Occupy Syracuse protesters due in court Thursday

Protesters stood outside the public safety building on Tuesday to hold a vigil against police brutality.

Protesters stood outside the public safety building on Tuesday to hold a vigil against police brutality. Photo by Amanda Seef.

— Three of the seven people charged in the Occupy Syracuse raid in January are due back in court Thursday.

John Tall, 35, of Florida, Tara Rush, 40, of Minoa, and Judy Blanco, 30, of Syracuse are due in Syracuse city court at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, March 1.

Jonathan Grey, 35, of Syracuse, will also be seen in court this week, at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 2, according the city court records.

They join three others — Aaron Williams, 19, of Syracuse, Kaitlyn Shanahan, 20, of Syracuse and Ryan O'Hara, 27, of Weedsport — who are due in court March 15. All seven were charged with putting up a temporary structure without a permit in Perseverance Park.

Police charged the seven Occupy Syracuse protesters in the early morning of Jan. 19 after Mayor Stephanie Miner ordered them to leave the park at the corner of East Washington and North Salina Street.

On Tuesday, the campers held a vigil in front of the Public Safety Building on State Street to speak against police brutality. The 6 p.m. vigil consisted of a half-dozen speakers.

"Everyone should be equal, including the police," said Tall. "They shouldn't be held to any higher standard."

Many Occupy camps have ended in allegations of police brutality. Last month, the hacking group Anonymous took down the Boston Police website because of their alleged behavior during a raid on Occupy Boston. The same group took down the Syracuse Police website, apparently related to their handling of the Bernie Fine case.

Two Occupy Syracuse protesters have also taken allegations of brutality to the Syracuse Citizen Review Board, claiming an officer assaulted them during the eviction of the campers.

Since the eviction, the protesters have returned to the site, though the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency passed a resolution banning people from all-night protests at the park.

The group is allowed to be on the sidewalk, as long as they don’t impede traffic. The space is large enough for their table and a few camping chairs.

Amanda Seef is an editor/reporter for Eagle Newspapers. She can be reached at aseef@eaglenewsonline.com or on Twitter, @AmandaSeef.

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