Overnight, San Diego Police and Occupy San Diego protesters clashed, resulting in 51 arrests. Check back throughout the day for updates.
8:40 A.M. Assistant Chief Boyd Long has a press conference planned for 10 a.m. I caught him on the phone and he says 51 were arrested and shipped off to jail on San Diego County buses. He says all were adults and there were no injuries on either side. He is not sure which jail facilities they were sent to.
8:50 A.M. Want to get a message to one of the Occupy SD arrestees? We're working on a full list, but if you know the name of someone carted off to jail, you can locate and email them. ---
Here are the instructions, from the San Diego County Sheriff's office:
- Search for the inmate on the Who's in Jail site using the inmate's last name.
- From the list of inmate(s), click on the inmate's last name to bring up a detail screen for that inmate. Please note that the last name may not look like a link, but it is.
- Near the middle of the page is an envelope icon to "Email this inmate." Click that icon, and you will be directed to an e-mail verification screen.
- Enter your email address in the verification field and click on "Validate."
- Shortly after clicking "Validate," a new email message should appear in your Inbox from firstname.lastname@example.org. Open the email, click the link included in the message, and you are ready to begin your message to the inmate. Remember that you will be entering text into a web form, not your email program.
- When you are done, click "Send" and your message is complete. You should get another email message indicating your message was received. Do not reply to the message as the netwebmaster account is part of an automated system and not regularly monitored.
LA Times: 50 arrested at Occupy San Diego camp
NBC San Diego: Police in Riot Gear End Occupy San Diego Protest
San Diego Union-Tribune: Occupy San Diego camps cleared, dozens arrested
Occupy San Diego on Facebook
9:00 A.M. Obrag.org has posted some sharp video of the police advancing at 2:45 A.M.
9:23 A.M. Some protesters are heading to SANDAG to protest the 2050 regional transportation plan. Here's a map:
View Larger Map
Live audio link here. (Launches in Windows Media Player)
Link to the 2050 transportation plan here.
9:30 A.M. I just received a press release from the San Diego Police Department. Text below:
ARRESTS MADE IN OCCUPY SAN DIEGO PROTESTS
(San Diego, CA) The San Diego Police Department announces the arrest of numerous individuals for a variety of charges stemming from the “Occupy San Diego” demonstrations.
This morning, shortly before 2:30 a.m., San Diego Police officers, assisted by San Diego Sheriff's deputies, removed the personal property stored at the Civic Center Plaza and San Diego Children's Park by “Occupy San Diego” protestors. This property included tents, canopies, tables and other furniture, which is a violation of San Diego Municipal Code Section 54.0110 (Encroachment). Since the demonstration and occupation began three weeks ago, the San Diego Police Department has received numerous complaints from the facility staff about the unsanitary conditions created by human and animal feces, urination, drug use, littering and damage to City property. We requested that all persons leave the Civic Center Plaza in order to allow a cleaning crew to conduct a thorough cleaning this morning.
While removing the property, protestors were provided access to a nearby site where they could continue to exercise their First Amendment Right to free speech. The cleaning crews began their work in Civic Center Plaza around 7:00 a.m. this morning. Once the cleaning is completed, those who wish to return to the Plaza to continue their protest will be allowed back, as long as they do not bring personal property or camp.
Officers conducted enforcement in Children's Park where protestors were in violation of the City's Encroachment ordinance and the Park's Nighttime Curfew ordinance. Like many other downtown parks, Children's Park is closed between midnight and 6:00 a.m. each day. Those individuals camping in the Park were violating both laws.
The San Diego Police Department supports the rights of all who choose to peacefully protest and has accommodated the protestors and demonstrators representing “Occupy San Diego” since the beginning of their action on October 7, 2011. However, the group representing “Occupy San Diego” were given multiple orders by uniformed San Diego Police officers to remove their tents, canopies and other personal property stored at Civic Center Plaza. Even after several requests to comply with the law, protestors refused to remove their property.
San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and Assistant Chief Boyd Long will be at San Diego Police Department Headquarters at 10:00 a.m. today to discuss the operation.
