UPDATE: Occupy San Diego demonstrators plan to march from Harbor Drive back to the Civic Center at 10 am.
A little after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, San Diego police and Sheriff deputies in riot gear rousted dozens of sleeping Occupy San Diego demonstrators out of their sleeping bags and ordered them to vacate their last sleeping area. Those who refused to move were arrested – and initial reports are that five people were arrested.
eighty one hundred law enforcement officers, under the watchful eyes of Police Chief Lansdowne, showed up at the grassy area next to the Civic Center Theater without warning and removed people and personal belongings. All donated food, tables, signs and sleeping bags were confiscated. Occupiers were removed and many gathered down at Harbor Drive very early this morning in an effort to regroup.
This is clearly the City of San Diego’s latest attempt to destroy the Occupy Wall Street here in San Diego.
Over two hundred demonstrators just the night before had rallied and marched onto the San Diego Police Department headquarters in solidarity with the actions yesterday against Occupy Wall Street in New York City. There police raided Zuccotti Park at 2 a.m. and swept everyone and their property out of the park. By night fall yesterday, however, thousands of New Yorkers had retaken the park in lower Manhattan next to the Wall Street District.
Could this morning’s raid in San Diego be part of a nation-wide conspiracy by big city mayors to destroy the occupy movement? Encouraged by the dismantling of tent cities in New York, Denver and Portland recently, San Diego appears bent on destroying our own movement that is focusing public anger against the big banks and large corporations. There is nothing else to excuse this cowardly act of using a hundred police officers to forcibly remove dozens of sleeping protesters.
Police used bullhorns this morning to wake everyone up, saying that it is legal for them to peacefully demonstrate, it is illegal for them to keep their personal property on public land. The occupy protesters have been sleeping on the grassy area ever since the OccupySD encampment was kicked out of the Plaza on October 28th. So from October 28th to last night, protesters have been sleeping on the small slice of grass next to the Civic Theater. Many homeless people are also staying in the immediate area as well.
San Diego Police will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon. Channel 10 News was there.
Photos from Occupy San Diego raid via Occupy San Diego Facebook and the Solidarity March from Tuesday night, November 15, 2011.