Tuesday, October 11, 2011
USA: Police to protest supporters: Honk if you'd like a ticket
Police experimented with a new tactic Friday night as they responded to a weeklong Occupy Seattle demonstration at Westlake Park -- ticketing drivers who honked in support of protesters.
Starting at 11 p.m. Friday, police started pulling over and ticketing drivers who honked as they drove past protesters. When the first car -- a taxi -- was pulled over, the protesters followed and shouted at police who then formed a blockade around the driver's cab. The cab driver was then given a $144 ticket -- and protesters ended up handing him money afterwards to help pay for his fine.
"I'm really sorry this happened to you tonight, man," one protester said to the cab driver. The protesters also encouraged the driver to go to court and challenge the ticket.
The driver, Ayad Agila, later said he was only trying to show his support for the protest and was shocked when he got the ticket. "That's no good," he said. "I was surprised. I've never seen it before in my life. ... I'm not happy with it, but I'm happy to show support." A few minutes later, officers pulled over and ticketed another cab driver, with the same result.
Now Occupy Seattle protesters say they're trying to warn drivers not to honk. They quickly put up an impromptu sign that said "Don't honk! After 10 p.m. you will be ticketed."