Night 10 brought a police raid at eleven o’clock sharp.
I had gone on a beer run and came back running. About a half dozen police officers were gathered around our site in front of where John and Margie were seated under the tarp, refusing to move. I quickly jumped onto the grass so that I, too, was on park ground. I was given a few minutes to gather my belongings and leave. I gathered only my phone charger and announced my refusal to leave, as John was announcing his. Once they put the handcuffs on, I walked out of the park under arrest as John and Margie were carried out behind me.
Everything was confiscated. I’ve been through this once before, though John has dealt with it ten times. I also managed to keep my sleeping bag the first time, but no such luck on this night. We were transported to jail, where I participated in a telephone interview with the magistrate. Perhaps “participated” is too strong a term, since I said little and the magistrate proceeded to offer me release on an unsecured bond, which means that I’ll only have to pay if I don’t appear in court or violate the conditions of my release, which include not entering Town Square. I was only asked to sign an agreement to appear in court, however, which I did, and was released around 1:30 am. John was held overnight.
I had an audio recorder running and made an hour and a half long recording of the arrest.
On the way out, I met two prisoners sitting in the entryway, one of whom was talking on his cell phone. After he hung up, I asked if we were allowed to sit there in the warmth. He suggested that I just sit there and enjoy the warmth, which seemed like good advice, so we sat and talked until a correctional officer came out and told us to leave. My friend had another trick up his sleeve, however, and we simply walked down to a different entrance where we were able to enter, duck into a vacant restroom, pray together, and rest for about two hours before being discovered and evicted by more correctional officers.
My friend then found an unlocked prison bus to shelter us from the light snow that was falling, but I decided to walk into downtown and soon encountered a disabled car. The driver’s only problem was a lack of gas or money to purchase it, so I helped him push it to a nearby gas station and gave him the $3.65 I had in my pocket. He thanked me profusely and I continued my walk.
I spent the next few hours wondering around downtown Anchorage until Side Street opened at seven, and I went in for coffee and a warm place to sit and write this blog. In the afternoon, I attended John and Margie’s bail hearing, where Margie refused the conditions of her release (stay out of Town Square) and John was required to post a $150 bond, which of course he does not have. Both remained in jail, while I retreated to my campsite near the university for prayer and much-needed sleep.
Tomorrow’s a big day.
Prayer requests: Guidance, guidance, guidance. Put your words in my mouth tomorrow. Stay with John and Margie, abide with them, Lord.