NBCPhiladelphia.com - Monique Braxton
52 Occupy Philly demonstrators were arrested early Wednesday morning, police say the occupiers were given multiple warnings before being arrested. Protesters plan to gather at Rittenhouse Square Wednesday evening.
Traffic was blocked and some of the city's mass transit was shut down or detoured...and it's all because the Occupy Philadelphia movement was on the move early Wednesday.
The move came afters police began clearing the Occupy Philadelphia encampment near City Hall. Sanitation crews already have most of the area cleaned up.
Police pulled up on SEPTA busses just after midnight and began pulling down tents at about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday after telling about 100 remaining demonstrators they had to leave. Protesters began marching through the streets but later were stopped by police. The march resumed, shutting streets down and forcing mass transit detours and shut downs.
Police were with the marchers as they moved to Rittenhouse Square. Authorities confirm that they made 52 arrests. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says that some of the protesters were arrested after they refused to get out of the street. He says they were given multiple warnings.
Three officers were injured in a scuffle with occupiers and are being treated for minor injuries in a local hospital, according to authorities.
As the group moved through the city, traffic patterns were affected. The Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines were temporarily shut down and many bus routes and trolleys were detoured. Normal operations have since resumed.
Many city streets were closed for some time because of the march. All roads are reopened.
The action comes more than two days after the deadline for protesters to remove structures and belongings from Dilworth Plaza. Protesters have camped on the plaza since Oct. 6 to protest economic inequality and corporate influence on government.
Authorities say that they made the right move in forcing the eviction of the movement.
"I'm very pleased with it. I think they [police] did an excellent job...I'm very, very pleased and proud of my officers," says Ramsey.
Mayor Michael Nutter says that the city treated protesters with dignity from the start and that they tried to respect everyone's first ammendment rights.