PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nearly six hours after Philadelphia Police evicted Occupy Philadelphia, Mayor Nutter has declared the occupation of Dilworth Plaza over. In all, about 55-60 demonstrators were arrested during a night of mostly peaceful resistance.
Officers gave the protesters three warnings to evacuate Dilworth Plaza before they finally moved in and began taking down tents, a little after 1 a.m. A group of about 100 demonstrators marched toward Rittenhouse Square, where they were met by mounted police officers.
At one point, some of the marchers tried to reunite with the protesters at Dilworth Plaza, but police were keeping them from doing so.
“We were on the front steps of Dilworth Plaza at 15th and Market Street. We received an order to disperse and most of the occupants did disperse,” says Gwen Snyder of Occupy Philadelphia’s legal working group.
The protesters got rowdy at times. Along the way, there were several scuffles with police.
Finally, police pinned the group into a small street, near Broad and Hamilton Streets. Officers on foot and on bicycles formed barricades on two sides of the group and arrested about 40 marchers, including Snyder, around 5 a.m.
“We didn’t quite know what to expect,” says Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. “We were prepared to deal with whatever might happen if people didn’t want to leave the plaza at all or if they did leave — and I was very pleased that they did leave, because that just makes it easier on everybody. It would have been great to have gotten through the night with absolutely zero arrests, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060