Occupy Miami To Discuss Regrouping After “Peace City” Eviction
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Members of Occupy Miami, scattered when police in riot gear evicted protesters and tore down tents at their “Peace City” encampment, plan to regroup Wednesday afternoon. The group wants to come up with a new strategy in the wake of their eviction.
Tuesday’s eviction outside of the Stephen P. Clark Center in downtown Miami resulted in six arrests.
Photographer Carlos Miller was charged with obstruction. He’s been released on $1,000 bond.
Occupy member Juan Sanchez, was charged with inciting a riot. His bond was set at $5-thousand. Occupy members Christopher Booty, Alejandro Ordanes, and Jared Chase were all charged with loitering and bond was set at $500. A fifth Occupy member, Ryan Williamson, was also arrested but already bonded out of jail.
Miami-Dade police moved in after the County’s sunset deadline to vacate the west lawn of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center passed. They came in banging batons, ripping tents, and forcing protestors blocks away from the site.
Most protestors scattered but they weren’t happy about it.
“I think they’re in violation of our rights as American citizens to protest. I think we have the right do this,” said protestor Carol Patman.
“Because it represents everybody, middle class mainly, because we are the 99-percent,” said protestor Ryan Hackland.
Most people left peacefully while six did not.
The small group of occupiers linked arms and refused to move while huddled inside a barricade of plywood and old mattress.
Police detained the six briefly for refusing orders to vacate but when given a final chance to leave, they did.
At any given time, there were 70 to 100 people living at the campsite in 80 tents over the past three and a half months.
The demonstrators knew the police raid was coming. They were served with an eviction notice four days earlier after county leaders refused to extend Occupy Miami’s camping permit.
The permit was denied because of “unsanitary site conditions and unsafe activities, which have resulted in a number of arrests by the Miami-Dade Police Department,” said Miami-Dade spokeswoman Suzy Trutie. “The safety of those at the site as well as the safety of County employees and residents and visitors to the Stephen P. Clark Center is our top priority.”
Occupy Miami leaders conceded that there have been as many as 50 arrests around the camp site since it was set up last October. And, they added, police in recent weeks have been videotaping everything from heroin use to public defecation around the camp. But they blamed the problems on outsiders rather members of their group.