Occupy arrests in San Diego, Nashville


Members of Occupy Oakland sit on the grass in front of Oakland City Hall in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 27, 2011.


Justin Sullivan

San Diego police in riot gear arrested 51 Occupy San Diego protestors who refused to leave the civic plaza behind City Hall or Children’s Park in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter early Friday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Around 2 a.m. San Diego police and San Diego County sheriff's deputies started moving the protestors, who’d been camping at those locations for the past three weeks, out of the area and confiscating their tents.

Chief Bill Lansdowne told the L.A. Times that protestors had not honored their requests to remove tents, tables and other property form the public spaces. "It had deteriorated to the point where there was no dialogue," he said. Police said protestors could return after the area was steam-cleaned, but they could not camp there.

In Nashville, Tenn., 29 Occupy Nashville protestors were arrested at Legislative Plaza at 3:10 a.m. on Friday for violating a state-imposed curfew, the Tennessean reports. The demonstrators received misdemeanor citations for criminal trespassing, and were released several hours later.

About 12 hours earlier, Tennessee had revised state policy to close Legislative Plaza, War Memorial Courtyard and the Capitol grounds to the public between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the Tennessean reports.

According to The Associated Press:

Commissioner Bill Gibbons said the policies were changed in response to deteriorating sanitary and security concerns about the protest. Members of the Occupy Nashville group had asked for enhanced protection that the state was unable to provide, he said.

"We don't have the resources to go out and in effect babysit protesters 24-7 ... at the level that would have been necessary to address their concerns," Gibbons told the AP.

"It's just completely outrageous that the state would make new rules and enforce them in less than 24 hours after they were cooked up,” Bill Howell, a lobbyist for Tennesseans for Fair Taxation who was arrested, told the AP.

The arrests followed crackdowns on Occupy protestors that occurred in cities across the U.S. this week, including Oakland, Calif., Atlanta, and Baltimore.

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