‘Occupy’ protesters rousted from Civic Center Plaza

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Law enforcement personnel in riot gear cleared Occupy
San Diego protestors out of Civic Center Plaza early Friday, making some arrests
in the process, police said.

The operation began about 2 a.m. after officials declared the three-week-
old event an unlawful assembly, said San Diego police Officer David Stafford.
It lasted about 45 minutes, and there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Protestors plan to reassemble later in the morning for a solidarity
march from Civic Center Plaza to the Wells Fargo Building downtown, Fox 5 News
reported.

“Since the demonstration and occupation began three weeks ago, the San
Diego Police Department has received numerous complaints from facility staff
about the unsanitary conditions created by human and animal feces, urination,
drug use, littering and damage to city property,” SDPD spokeswoman Lt. Andra
Brown said in a statement.

“We requested that all persons leave the Civic Center Plaza in order to
allow a cleaning crew to conduct a thorough cleaning this morning.”

The cleaning crew began their work about 7 a.m., she said.

During the plaza-clearance sweep, some protestors scattered around
downtown San Diego while others were arrested, Stafford said without saying how
many.

Several protesters made their way to Children's Park, which, like all
city parks, is closed between midnight and 6 a.m. Law enforcement personnel
also cleared that area.

The operation was carried out by some 20 police officers assisted by a
score of San Diego County sheriff's deputies, also in riot gear, witnesses
said.

Protestors first converged on Civic Center Plaza on Oct. 7, decrying the
conduct of banks, corporations and politicians. The Occupy movement began in
New York last month and has since spread nationwide.

Before today, the local protest had been largely confrontation-free,
with the exception of Oct. 14, when two protestors were arrested for allegedly
delaying police officers. On Oct. 14, protestors were ordered to take down
makeshift camp sites that they had erected.

Police officers eventually removed all tents and other large items from
the plaza but told protesters they were free to remain — though without the
paraphernalia. Earlier this week, protestors brought tents back to the plaza.

Protestors have vowed to remain in the downtown area until their demands
are met or at least sincerely considered. Those demands include ending
joblessness, poverty and political corruption.

“Once the cleaning is completed, those who wish to return to the plaza
to continue their protest will be allowed back, as long as they do not bring
personal property or camp,” Brown said.

Categories: KUSI