Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Law enforcement personnel in riot gear cleared out several Occupy San Diego protesters from Civic Center Plaza early today, marking the second such crackdown in nearly three weeks.
Some protesters were arrested during the 3 a.m. sweep, according to San Diego police. The alleged offenses, exact number and identities of those arrested were not immediately released.
As was the case in the first predawn clearing on Oct. 28 -- when 40 protesters were arrested -- police said the area was cleared so a cleaning crew could sanitize the area. Left behind this morning was a slew of rubbish, from used plastic containers to clothing and other makeshift camping gear.
Another cleaning crew was expected at Civic Center Plaza after sunrise. It was not immediately known whether police planned to allow protesters back in the area after the cleaning, as was the case on Oct. 28.
Since protesters began camping out at Civic Center Plaza on Oct. 7 -- decrying banks, corporations and politicians -- more than 50 people have been arrested on suspicion of illegal lodging, unlawful assembly, resisting police, encroachment on public property, public drunkenness and other crimes.
This morning's move came hours after about 150 members of the Occupy San Diego movement arrived at downtown San Diego police headquarters. The protesters marched early Tuesday night from Civic Center Plaza, chanting, banging hand drums and blowing whistles in front of a row of police officers standing outside the main entrance to the police building, which sits on Broadway. Though loud, the rally was largely peaceful.
Protesters vowed to stay in the downtown area until their demands are met or at least seriously considered. Those demands include meaningful action addressing joblessness, poverty and political corruption.