Scores of police swept through the downtown location of Occupy Miami last night, ejecting several dozen demonstrators and arresting a few of them while shutting down the protest camp after three and a half months, reports the Miami Herald. The police, wearing riot gear and banging batons on their plastic shields, cleared demonstrators from within half a-dozen blocks of the camp site. They also tore down tents and makeshift dwellings left on the site.
The operation was carried out almost completely without violence, though some of the demonstrators said one of their number was clubbed when caught up in an advancing police line. Six Occupy Miami protesters refused to leave, staying inside a flimsy barricade of plywood and old mattresses. Police detained them briefly, but when they were offered a last chance to walk away without being arrested, they did. Occupy Miami leaders said their movement would simply spread to other camps around the county. The group’s continued camping 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. Occupy Miami leaders conceded that there have been as many as 50 arrests around the camp site since it was set up last October.