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Some Occupy San Diego protesters remain; two arrested, tents removed

October 14, 2011 |  5:30 pm

Several dozen Occupy San Diego protesters remained Friday night in the plaza behind City Hall after a day in which police forcibly removed their tents and other structures and two protesters were arrested.

Protesters had been given a deadline of midnight Thursday to remove their tents, tarps, chairs, tables and other items. That deadline was later delayed until 7 a.m. Friday.

When police moved in around 7:45 a.m., protesters locked arms and attempted to passively block police from removing the tents. A 21-year-old man was arrested as other protesters chanted "We are the 99%."

Within 30 minutes, the tents were gone.

But several hours later, protesters had erected two more tents, and when police attempted to remove those tents, protesters physically resisted.

Police used chemical spray on several protesters and a 39-year-old man was arrested.

Police Chief Bill Lansdowne, who supervised the morning eviction, said protesters were welcome to remain in the plaza but without their tents and other property.

The plaza needed to be cleared, he said, because of an event planned for Saturday in the plaza and civic auditorium: a dance troupe.

Some protesters have moved to Balboa Park. Activists have also announced an Occupy North County rally for Saturday in the suburb of Encinitas.


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--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Police tussling with Occupy San Diego protesters. Credit: Gregory Bull / Associated Press