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Occupy protesters arrested at speech by Mexico leader

November 16, 2012 |  5:51 pm

A demonstration outside the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Wednesday night resulted in six arrests after protesters clashed with police.

Pasadena police Sgt. Paul Carpenter said 50 or more people claiming affiliation to the Occupy movement tussled with officers after they were denied entrance to the auditorium, where former Mexican President Vicente Fox was speaking.

Carpenter said some demonstrators attempted to push past police, threw objects at officers and tried to pull batons from officers’ hands.

A man who attended the protest said police provoked the violence after members of the group gathered to distribute fliers in support of the Zapatista movement and human rights causes in Mexico.

Demonstrator Antonio Hernandez said he and five others were attempting to walk into the Civic Center plaza but police allowed only one of them, a woman, to pass. Hernandez said police “manhandled” and arrested the woman after she confronted them on behalf of the others. 

Hernandez said he was retreating to a sidewalk across the street at Paseo Colorado when he noticed another demonstrator being “body-slammed to the ground” there. Several demonstrators near that clash, including Hernandez, were struck by an officer who pursued demonstrators while swinging a police baton, he said.

Video footage apparently taken during the confrontation is posted here.

Some of those arrested were being held at Pasadena City Jail on suspicion of inciting a riot and assaulting a police officer, said Carpenter.

Hernandez said four people remained in jail.

A group of about 20 protesters staged a demonstration outside Pasadena police headquarters on Thursday calling for the release of those arrested the previous night.

Carpenter said that protest ended peacefully and without arrests.

--Joe Piasecki, Times Community News