Seven arrested at Occupy FIU Music Festival

Photo credit: Rashad Suban

By: Lauren Rovira/Asst. News Director

Photo credit: Rashad Subhan

Around 5 p.m. on Jan. 12, seven arrests were made on the Modesto Maidique Campus at the Occupy FIU Music Festival near the Deuxième Maison pit.

Among the arrests made, all were male; three of the individuals were students and four were not.  According to the University, the men were charged with unlawful assembly.

The three students are Carlos Ortiz, Derrick Mustelier, and Alfredo Quintana.

Quintana is currently not enrolled in any classes at the University. The others are Alex Rosales, an FIU alum; Phil Ander; Jonathan Brand and Raul Serrano.

Police officers were questioned by Student Media about the events that transpired at the DM pit, but refused to comment; instead directing all questions to the Office of Media Relations.  In a response to The Miami Herald, Maydel Santana-Bravo stated that the arrests happened because the students did not have a permit to protest in the area.

In November, the Occupy FIU movement held a teach-in at the same location.  According to William Sanchez, a student at FIU, the event went off without any issue or any permit.

According to members of Occupy FIU, the event had “hardly started.” Police had warned the group about the amps they had with them.

“We were making no noise, there was nothing playing, it was really peaceful,” said Victoria Aguila, FIU Occupy member. “When someone stood up to say ‘let’s go to the lawn,’ they removed us. We were asked to leave, but when one of our members spoke up to try to get the people to the lawn, he was arrested.”

These individuals are now behind bars at the Miami Dade County Jail. There has been no word on their release.

“They just picked up random people,” he said, “Everyone was chanting ‘Shame on you! This is unjust!’”

They have received media coverage from channel 41 and channel 4.

“I asked the officers why they were being arrested, but he kept threatening me, ‘You want to be next? You want to be next?’,” Aguila said, “They arrested the two guys next to me that were just standing there.”

“This was not a demonstration whatsoever. This was really just a music festival in solidarity with the Haiti Earthquake,” Aguila added.  “We were very peaceful the whole time, even when the arrests were taking place.”

According to Aguila, the group made no noise, and attempting to follow directions as given by the police officers present at the event.

“We were going to move to the lawn, which is what they asked us to do–and they arrested us for no reason,” she said. “We’re all really upset.”

UPDATE (9:58 p.m.): “They had been in the process of obeying orders when they got arrested.” said former Student Media writer, Carlos Miller, who was on the scene. “They had been allowed until 9 p.m.”

So far, these have been first arrests made in South Florida dealing with the Occupy movement.

UPDATE (11:09 p.m.): According to a source, Occupy FIU had received prior verbal approval from the University’s ombudsman, Larry Lunsford, to assemble.

UPDATE (11:19 p.m.): Occupy Miami is currently holding a candlelight vigil in front of the Miami-Dade County Jail.

UPDATE (9:53): Derrick Mustelier is the first of seven, to be released.

More updates as story develops.


2 Comments on "Seven arrested at Occupy FIU Music Festival"

  1. Here are the rules for demonstrations FIU-110 in case anyone cares 

  2. this is a travesty i’m emvbarrassed that this is going on at my university if you want to see more ffotage i ahve links on my blog watch all the footage leading up to and after

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.