CLEVELAND ACTIVIST THREATENED WITH POLICE ACTION FOR TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS IN PUBLIC SQUARE

Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Sun, 08/21/2016 - 16:42.

CLEVELAND ACTIVIST THREATENED WITH POLICE ACTION FOR TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS IN PUBLIC SQUARE -- A.K.A. JIMMY DIMORA SQUARE --LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN, CLEVELAND, OHIO!
 
ON THE EVENING OF AUGUST 19, 2016, CLEVELAND ACTIVIST, Satinder P. S. Puri, WAS THREATENED BY A DCA (DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND ALLIANCE) STAFF MEMBER WITH POLICE ACTION FOR TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS IN PUBLIC SQUARE (A.K.A. JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE) FEATURING THE PECHAKUCHA 2016 PUBLIC EVENT.


On the evening of Friday, August 19, 2016 I (Satinder P. S, Puri) attended the PechaKucha 2016 event in Public Square a.k.a. Jimmy Dimora Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio because of the corruption involved in the project. In March 2015 – there was a 10-day long hunger strike to protest the corruption.
 



The PechaKucha event was free and open to the public and set up in the plaza area where the water feature is located. The water had been turned off to accommodate chairs for the event.

 

 



The Pechakucha event was devised in Tokyo in 2003 as an event for young designers to meet and present their works in a public setting. This year the 90-minute long event covered topics such as comic book illustrations, use of art in dealing with mental health, about books and stories, about Cleveland architectural projects that never came to fruition and about social justice.
 


Wherever I go – I take ample photographs for posts that I write on my Facebook groups, on my blog at REALNEO, and other sites.

 

 



I am a community activist, a Sikh-American, and wear a turban.


I reached Public Square around 7:30 p.m. and started taking photographs.


Around 7:45 p.m. I was approached by a supervisor from the DCA (Downtown Cleveland Alliance) who told me that I was observed taking photographs of a private event and if I did not stop – he would call the police.


I told the supervisor that the event was free and open to the public.


He wanted to know why I was taking photographs. I explained that I write for my Facebook groups and my blog (at REALNEO) and gave him a copy of my campaign flyer.


He kept on insisting that if I continued taking photographs – he was going to call the police.


I asserted my rights and held my ground and told him that he was welcome to call the police and continued to take photographs.


As an activist, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. King and not intimidated by threats from corrupt establishments.


The supervisor took my photograph. Once I became aware that he had photographed me – I posed for him with my Welcome Jimmy Dimora Public Square sign and he took another photograph.


I asked for his name, which he gave me. I photographed him as he walked away.


Next, I took my seat in the front row and continued taking my photographs.


About fifteen minutes later – the supervisor came to my chair where I was sitting and thanked me and moved away. Not clear what I was thanked for.


No police officer showed up to question me.


The supervisor was polite during all the conversations.


I spoke with Michael Christoff who was in-charge of the PechaKucha 2016 event and confirmed that the event was free, open to the public, and there was no objection to taking photographs.


Some of the DCA staff have been hostile towards me – ever since the renovated Public Square opened unofficially on June 24, 2016. There were three other prior incidents.


The first time -- one staff member kept on taunting me for naming my sign after Mr. Dimora who he said was in jail. I explained that Mr. Dimora was in jail for corruption and as the renovation of Public Square was mired in corruption – what better way to name it than after Mr. Dimora. After a few trips to Public Square – the taunts stopped.


The second time, another DCA staff member who saw me demonstrating (usually I carry my sign and sing accompanied with a tambourine – even though I cannot carry a tune) wanted to know how long I planned to stay. I told him politely it was none of his business.


A third time – a DCA staff member asked why I take so many photographs. I gave him the same explanation that I have listed before. I also gave him a copy of my campaign flyer.


I have observed that the DCA staff are very dedicated to the work they do.


I recognize a few of them.


I walk all over downtown. Some of the DCA staff are very polite and will say hello when they walk or drive by on their bicycles.


The current incident has left a very bad taste.


I sent an e-mail on August 20, 2016 to Joe Marinucci, President and CEO of DCA (Downtown Cleveland Alliance) and requested a response.
 


Downtown Cleveland Alliance is one of the Project Partners.


DCA (Downtown Cleveland Alliance), according to their website, is the not-for-profit organization dedicated to building a dynamic downtown in Cleveland, Ohio. DCA works with many allies—property owners, neighborhood partners, public officials, residents, commercial real estate professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs, young professionals, foundations and other civic leaders—to advance Downtown’s growth and development.

 

 

Note: So far, since August 2014, there have been over 750 hours of demonstrations – first with the LEAVE PUBLIC SQUARE ALONE signs and now with WELCOME JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE signs. This is the equivalent of walking over 2,200 miles carrying a sign.


The demonstrations continue unabated with the goal of educating the public about corruption in Cuyahoga County.


Details of the campaign can be found on my blog at REALNEO:http://realneo.us/blogs/satinder-p-s-puri


WELCOME $50 MILLION JIMMY DIMORA PUBLIC SQUARE – A PRODUCT OF CLEVELAND’S CORRUPT SYSTEM
.


 

 

CLEVELAND ACTIVIST, Satinder P.S. Puri, ON HIS WAY TO A DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE PROGRESSIVE FIELD ON AUGUST 19, 2016 WHERE THE INDIANS PLAYED THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS AND WON 3-2.
 
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Support tor photography in PUBLIC SQUARE

 Hello Satinder, 

Thank you for sticking to your rights in Public Square.    

The DCA is the defacto "owner" of down town Cleveland because Mayor Jackson is the DCA's shill. 

The DCA rep who threatened you has got the idea that Public Square is now Private Square.   

Cool.

He is telegraphing his bosses' views.

BTW, two weeks ago I saw a DCA "Safety Ambassador" doing rounds behind the CVS in Shaker Square.    

So the local police aren't cutting it for the merchants...we have multiple levels of policing...some tax payer paid and others paid for by the local businesses.   But the local businesses aren't interested in constitutional rights, they are intersted in profit.

Society is unravelling in Cleveland, Ohio

Best, 

Jeff

 

Welcome Jimmy Dimora Public Square

Hello Jeff:

The staff at DCA (Downtown Cleveland Alliance) have been openly hostile towards my Welcome Jimmy Dimora Public Square signs.

DCA does not know how to deal with the toxic signs. The mainstram media completly ignore them.

The more blatant responses they display -- the more charged up becomes my campaign.

This time they went a step too far.

I will now be campaigning with increased vigor.

Satinder

 

Cleveland Metroparks is managing Public Square

And - wisely, they are quick to make free speech permitted on the square and advertise the fact on their FB page for the Public Square (managed by a Cleveland Metroparks employee on loan to DCA).  Afterall, Metroarks has a large federal TIGER grant award that they do not want to jeopardize - and, GCRTA also has to watch how they operate -given the federal grants they have received relative to Public Square.

http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2016/08/public_square_launches_website.html