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Occupy Tucson continues to Occupy Public Land | Occupied Stories

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Occupy Tucson Continues to Occupy Public Land

Occupy Tucson Continues to Occupy Public Land

Editor’s note: The accuracy of this story and the credibility of the author has been challenged by multiple people involved with Occupy Tucson. After you read the story, make sure to also read the comments.


It has been a long strenuous battle for Occupy Tucson with the City of Tucson to establish a hub on public land in order to practice freedom of speech and assembly. What started off as a series of ticket writing sessions and named ticket time stacked up to over eight hundred tickets in a matter of three months, became an unquestionable win from a group of people that held strong to their rights and belief that one person can make a difference.

Occupy Tucson began as a handful of people (Sky Napier, Michael Migliore, Jon McLane, Craig Barber) developing a Facebook page and picking a place to host the first Occupy Tucson General Assembly. There were two General Assembly meetings, hosting over three hundred people combined, to decide to commence a twenty four hour on-going occupation (encampment) on Oct. 15th, 2011 at Armory Park. The first day at Armory Park there were over twelve hundred people that participated in the occupation. That evening the Chief of Police Villasenor went to Armory Park and let everyone in attendance know that they would be arrested if they were in the park after 10:30pm. Several left upon receiving that news. But, there were fifty individuals that decided to continue the encampment, and lined up to be arrested and released with a $1,000 citation.

On Oct. 28th, 2011 Occupy Tucson established 2 other occupation sites; Veinte De Agosto Park, and Joel Valdez Library Grounds. The encampment continued at Armory Park until Nov. 4th 2011, when the Tucson Police Department told Occupy Tucson that anyone or anything found in Armory or Library park would be arrested and detained. Upon receiving that news Occupy Tucson had Armory Park completely cleared and cleaned within two hours. The twenty four hour encampment continued, even under stressful situations, and continued to feed people by the thousands all while educating the community on the flaws in our system.

Occupy encampments were being shut down all over the United States, and Occupy Tucson was one of the only ones standing. Then came Dec. 21st, 2011, the day that T.P.D. finally said, “Anything or anyone found in any park after dark will be arrested.” The one-time working group of Occupy Tucson Occupy Public Land (OPL) saw the writing on the wall that this would happen, and even had a good line on Dec. 21st being the date. So, luckily for Occupy Tucson there was a back-up plan. OPL applied for a park permit on Dec. 9th, and researched the sidewalk laws as a back-up to that. OPL knew the permit would not go through in time so they set-up on the sidewalk outside of Veinte de Agosto Park on Dec. 15th, and were uninterrupted when the park was raided.

Occupy Tucson and Occupy Public Land continued to reside on the sidewalk outside of Veinte de Agosto Park for the next month and a half, until Feb. 2nd, 2012 when Occupy Tucson set-up tents and a full operating encampment on the sidewalk outside of De Anza Park. Occupy Tucson has held the longest ongoing encampment in the nation, and now is in a position that they can continue to deliver their message without the fear of having their rights violated.

Jon McLane

*On Feb. 5th, 2012 Occupy Public Land began working with #OccupyPhoenix in developing a strategy to recreate a twenty four hour encampment in the valley. The template has been created in Tucson, and the Phoenix Metro area is full of cities that have a lot of public land that can be occupied.


16 Responses to “Occupy Tucson Continues to Occupy Public Land”

  1. Anonymous OTer says:

    Jon McLane does not speak for Occupy Tucson and he has done enormous damage to our movement and our community. He has lied, he has stolen funds from OT, he has stirred up trouble, he has undermined the consensus process, he has taken out restraining orders on other occupiers, he unilaterally took down our FB page and had to be removed as an admin, he has fought with almost everyone, and most OTers avoid him. He formed a splinter group so that he could term himself the “executive organizer” but since he doesn’t have many likes, he regularly posts on OT FB page so that he can get attention. He is a failed politician who has been allied with Tea Partiers. If we wrote a history of our occupation, Jon would not be front and center, but he puts himself there. I urge you to take this down as it is not representative of Occupy Tucson. I am posting this anonymously because I do not want to be attacked by him, as he has attacked others. But readers here should know to ignore what he writes. He just wants publicity.

  2. Occupied Stories says:

    We (Occupied Stories) can not verify the accuracy of this article nor the comment above. They are each individual perspectives, and we invite others to weigh in, either in the comments or as a separate article. We will link any contrasting stories with this one.

  3. realOT says:

    If we could have banned anyone from OccupyTucson it would be Jon McLane. He’s a self-aggrandizing liar and thief. A lot of people think he’s an infiltrator who has done nothing productive for the movement, only things that have been divisive and created bad pr. In addition hijacking our fb page the day after we were evicted from our first park, he also claimed that we were starving him, sabotaged an agreement in the works with the city and a neighborhood association to move to an agreed upon park, and attempting several times to divert donations intended for Occupy Tucson to his splinter group. The three baseless restraining orders he took out (that were later dismissed) were cited by police as one of the reasons for the most recent eviction. He also assaulted at least two people.

  4. ISecondThat says:

    I second the above two posts. Jon McLane is an obstructionist who fancies himself a leader as he sells bowls of pot for fifty cents (contrary to our movement-wide, GA endorsed no-drugs-or-alcohol policy).

    This isn’t a personal vendetta by a couple of people with a personality conflict with Mr. McLane. The issues addressed above are facts, widely known and acknowledged by all Occupy Tucson participants. Shame on you, Occupied Stories, if you leave this post up.

  5. And more says:

    Oh and look, the Occupy Tucson facebook page has been hijacked yet again.

