SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A protester with “Occupy San Jose” climbed to the top of a large wall outside City Hall early Monday morning to protest the continued removal of protesters from the plaza below, police and protesters said.
The man, identified by another protester as Shaun O’Kelly, climbed up Sunday night. He remained on the wall late Monday night.
Five people were arrested in the plaza for illegal camping around 3:20 a.m. Monday, San Jose police Officer Jose Garcia said. One was cited and released at the scene, and the other four were booked into Santa Clara County Jail, he said.
“Just before 4:00 a.m. this morning, there were several of us occupiers in the plaza when about 9 police cars and a couple of other vehicles pulled up and started arresting people and taking them to jail,” recounted one of the demonstrators. “Tearing down the occupation.”
Occupy San Jose protester Peter Brown said that at least three tents were pitched outside of City Hall when he left on Sunday afternoon. He said that when he returned early Monday morning, O’Kelly was already on the wall.
Garcia described the wall as “decorative” and estimated it is at least two stories high. “It’s pretty tall,” he said.
Garcia said it could be dangerous to try to remove the man, so police are going to let him be for now.
“We’re just going to wait him out until he comes down,” Garcia said.
As of 7:30 a.m., the man was standing on the wall holding a sign that read, “Stand up for what you believe in.” He would occasionally flip the sign to show the back, which read “Knowmore.org.”
The man had also hung additional signs on the wall that appeared to be made out of cardboard, listing numbers of police officers and protesters.
Monday’s arrest was the second in three days. A third demonstrator was cited but not arrested because he is wheelchair-bound.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:
Authorities maintain the arrests were necessary because of health and safety concerns.
“That includes public urination, public defecation, there’s trash being thrown around and building up. It was becoming unsanitary and we didn’t want to create the precedent where people who just camp out indefinitely in front of City Hall,” explained SJPD spokesman Officer Jason Dwyer.
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