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article imageOccupy San Diego Recovers a Day After Police Shut Down Protest Special

By Kelly Bowlin     Oct 30, 2011 in Politics
San Diego - In a predawn raid, on Friday October 28, hundreds of police officers in full riot gear, wielding batons converged on the Occupy San Diego tent city in front of the Civic Center building. 51 people were arrested including several members of the media.
San Diego. a city known for its year round temperate climate, sunny beaches and vibrant tourist district, is apparently a bad place to hold a protest vigil. Where Occupy Wall Street and some of its other high profile cities like Washington DC and Los Angeles were well into their second month, San Diego was a relative newcomer to the protest. On the night of the crackdown, the occupation in front of the Civic Center, located at the north end of downtown had only been in existence for three weeks. Police Chief Police Chief Bill Lansdowne had been issuing vocal warnings at the onset of the occupation citing that San Diego would not tolerate overnight camping in the publicly owned Civic Center Complex.
He held true to his promise. The predawn raid which occurred around 2:00 a.m. was apparently conducted to avoid extensive media coverage and also create a path of least resistance. Eyewitnesses reported that large lines of police moved in from the north and southwest and 51 arrests were reported. There were some instances of violence and a pool of blood had been removed at the scene at the request of several officers who were supervising the clean up effort.
Several eyewitnesses were troubled by the fact that ten members of the media who were present and displaying credentials were the first to be arrested and their cameras and video equipment confiscated.
Police physically removed all tents, ground covers, and supplies of the occupation including food stuffs and placed them in open bed trucks nearby.
By noon on Friday, the all concrete area at the foot of the Civic Center had been cleared and was being hosed down by cleanup crews. There was also a large police presence in the area with at least fifty uniformed officers loitering around the site. Several police vans also sat just out of view of the main plaza.
In response to the crackdown several unions had vowed to make a showing and according to other eyewitnesses at the site a large rally was in the works. One organizer who is an English teacher said the special ops method of the crackdown and the early morning timing would only galvanize future gatherings at the site. "They may have won round one, but we'll be back with a vengeance."
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