Occupy S.A. protesters avert arrests

After a month of complying with law enforcement requests in the name of keeping their protest peaceful, Occupy San Antonio members came close to joining other movements nationwide that have a record of arrests.

In the end, most of the several dozen protestors decided to comply with an order by two San Antonio Park Police officers delivered around noon Monday to move their stuff from the gazebo area at HemisFair Park by 5 a.m. the next morning so it could be power-washed for an event.

Police usually show the occupiers an event permit and give them 48 hours to vacate. More than a handful of occupiers at HemisFair Park made a cry to stay put and risk arrest instead of move near the playground as they have a few times before.

“I’m only leaving in handcuffs in a police car,” shouted an occupier who goes by the name Shadow, 30.

By midnight, however, the group had reached a 90 percent consensus to move their things. A few occupiers still refused and the rest maintained a physical presence, prepared to confront police with signs and chants.

They grew more irritated when they found out the event, starting at 6 a.m., was an hour-long 5K run for the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers annual conference.

Nobody was arrested. Park Police Commander Steven Baum showed up at 7 a.m. to say there had been a miscommunication he hoped to avoid in the future.

“I have nothing but praise for you — you have been very orderly, very compliant,” he said. “When there’s an event, you respect the rights of others. I appreciate that.”



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