51 arrested as US protest camp cleared

Police in San Diego have arrested 51 people as officers cleared out economic demonstrators who had staged an occupation for three weeks.

Police in San Diego have arrested 51 people as officers cleared out economic demonstrators who had staged an occupation for three weeks.

Dozens of police officers and San Diego County sheriff’s deputies descended on the encampment at around 2.30am local time today, declared an unlawful assembly and removed tents, canopies, tables and other furniture.

The protesters had occupied the city’s Civic Centre Plaza and Children’s Park.

Police said there had been numerous complaints about unsanitary conditions created by human and animal waste, drug use and littering, as well as damage to city property.

Officers said the demonstrators may return – without tents and other belongings - after a clean-up is completed.

Chief William Lansdowne said negotiations with demonstrators had broken down and officers received no co-operation.

Demonstrators began arriving at the plaza on October 7 to protest against perceived economic injustice and poverty.

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