City News ServiceOne man camped out near San Diego City Hall as part of a week-old protest staged in sympathy with the Occupy Wall Street movement was arrested Friday morning after he and others refused police orders to remove their personal possessions.
On Thursday, San Diego police warned protestors to remove all their tents, tables, chairs and other camp paraphernalia or face arrest, though they were welcome to continue exercising their Free Speech without their belongings.
Participants in the week-old
Occupy San Diego’’ sit-in can remain at the downtown Community Concourse indefinitely, but not their possessions, San Diego Police Department Assistant Chief Boyd Long announced late Thursday afternoon.
Long appeared in person to explain the order to the demonstrators. Fliers were also distributed.
About 7 a.m. today, police forcibly removed a man who sat with about 100
other protestors on the ground in front of their tents and other makeshift
camp belongings. Several protestors did comply with police orders, having
vacated the area before dawn.
Long said the man was arrested on suspicion of resisting, delaying or obstructing a peace officer. He allegedly interfered as officers were attempting to remove the tents themselves.
Roughly a half dozen tents remained as of 7:45 a.m. But shortly after 8 a.m., police cleared all the major items from the area.
Protestors remained in the area with signs.
We will continue to support their right to protest,’' Long said.
Police said the makeshift camp had to go because a World Dance Tour group has a permitted event planned for this weekend in the same area and is expecting a crowd of at least 2,000 people.
Until Friday morning, the rally had been largely confrontation-free.