The number of people arrested during Occupy Tampa protests nearly doubles after demonstrators refuse to leave Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
29 Occupy Tampa protesters were arrested Thursday night. Before that, a total of 33 had been taken into custody over the two months since the movement began.
At about 10 p.m., Tampa police officers approached a crowd of people gathered at Riverfront Park. The officers told the group the park was closed.
According to a release from Tampa police, the group of about 50 demonstrators sat down, locked arms and began chanting. After multiple warnings, 20 people left the park. The remaining protesters were told if they did not leave, they would be arrested and charged with trespassing. When they continued to refuse, 27 people were arrested. They were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on Trespass and Resisting Arrest without Violence charges.
Tampa police say there was a crowd of about 30 demonstrators gathered on the sidewalk around the park, two people in that group entered the park and refused to leave. They were also arrested.
The arrests come on a day protesters were calling ‘Public Space Liberation Day.’ A General Assembly was held at 7:00 Thursday night to discuss the movement and issues surrounding the protesters ability to occupy a space.
On the group’s Facebook page, a post calls Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park its “new home.”