9:35 A.M. Murtaza Baxamusa from the Center for Policy Initiatives just called to explain the scene down there. He says about 20 police officers are standing behind a barricade at the Civic Center, keeping the demonstrators out while the concourse is power-cleaned. About the same number of protesters are out there, on the other side, with two or three very agitated individuals yelling at police. He says a group of about 50 protesters are marching to the county jail.
Here are some of the images Baxamusa has posted to Twitter:
10:15 A.M. The press conference is apparently on right now, but I'm waiting to hear from our folks on the ground. In the meantime, here's something to check out:
University of San Diego is having a panel discussion titled "Occupy Wall Street: Symptom or Source?" at 2:30 p.m. today at Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre.
Scheduled to appear:
- Joi Spencer, PhD, Learning and Teaching - Moderator
- Stephen Conroy, PhD, Economics
- Esteban del Rio, PhD, Communication Studies
- Mary Doak, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies
- Casey Dominguez, PhD, Political Science and International Relations
- Patricia Marquez, PhD, Center for Peace and Commerce
- Thomas Reifer, PhD, Sociology
10:30 A.M. CityBeat editor Dave Rolland just called after attending the press conference with SDPD Chief Bill Lansdowne and Asst. Chief Boyd Long. Here are the highlights:
Lansdowne said the action was taken last night after "negotiations had broken down." He also claimed, "We got no cooperation whatsoever," from the Occupy SD protesters.
Negotiations, Lansdowne said, included daily attempts to meet with Occupy SD leaders, including through mediators with the National Conflict Resolution Center. Lansdowne confirmed that he personally approached protesters at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
In total there were 51 arrests last night, 40 at the Civic Center and 11 at Children's Park. The ages of the arrestees range from 18 to 50. There were 37 men and 14 women taken into custody. Charges at the Civic Center included encroachment, illegal lodging, unlawful assembly and obstruction. Protesters at Children's Park were charged with violating park curfew.
Lansdowne said he hadn't seen any issues regarding force, but Long later confirmed that two individuals were taken down after resisting arrest.
The chief claimed that the police received reports of unsanitary conditions, including animal and human feces, drug abuse and damage to public property.
When asked whether he expected another confrontation tonight as protesters and labor leaders prepare for a "Solidarity Sleep-In," Lansdowne said no, he did not.
During my phone conversation with Rolland, about 30 protesters were gathered in front of the police headquarters, with seven or eight haranguing Long with profanity and remarks like, "Why are you stomping on people's heads?" Rolland described Long as "stone-faced," and refusing to engage. Long then went inside.
10:45 A.M. Labor Council chief Lorena Gonzalez confirmed that they are still organizing a sleep-in tonight, starting at 8 p.m. at the Civic Center.
12:23 P.M. Paola Avila, a spokesperson for Asm. Ben Hueso's office, says that the arrests overnight at Occupy San Diego and the resulting controversy has not derailed his plans to attend the Solidarity Sit-in tonight at the Civic Center.
However, Avila says that Hueso has come down with a "nasty cold" and had to cancel a lunchtime meeting. He may have to cancel tonight if he isn't feeling better.
1:19 P.M. Lori Saldaña, a former Assembly member and current Democratic candidate for the new 52nd Congressional seat, just called to say that she will be joining the sleep-in tonight at the Civic Center. She plans to deliver supplies and help coordinate shifts through the night.
Saldaña just got back from D.C. where she took part in a mini-occupation of Speaker John Boehner's office. Here's the video:
4:00 P.M. Photographer Sam Hodgson of voiceofsandiego.org posted some really gripping images of the Occupy San Diego the day after the arrests. See them here.
5:00 P.M. Attorney Marco Gonzalez (better known as the lawyer who wants to eliminate fireworks displays) has written a blog post at Two Cathedrals going over his experience at Occupy San Diego today and some questionable run-off into stormwater drains from the company charged with cleaning the Civic Center plaza.
5:05 P.M. Raw video from NBC San Diego of SDPD Chief Bill Lansdowne from the press conference earlier today: