This morning, October 14th, San Diego Police made one arrest as they cleared tents and other personal property from the Civic Center Plaza where Occupy San Diego protesters have been camped out since last Saturday.
The arrest was of one demonstrator who resisted arrest.
Police had delivered the ultimatum Thursday afternoon, ordering all tents and other equipment to be removed by midnight last night. Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in the late evening, a dozen or so camped out amidst about six tents set up in the middle of the Plaza. Others linked arms and surrounded those willing to be arrested in protest of the removal of their tents. Earlier there had been as many as 100 tents at the site.
Midnight came and went and no arrests were made and police did not make a move. The move came this morning. Under the eyes of Police Chief Lansdowne, officers moved in and hauled the tents out. There was no violence as the protesters have maintained an aura of nonviolence during their entire stay downtown.
Most San Diego TV stations had cameras present when police moved in. Was this coincidence? Everyone knew that the SDPD would make their move, but no one knew when. Some speculated last night down at the site that the move would be at 4 am or 7 am this morning. The move came more like at 8. (Were the TV stations given prior notice in order to have the news of the tent clearing on the morning shows?)
Even as the numbers of demonstrators dwindled after the first batch of tents had been removed, another tent was set up and a bunch of people surrounded it. As of this report, there is no word about that particular tent.
Police had maintained that a dance show was coming into the Plaza on Saturday and the place needed to be cleaned up – and that is why the tents and other property had to be removed. Interestingly enough, it was the cleaning of the park in New York City where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying for nearly 4 weeks as the reason demonstrators there were ordered out by midnight last night. Midnight came and went and thousands of people stayed in Liberty Park and nothing happened. The order to get out was then dropped.
Here in San Diego, the Police had told demonstrators earlier in the week that they would have to come up with options other than the “tent city” that had been erected. The implication being that the tents would have to go.
The Occupy San Diego actions will continue. Demonstrators in the Plaza have vowed not to leave – and Police have said that people will be allowed to stay and protest – just without their tents, tarps, and other equipment.
In addition, some of the Occupy folks have filtered up the hill to Balboa Park. There was at least two temporary locations where people had stayed the night last night. There were hopes that negotiations with police would result in an area within the park where demonstrators would be allowed to set up their tents and encampment.
Tents are illegal in all city parks, but Police had allowed the Plaza tents up and had indicated that there were areas in Balboa Park that they would allow as sites for the demonstrators.
Plus, some people had gone down to the park near the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum as another alternative camping site. Some of the campers’ equipment had been taken there.
All the facilities that had been created by Occupy San Diego had also been removed by organizers. The kitchen and food line was hauled out. The kitchen had been serving from 500 to 1000 meals daily at the Plaza. Many locals and some homeless had joined demonstrators in the food line.
The medical tent, the “comfort station”, the media area, and the library had all been removed earlier by protesters to avoid the confiscation by police of any goods, foods, or other items that had been donated by supporters of the Occupy village. There had been a daily routine of donated foods coming in by random donors and delivered to the site.
We have just received an agenda for today, October 14th, of Occupy San Diego events.
Occupy San Diego- Re-Organize Agenda for Oct. 14, 2011
~~~7-9:30am Midway camp Breakfast Kitchen opens – (please if you are in food committee volunteer to help set up)
~~~10am-Organizational meeting at Balboa park (6th and Elm) – (all camps welcome, to coordinate action items and discuss next steps)
~~~Afternoon-Regroup and set up structures for Food, Medical, Logistics, Media, Outreach, Arts and Entertainment. (if you have volunteered for these commitees, the please come re-organize your committee’s campsite!)
~~~7pm– Occupy SD Unity Concert: Live music in the park by Liquid Blue. Let’s celebrate–It’s been one week since Occupy San Diego Started! Liquid Blue is performing a free concert tonight Friday, 10/14/11, 7 p.m. Balboa Park, SE area on Park near the World Beat Center.
Stay Strong, Healthy, and Open Minded! Occupy!