Occupy San Diego has a musical ensemble of its own, Occupella.
Since the holiday season, the a cappella group has headed to local malls and the Civic Center in Downtown to sing Occupy-themed versions of Christmas carols, Broadway tunes and standards like “This Land is Your Land.”
The group was formed by Women Occupy San Diego, a band of Occupy supporters, to help show that Occupy has non-confrontational, middle-class backers. But their usually cheerful performances took a bad turn last Saturday night when Occupella member Stephanie Jennings was arrested on battery charges at the Civic Center, along with another protestor.
Assistant Police Chief Boyd Long says that one of the protestors allegedly spat on a sergeant, and the other allegedly poked the sergeant in the chest with her finger. The protestors maintain their innocence. Women Occupy member Jeeni Criscenzo del Rio, who was at the scene, says Jennings, who's 51, was wrongfully arrested after she was jostled in a crowd.
A video posted to YouTube shows Jennings being treated roughly by a police officer. In a public statement, she says she sustained injuries during the arrest and plans to file a complaint with the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices.
Despite the arrest, the singers have performances planned all month. See a schedule at on womenoccupysandiego.com.
Correction: We originally reported that Women Occupy San Diego's website is womenoccupysandiego.org. In fact, the url ends with .com. We're sorry for the error.
A fundraiser to keep the cash-strapped Ché Café from closing down was successful. Last weekend, the I Promise music festival brought in about $7,000, says Gregory Prout, who manages the venue's finances. The venue has raised about $6,000 through other donations, and a benefit compilation CD is being assembled. The money will cover $12,000 in insurance fees due in March.