Thousands rally outside City Hall as part of the "Occupy Los Angeles Global Day of Action" march and rally in Los Angeels on October 15, 2011. Inspired by America's "Occupy Wall Street" movement, people took to the streets in a rolling action targeting 951 cities in 82 countries from Asia to Erope and the Americas. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Police broke out tear gas Saturday after some Occupy Denver protesters allegedly attacked them as officers moved to take down their tents, officials said.
Twenty protesters were arrested in two encounters, Denver's KMGH-TV reported. In the first, five people were arrested during a clash that started when police showed up at Civic Center Park about 3 p.m. local time to ask the protesters to take down their tents.
A few hours later, 15 more were arrested when police returned to remove the tents, the TV station said. Police fired tear gas and pepper balls at the crowd.
The Denver Post reported two protesters are accused of knocking an officer off his motorcycle and other police said they were kicked by profanity-spewing and anti-Wall Street slogan-yelling protesters. Some protesters were seen trying to defuse the situation, the Post said.
"All we did was take down the structures," police Lt. Matt Murray told the Post. "We're reacting to what they do. As long as they are legally protesting, we'll protect their right to do that. The officers today did a great job of showing restraint."
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., moved into the crowd and used a bullhorn to urge the protesters to calm down.
"You've got to de-escalate this thing," he said.
"We want jobs!" a man shouted back. "Democrats won't get elected anymore!"
In California, Occupy Los Angeles protesters launched a new protest against corporate greed Saturday in front of the Van Nuys Courthouse in San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"A lot of people are losing their homes because of the greed of Wall Street and the banks and their only shelter is sleeping bags and tents," said Marcos Perez, one of the organizers. "If we aren't allowed to bring in tents and canopies it's restricting our free speech."
Perez said the group had been told it could not stay in front of the courthouse overnight.
In Orange County, members of Occupy Orange County CA are being allowed to sleep on the grass in front of the Civic Center. The Irvine City Council voted Tuesday to let them camp out.
"They been cooperative and peaceful; we haven't had any police issues," Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen said. "They're keeping it clean."
The San Diego Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sought Friday to have charges dropped against 51 protesters who were arrested at the Occupy San Diego demonstration, the newspaper said.
"Historically, the San Diego Police Department has managed protest activity exceedingly well, with a focus on accommodation of speech in the broader public interest," said San Diego ACLU director Kevin Keenan ."Overnight presence is fundamental to the political message of Occupy San Diego."
San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne said the sweep of the Occupy camp was ordered after protesters refused to remove tents, tarps, chairs and other property from the plaza behind City Hall. Officers arrested protesters who refused to move.
"The city of San Diego supports anyone's right to protest," Mayor Jerry Sanders said in a statement. "However, when health and safety issues arise, or when protesters fail to comply with the law, appropriate action must be taken."
"If we want this idea of occupying public space to actually do something, this is something that can't stop," Perez said. "Despite what officials say, I don't think its as simple as packing things up and going home again."