Five Occupiers were arrested in a downtown Atlanta park early Monday morning. Atlanta police claimed that the individuals, who they took into custody, refused to leave Woodruff Park, the encampment area of Occupy Atlanta, after a strict curfew was issued.
A 23-year-old woman was warned several times by police to leave the area. When she did not comply, she was taken into custody. Three other people were arrested for traffic violations and another was arrested for obstructing law enforcement and police work.
Mayor Reed was clear earlier this week in his public statements that the City of Atlanta would arrest any persons who violated the law, said Police Chief George Turner. He added that statements to clear the park were issued in both English and Spanish over a loudspeaker, according to the Associated Press.
Protesters were chanting We're hungry! We're poor! What are you wasting our money for, at the time of the arrests, according to the AP. They stood behind barricades as police continuously warned them they will enforce an 11 p.m. curfew.
Mayor Kasim Reed revoked an executive order permitting the protesters to sleep in the park overnight. Since then, police officers have cracked down on the protesters and made many arrests.
Over the weekend, 20 protesters were taken to jail by officers after a major demonstration spilled into the streets.
Before Saturday's curfew, several hundred protesters set up tents in Woodruff Park. However, as the 11 p.m. deadline approached, many began peacefully leaving the park. Officers began shuffling the protesters out of the parks and instilling barricades, according to the Associated Press. However, several protesters continued the demonstration.
Police on horseback and riot gear repeatedly warned protesters to remain on the sidewalks. These arrested included one felony charge, a first for Occupy Atlanta. Police officers began making arrests after several protesters surrounded the motorcycle cop. They had tipped over the motorcycle and the officer. He was not injured. Brandon Tremblay was charged with aggravated assault and obstruction, according to the local NBC affiliate. Officers claim Tremblay was one of the individuals who had assaulted the police officer on the motorcycle.
Some Occupiers however, condemned the confrontations with police.
As responsible occupiers, we have to step up and try to display an example that the overall agenda is not about confrontation with police, said Latron Price, an Occupy Atlanta organize. We need to deal with the banks, we need to deal with home foreclosures, and we need to deal with wealth disparity.
Organizers maintain they will continue to camp at the park, breaking curfew. This will set the stage for further confrontations with the Atlanta Police Department and Mayor Kasim Reed.