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Police roust Occupy Miami protesters

Feb. 1, 2012 at 8:38 AM   |   Comments

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MIAMI, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Police in Miami evicted dozens of Occupy Miami demonstrators camped near the government center and dismantled the encampment, officials said.

At least two people were arrested as police Tuesday shut down the camp that sprung up on the lawn west of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center about 3 1/2 months ago, The Miami Herald reported.

Police in riot gear banged their batons on plastic shields as they cleared demonstrators within six block of the site, witnesses said.

Occupy Miami leaders said the movement would relocate to other camps around Dade County.

"We've already got new locations picked out," Miami Beach activist Muhammed Malik told the Herald. "But this is way beyond locations. This is a moment in history."

The demonstrators were served with an eviction notice Saturday after county officials refused to extend Occupy Miami's camping permit.

In Washington, a federal judge ruled Tuesday the National Park Service must give Occupy DC protesters at two federal plazas in Washington 24 hours' notice if it intends to evict them.

The park service's anti-camping regulations at federally owned McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza are valid, but the service must give protesters a full day's notice before any clear-out, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said.

The ruling would let demonstrators appeal a possible eviction notice in court, lawyers said. In an emergency, U.S. Park Police have a right to evacuate the plazas, Boasberg said.

Boasberg, in ruling the no-camping rule was constitutional, cited a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that barred demonstrators from camping in Washington's Lafayette Park.

"I see no distinction in this case," he said.

Park police began enforcing the camping ban at noon EST Monday but the enforcement consisted of reminding demonstrators of the regulation, Sgt. David Schlosser said.

The service hasn't indicated whether it intends to evict the protesters but a government lawyer told Boasberg Tuesday she knew of no impending eviction plans.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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