In December of last year Ronnie Garza and six other Occupy protestors locked their arms in PVC pipe contraptions, called dragon sleeves during a protest at the Port of Houston. It's the use of those pipes that made those protestors face felony charges, rather than misdemeanors. Greg Gladden, Ronnie Garza's attorney, says Austin police were involved in the making of those pipes.
"The police knew what they were going to be charged with, from the time when they manufactured these things themselves, bought them, designed them, delivered them to these kids, just because they disagreed with their politics."
At a court date in September, an attorney from the Harris County District Attorney's office told a state district judge that an Austin police detective was part of an occupy committee and present when the pipes were purchased with Occupy Austin funds. Gladden has also requested the names of two other undercover officers who were involved, but he says, there's no guarantee that the prosecution will turn them over.
"They might decide that their undercover informants are so valuable to them trying to make the world safe from them for trying to make the world safe from sit-ins that they do not want to disclose them."
The judge on the case has recently reviewed a stack of documents from the Austin Police Department, some of which could be favorable to the defense. Officials from the Harris County District Attorney's office did not comment by deadline.
Images are from the December 12, 2011 article "Protestors Occupy The Port Of Houston."