8 'Occupy San Jose' protesters arrested, one cited

October 22, 2011 1:46:58 AM PDT
In the South Bay, the "Occupy" movement has gone to a new level. Eight people were arrested and one man in a wheelchair was cited. Everyone in the tents currently set up risk getting arrested again, but what happened early Friday morning has sparked a renewed commitment to this cause.

The "Occupy San Jose" movement isn't stopping now, even though at around 3 a.m., San Jose police arrested eight protesters for camping on City Hall grounds without a permit.

"They put the zip ties on us and put in the paddy wagons and started taking us to jail," said Jerome Mills, a protester who was arrested.

After being bailed out, the tents are back and so is the movement. Late Friday afternoon protesters chanted: "All night, all day, occupy San Jose!" And the message is spreading. San Jose's Occupy movement, like many others, is open to interpretation.

Rebecca Morrissey is a parent and San Jose resident who said, "My husband and I have a mortgage here we can't afford, we have two kids and we can't afford to get the older one in preschool."

But for 58-year-old Randi Kinman, the movement is about stopping injustice. She said, "Last night's arrests and removal of the very peaceful demonstration, it just outraged me."

San Jose police insist the arrests were warranted because of health, safety, and sanitary concerns. A police spokesman told ABC7 more arrests for camping are very likely. Protesters were told they needed to get a permit and a failure to comply will result in further action like having their tents removed.

Instead, more tents went up and the protest grew and moved to Bank of America.

"I've been uncomfortable being a Bank of America customer since the economy tanked and the bailouts happened," said Lauren Renaud of San Jose.

The movement inspired Renaud, a long time Bank of America customer, to act. Friday, she closed three accounts.

If officers do come back, they said that it would be after midnight.

This is otherwise a very organized group. There's even an Occupy San Jose legal team in place.

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