San Diego police has arrested at least two people and used pepper spray yesterday to break up a human chain formed by Occupy movement protesters at a downtown plaza where they’ve camped for a week.
The action started Friday early in the morning, when police began removing about a half-dozen tents after warning protesters their personal belongings couldn’t stay in the Occupy San Diego camp. However, Occupy demonstrators can continue protesting without the tents, tarps and tables, according to authorities.
According to police Lt. Andra Brown, one man was arrested before 8 a.m. for interfering with a police officer after he sat down and refused to take away his tent. After the man and his tent were removed, other protesters erected another tent and formed a human chain around it.
By noon, police officers pulled apart Occupy demonstrators and used pepper spray to disperse them.
According to demonstrators, several protesters were suffering burning eyes from the pepper spray.
One of the protesters, Michael Basillas, a 26-year-old college student, said they were regrouping to make a new plan and many of them had moved to Balboa Park.
Michael Basillas said San Diego Police refused to negotiate with the Occupy protests organizers about the removal orders.
Police said they met with the Occupy protests organizers on Thursday night to tell them they would need to remove their tents to allow the city to prepare for a weekend event at the civic center plaza.
“They chose just to force their way in,” student Michael Basillas said.
On Friday night, Officer David Stafford said that Occupy San Diego protesters remain on the scene, and police officers are there to monitor the situation.
Occupy San Diego protest is in sympathy with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York and other cities to protest corporate influence on politics.