Dear Mayor, Councilmembers and City Manager,
Thank you for your time, I know each one of you must be extremely busy dealing with all that is on your plates. I spoke last night regarding the Occupy issue. My name is Joyce Garcia. I’m writing you because of an incident that occurred before the doors opened to the City Council Chambers last night.
I arrived about 10 to 15 minutes before the doors opened. Not realizing the doors were locked, I walked pass several people to go into the building. Not able to enter the building, I turned around and stood on the side, placing my tablet on the rail, writing what I intended to say during my 2 minutes. I must note that I arrived alone and was did not expect what happened to me. I was approached by Lisa Maldonado, a Union Leader. After she greeted me with a polite, “Hello, how you doin’”, she then introduced me (to whom it wasn’t clear because there were 30+ individuals there) by my full name and as a member of the NorCal C.R.U.S.H., then she added, “....which stands for Conservatives....what?” which was clearly to get me to engage in a conversation where she knew I was out numbered. This was clearly a maneuvered tactic she used to intimidate me and point me out to the Occupiers as a person who opposes them.
Regardless of my statements that I agreed with many of the issues, just not their methods, she made it clear to those 30+ people whose eyes were now all on me, one in the crowd who did not agree with them, that I was disingenuous and was part of a group who created a Facebook page “Stop Occupy Santa Rosa”. This is an out and out lie. If you can put yourself in my place at that moment. Last week I was one of two people that I know of who spoke in opposition to allowing the Occupy movement to camp out. That was not an easy thing to do in such a overwhelming pro Occupy crowd...especially when many on the council outwardly were in support of the movement, claiming they too were one of the “99%”.
I was pointed out in a crowd where I believe many of the people recognized me as speaking out against their movement. I was called out by my first and last name, surrounded by a crowd who do not welcome my opinion. I was accused of being apart of a FB page who wants the movement to stop. I was, and am still shaken. I was intimidated by a Union leader and pointed out to many people who may or may not wish me harm because of my opinions. I chose not to be silenced by the obvious skilled intimidation tactics and spoke up anyway because I know too many people who refused to be in attendance at regular council meetings because they are intimidated by the presence of the Occupiers, and I am speaking on behalf of them! I watched as council members were being threatened by these people during a council meeting, only to turn around and be intimidated by a Union leader. This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated!
I know that I speak for many....please stand up to these people and uphold the laws and ordinances that are set in place for ALL individuals. I fear for the police! I know they are being targeted as the bad guys when they are only doing their jobs. Do what is necessary and right and I know that you will have overwhelming support from the citizens you represent.
Respectfully and with much concern, Joyce Garcia