the protesters together. The blockaders were cited with three charges, including: resisting without violence; obstructing a highway and violation of a municipal ordinance banning what the Boca police called “sleeping dragons.”

Two of the three arrested, Kevin Young and Don Carter from Occupy Miami, were released on their own recognizance. Ana Rodriguez was released today on a $1,500 bond, with the state attorney alleging that she was a flight risk to Venezuela, her country of origin.

“Every day we see corporate power destroying our communities.  From environmental disasters to private prisons, corporations are operating with impunity,” said Ana Rodriguez before being arrested. “While the bank leaders drink cocktails and toast to increased profits, people across the globe are being hurt by corporate greed.”

Another protester scaled a tree alongside the bridge and hung a large banner that read: “What Would Robin Hood Do?” The banner was taken down by a fire truck and confiscated by Boca police.

The protests against GAIM began on Sunday, January 22, with 100 people marching in front of the Boca Resort and a flotilla of boats and canoes along the resort’s waterfront.

More protesters returned this afternoon for day three of the GAIM conference, announced as a national day of action against private prisons and detention centers. At the time of this news post, there are reports of more arrests for immigrant solidarity activists disrupting the conference from the inside.

3 Responses to “Earth First! and Occupy protesters blockade bridge in front of GAIM conference”

  1. Bob February 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    for us foreign readers (or in fact anyone not in the in already) – what the hell is GAIM? This report doesn’t actually say what the protest was about!

    Rock on!


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