From World Socialist Web Site: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/sacr-n12.shtml
By Kevin Kearney
12 November 2011
Sacramento—the state capital of California and the home of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown—has spearheaded efforts to criminalize the Occupy protests over the last month.
Just days after 700 anti-Wall Street protesters were trapped on the Brooklyn Bridge by the New York Police Department and arrested, officials in Sacramento, California quickly followed suit, initiating the first arrests of Occupy protesters on the West Coast.
On October 6, 20 occupy protesters—ranging in age from 19 to 70 years old—were arrested in the city’s Cesar Chavez Park. Protesters peacefully congregated in the park, holding signs, making public speeches, chanting and distributing political leaflets.
As early as 11:30 p.m., police sought to silence the protest by ordering everyone to leave the park. By midnight, a large contingent of armed officers led by a SWAT team carried out an operation which many of them referred to as “the game plan,” consisting of a number of intimidating verbal orders to end the protest and leave the area immediately.
When protesters lingered or deliberately asserted their right to gather and speak about political issues in public, they were quickly rounded up by four arrest teams. Offering no physical resistance, the protesters were hauled to jail for processing. Although police could have merely issued a citation or “booked and released” the protesters because they had been arrested without a warrant, most were forced to spend an entire night in jail.
Those arrested on October 6 were the first Occupy protesters to be prosecuted in California. They were all initially charged with the violation of California Penal Code section 409: refusal to disperse from a riot, rout or unlawful assembly. The charge is considered a misdemeanor in California, but it carries a substantial punishment. If convicted, an Occupy protester can receive a punishment of up to 6 months in the county jail, thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and/or a grant of three years probation.
Continue reading at: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/sacr-n12.shtml