Cartoonist/Journalist Susie Cagle Arrested At Occupy Oakland

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Cartoonist and freelance journalist Susie Cagle set out to cover the Occupy Oakland protests three weeks ago with official press credentials in order to make an illustrated history of the event. While documenting some of the happenings last month, she was tear gassed and her story spread far and wide. Late Wednesday/early Thursday, Cagle was arrested with her press badge in full view. 

Cagle is a second-generation cartoonist, her father Daryl Cagle was keeping everyone up-to-date while his daughter deals with her legal troubles. On his blog he wrote, “She’s not the first journalist to be arrested trying to cover Occupy movements. Nashville Scene reporter Jonathan Meador was one of two dozen or so people arrested by Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers at Occupy Nashville. And just yesterday, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Kristyna Wentz-Graff was arrested covering an Occupy rally.” There is a list being compiled online of all the journalists that have been arrested at Occupy protests across the country. Cagle’s father also posted her personal accounts from her Twitter as it was happening (start at the bottom):

#occupyoakland going to north county jail
#occupyoakland arrested in wagon now
#occupyoakland sounds like they are declaring unlawful assembly at north end of plaza
#occupyoakland oh and suddenly I’m on the other side of the police line, in the plaza, where assembly was supposed to be allowed
#occupyoakland Occupiers possibly holding another building here. Police are lining up on north side of plaza.
#occupyoakland At 16 and San Pablo now, under police helicopter lights. Wonder what this looks like from the plaza.
#occupyoakland listening to police radio as they point out their targets in the crowd 2 blocks south
#occupyoakland San Leandro coming in on OPD relief at 17 & Telegraph
#occupyoakland cops pointing at me, oh great
#occupyoakland being blocked by police at 17 and Telegraph. “is the jail going to be able to handle this?” over radio
#occupyoakland three minutes to leave, police: “mask up!!”
#occupyoakland first gas of the night? Big bang, “unlawful assembly” announcement
#occupyoakland Far more tear gas masks on cops here tonight than broken windows in downtown
#oaklandstrike bus fulls of police in riot gear heading south on broadway just a few blocks
#occupyoakland nearly run over by black bloc pushing dumpster into growing barricade. Also wood pallets, tires, newspaper boxes.
#occupyoakland 16th street barricaded by trash cans now, police copter circles lower and lower.
#occupyoakland Raheim Brown Free School & Community Center. Guessing this is what my source meant by the 2nd library
#occupyoakland banners unfurled from the roof declare the building a free school & community center
#occupyoakland “they didn’t break into it, they had the keys” says crowd

Her phone was confiscated after her arrest of course but a friend was able to take the reins and keep her Twitter feed updated. “Susie has been released from Santa Rita, but she has been charged with misdemeanor ‘present at raid,'” her father wrote. “According to Susie, she had her press pass in full view when she was arrested, and one of the Oakland Police Department officers even recognized her and knew her comics.”

After her release, Cagle herself tweeted about wearing her press badge at the time of arrest and that, “One OPD officer recognized me, knew my comics.” She also did an interview with a local television station.

Cagle was supposed to meet with OPD press officer Johnna Watson before the arrest took place and is now attempting to reschedule while returning to the police department to pick up her keys and wallet, which they were still holding. You can read about Cagle’s tear gassing in an interview she did with the Daily Cross Hatch and follow further happenings via her Twitter account. Cagle’s forthcoming project, An Illustrated History of Occupy Oakland, has been fully funded but is still accepting donations.

(via Robot 6, image via Cagle’s Cartooning for Peace to Corsica)

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."