10:44pm: A friend inside the court said that they would be up in five minutes.
10:50pm: Court was adjourned. Amelia and Negesti would spend another night—at least 10 hours—in jail.
The week before, following the raid on Liberty Square, 18 comrades were released from jail at 3:30am, several hours after jail support had left. There had been no one to greet them.
I was not going to risk that happening again.
After commenting on Twitter that I intended to stay the night, two friends, Kira and Kyle, offered to come out and spend the night with me. They brought snacks and blankets, and we had a slumber party on the steps of 100 Centre Street.
From 11pm to midnight, there was a steady stream of court employees, and police, leaving the courthouse for the night. They walked right by us, but we no longer seemed to be much of a concern. Not one of them spoke to us until nearly 9am the next morning.
There were about twelve of us doing jail support until 2am, including members of the Accounting Working Group who were coordinating a bail payment for Angel, an Occupier who had been brutally arrested—grabbed by the hair while asleep and dragged across the ground—in an early morning sweep of Union Square, for lying down in the public park.
Because he’d been arraigned in the early evening, the court wouldn’t allow us to pay his bail until nearly midnight, and he wasn’t released until after 2am. The timeframes are always shifting, always arbitrary. The rules are made up on the spot, and we are forced to play along.
There were six of us on the steps when they finally brought Angel around. Jo and Jonathon came to stay the night with Kira, Kyle and I. Mark hung out until Angel was released, then he went to a friend’s place to crash for the night, disappointed that he didn’t have enough warm layers to stay.
Angel was someone I had seen around the community but had never met or spoken to. When he saw us sitting on the steps, he figured that we’d be there all night, and he was overwhelmed with joy. He hugged me and kissed my cheek. We chatted for a little while. At one point, he put his hand in his pocket, and his demeanor shifted. He asked if we wanted to see something fucked up; then he pulled a fistful of hair from his pocket.
“This is what they pulled from my head when they dragged me across the park.”
Mark put his arm around him and told him to get some rest.
For the next seven hours Kira, Kyle, Jo, Jonathon and I waited with only a small glimmer of hope of seeing Amelia and Negesti before court resumed.