Arrested Occupy Dallas protesters released

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 25 at 6:42 PM

DALLAS - Nearly two dozen Occupy Dallas protesters are free Tuesday after spending the night in jail. They were arrested following protests at the downtown Chase bank for not letting customers inside.

As Paul Penny sees it, this was a moment of sacrifice and solidarity for Occupy Dallas. He was arrested and spent the night in jail.

"The point was to raise awareness,” Penny said.

For others, it’s just punishment for breaking the law by physically blocking bank entrance. Many of the 23 protesters spent their first night ever in jail, including Oscar Gallegos.

"[It was] cold, uncomfortable, not very nice, but worth it," Gallegos said. "Totally worth it."

With more and more people are asking who the Occupy Dallas protesters are, the 23 arrests give a little more information.

A background search shows the arrested protesters are home-grown, none with any serious run-ins with the law.

There's 30-year-old Joe Hernandez of Dallas. 17-year-old Catherine Chansky from Cedar Hill. And 18-year-old Kira Lendir from Wylie.

Also, 22-year-old Whytney Blythe of Allen. Court records show she's failed to appear on a speeding ticket in Red Oak.

21-year-old Sarah Younger of Arlington has a charge for possession for a small amount of marijuana. And 21-year-old Ameer Wadhan, also from Arlington, has an unpaid traffic ticket.

All of them now face charges of criminal trespass.

"Yes, I would take more than a night in jail for this cause," Gallegos said. "I'd rather be out on the streets educating people, but I'll do whatever I need to open people's eyes."

The attorney representing the group says the protesters will fight on the grounds that their freedom of speech and assembly were violated.

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