DeMaio: City could have obligation to vendors who lost business during ‘Occupy’ rally
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego councilman asked Tuesday for a report on
what obligations the city might have regarding two small businesses whose
owners closed up shop at the Civic Center Plaza because of the Occupy San Diego
Carl DeMaio suggested at a City Council meeting that the operators of
the hot dog cart and coffee cart might be due rent credits or other assistance
from the city.
His request was forwarded to the mayor's office.
Letty Soto, the owner of Brooklyn Dogs, told the council she lost
regular clients and was “threatened verbally” by protesters. She also had
equipment stolen and her car smeared with blood, she said.
Soto described her enterprise as “a small independent business” that
is her only source of income.
Last week, the woman who owns the coffee cart had to close after a
confrontation with protesters, which was captured by television news cameras.
The protesters, part of a loose-knit nationwide movement against
perceived corporate greed and government corruption, came under heated
criticism from public speakers before the City Council for the first time.
Samuel Huerta said he has videotapes that show the protesters “party
all night and sleep all day” and are so loud after dark that many downtown
homeless have moved away from the area.
“I have witnessed the members of Occupy San Diego disrespecting our San
Diego police officers every day,” Huerta said.
The number of protesters at the downtown Community Concourse has
dwindled to just a few since their unauthorized tent community was cleared out
by police early Friday morning.
Christopher McKay told the council during the open comment period on non-agenda topics that “a serious independent investigation” of “police
brutality” was necessary because of Friday's raid.
He said that just like a “very few” Occupy San Diego members have
caused trouble, so have a “very few” police officers.
Occupy San Diego member Chase Fite asked city officials to grant them a
“sanctioned space,” which he said would reduce tension with police and allow
officers to return to their normal law enforcement duties.
Supporters of the protest movement renewed their demands for a
resolution of support, but for the second week in a row, no such declaration
was on the agenda.