Occupy Fresno protesters remain defiant
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Only a handful of protesters remained at Courthouse Park in Downtown Fresno on Monday. Some were seen packing their signs and leaving the area they've occupied for the past month.
"The deputies are basically saying we don't have freedom of speech and we're saying we do. We have the right to assemble, we have the right to address the government with our issues and grievances," said Occupy Fresno protester John Brown.
Occupy Fresno demonstrators remained defiant Monday morning, refusing to leave even after Sheriff deputies moved in over the weekend. "If you want to walk across the park and go home that's perfectly fine but you can't loiter between county property between the hours of midnight and 6 am," said one deputy.
Protesters have been in violation of a county ordinance that doesn't allow people to stay in the park overnight. Those arrested have been taken in multiple times and say they vow to return but deputies have been patrolling the area throughout the day to keep crowds out.
"Our plan is to keep a presence in Courthouse Park to make sure that they don't reoccupy that space. And so far when they do start bringing property onto the Courthouse Park, we tell them to remove it and they do," said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
The past two days, deputies in riot gear have been out making arrests in the early hours. Many of them have been working overtime or moved from their regular shifts, all at taxpayers' expense.
"And I understood that Occupy Fresno, one of their complaints was the Sheriff shouldn't be using the resources and my message to Occupy Fresno is that if you don't break the law, it wouldn't require our attention and we could use our resources somewhere else," said Mims.
Even some residents who've supported demonstrators are now saying they've taken it too far. "Well if it's over, hey, you're disobeying the law. And they've done it once or twice, they need to go to plan B," said Michael Hargis of Fresno.
Many of the protesters arrested multiple times face a misdemeanor for each arrest. Each misdemeanor charge can carry up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.
occupy wall street, protest, fresno, fresno county, local, carlos saucedo
- One person shot near the ice rink at the Fulton Mall
- Amber Alert issued for 14-year-old Kennewick Girl
- Two of three missing Dinuba children found safe
- Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95
- Candlelight Christmas Tractor Parade and Wine Stroll
- Effort to complete Herndon bike trail underway
- Teenage serial burglar, 14, arrested in Merced
- Wanted Fresno burglar caught on camera
- Body of missing Delano woman found in canal
- Two injured in Madera drive-by shooting
- American teacher shot dead in Libya's Benghazi
- US economy grows at 3.6 percent rate in 3rd quarter
- Foothill residents preparing for freezing temps
- US jobless claims drop to 316,000, as layoffs slow
- Fire Safety