  6. Jon McLane says:

    It seems an individual dedicating his entire being to Occupy Tucson is highly frowned upon in my local movement. Not, discrediting anything that was said in the comments above, they all hold a semblance of truth. Though I have been arrested and assaulted dozens of times during this movement, I go on. Asking nothing in return, but my fellow mans love. I will continue to help build this movement throughout Tucson and my hopes the globe. I am also one of the 99%, and if we can not learn to work together we have already failed.

  7. Terry Higuera says:

    I don’t put much credibility to those who would post such comments and not use their true name. It’s easy to criticize when nobody knows who you are, a cowardly move at the least and defamation of character. I am proud to call Jon McLane a friend. Stop living in the past people. Get over yourselves and move forward, I know Jon will.

  8. McLame Hater says:

    John McLame is the worst thing that has ever happened to Occupy Tucson. He has committed countless acts if internal terrorism and he has done nothing but set us back. Pray to your God you never cross paths with this egomaniac.

  9. Terry (not afraid to use my name) Higuera says:

    It appears that the person who continues to post using various anonymous names has an obsession with Jon. Granted there may be a hint of truth, but “internal terrorism”, really? Try to spend more of your energy towards the common goal of the OT movement. Your venom is the poison that in the end will destroy OT. You appear to be the infiltrator, stirring up old squabbles re Jon McLane. I know other occupiers whose actions have put us in a bad light. Pray to your God that he give you compassion and the ability to forgive, not hate. To see the good in people, not pick the scabs off old wounds. That he soften your heart of stone. That you will never be in the position where another human spills so much swill and vile comments about you.

  10. Anonymous OTer says:

    First, thank you to Occupied Stories for putting the disclaimer at the top of this article. I appreciate that.

    Jon, you have not “dedicated your entire being to Occupy Tucson.” You first tried to use the movement to forward your own political ambitions, and when we stopped trying to work with you, after we finally realized that you are a saboteur, you split off and created a pseudo-Occupy group and named yourself the “executive organizer.” OPL has only a handful of supporters besides Terry, and you’ve never even bothered to hold a General Assembly (and of course the Occupy movement doesn’t have “executive organizers”). You try to find legitimacy by associating yourself with Occupy Tucson, but it is not going to work.

  11. Jon McLane (again) says:

    Anonymous anonymous anonymous. It seems like there is one person continuasly changing their suiter name to seem like many. Come from behind that curtain OZ so we can see what you look like.

  12. Ken Lee says:

    Jon, Stumbled on this looking for sidewalk code, I like your most recent article better. Wow, you draw a crowd! Ken

  13. Johnny Tamale says:

    McLane is only one of many scumbags, vagrants, and druggies that successfully ingratiated themselves with the Tucson OM this year and destroyed what little credibility OM possessed in the “community.” At the encampments, which thankfully came to an end around March 1st at De Anza Park, the police arrested several fugitives with open warrants for arrest, after OM had spent four weeks of obstructive and illegal camping on the sidewalk between Speedway Boulevard and First Street and on all the bordering easements of the park, without amenities. The occupiers took out orders of protection against each other after several fist fights and acts of wanton intimidation, and there were some busts for selling drugs and narcotics at the site. All this occurred only a few feet from vehicular traffic, particularly along Stone Avenue.

    Altogether OM wasted everyone’s time and made few friends among the citizens of Tucson. They remain pariah. What would anyone expect after sickos like McLane. Is that his real name?

  14. Occupy Anthony says:

    As an outside observer who became part of the Occupy movement via Occupy Public Land because like many citizens I felt the need to stop a failing machine our government and corporations have become. Mr. Mclane is your average guy, he works, he advocates, he helps in anyway he can. He is a great leader and critical thinker. He does not find a need to be in the spotlight but as an easy going guy , who is willing to get stuff done, he is a person that people migrate to. Part of the Occupy Movement is that each person is to speak on their own behalf and move their own advocacy forward. Jealousy arose when Jon grabbed ahold of a great plan of action that grew quicker than others’ movements. This jealousy along with childish antics is their real real issue, not willing to come in the adult world where we live. Jon not being the kind of person to vent just to vent but to communicate and make a permanent change that will better the community makes him an easy target for distraction. Not liking Jon is hard to do with his humor and quick smile; ability to notice the one person in the room nobody is speaking with. On the other hand you have Steve Kozachik , Sharon Cain and Rachel Linden,upper middle class , business and political insiders invading grass root movements to cripple the empowerment of the people, to meet their own agendas of bringing the movement into the hold of what we wanted removed. When you are Jon Mclane and you bring attention to human rights violations against the homeless, a failure for the homeless and disabled to get representation from their Government, or consumer rights for labeling gmos, you are going to get hammered by those in power and those that want power. Jon simply wants a better place for the average citizen. But in the media you are going to hear from the businessmen, from the farmers working for pesticide companies, from a city government that likes a free lunch but no black eye. Forgive Jon, if he used funds inappropriately to pay people for their rendered service. Perhaps we like Jon should empower our fellow citizen, invest in our communities and practise the litigation and ballot process given to us under our rights. Real talk! Occupy Anthony

  15. Occupy Anthony says:

    My purpose is to empower others, invest in community and protect the constitution. I humbly ask that all past issues put behind us and that we come together as one people, one movement all other stuff be placed aside. Many people make mistakes and part of maturing is the ability to learn for our mistakes and to grow from ours. As long as we are divided, fighting and walking away; we distract for each of our causes, give strength to our adversaries and weaken ourselves. we our the people, each our own advocate each our own person. let us strengthen our bonds, come together to fight the good fight. #RealTalk

  16. Good training on united we stand .. universaly


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