UPDATE: At a press conference on Friday morning, Assistant Police Chief Boyd Long said the number number of arrests was about 50.
While most people were keeping an eye on Occupys in Oakland and Nashville, between 1:45am and 2am Friday the San Diego Police Department in riot gear descended on both Occupy San Diego encampments, Civic Center and Children’s Park. According to Occupiers, SDPD Assistant Chief Boyd Long had told them they could remain in Children’s Park as long as no tents were erected, and Occupiers had complied.
At Civic Center Plaza, many Occupiers sat down and chanted, singing protest songs and loudly telling the police they they too are the 99%. Despite this, there were between 20 and 44 arrests, including the media team, ex-military and a legal observer, and several protestors were struck and/or thrown to the ground.
There were several people beaten by the police today as well as over a dozen arrested at Occupy SD. Chief of Police Landsdowne was seen laughing and smirking behind a line of 300 cops with batons while occupiers were being beaten assaulted by the police on his direct order. Please call the Mayor and Chief of Police Landsdowne and tell them that infringing on people’s freedom of speech and assembly by beating and assaulting peaceful protesters is inhumane. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders: (619) 236-6330 and SDPD Chief William Lansdowne (619) 531-2777
All personal items and donated food and medical supplies were confiscated, and barricades were installed at Civic Center Plaza. Police said that Occupiers could return, but without belongings.
Side note, the NBC video above shows some very, shall we say, husky cops. In addition to registering displeasure with the SDPD’s actions, residents might also wish to call for physical evaluations including giving them the stamina tests cadets must pass before joining the force, since some of those guys look plainly out of shape.
HT OB Rag
photos: screen shots from NBC7