Peaceful End to Occupation of Vacant Bank Building in Santa Cruz
SANTA CRUZ (KCBS) – A group of about 30 Occupy Santa Cruz protesters have left the bank building they broke into last week, after Santa Cruz police ordered them out Saturday afternoon.
The protesters took up residence in the former Coast Commercial Bank building across the river from the Occupy Santa Cruz encampment, saying they need it as a shelter for the winter.
Authorities say the people who were in the bank as part of a splinter group of Occupy Santa Cruz, some of whom are described as “known anarchists.”
“I don’t know if they’ve co-opted the group or what the deal really is, but they are at least some portion of the group and that’s a concern to us because these are people who are basically professional riot inciters,” suggested Santa Cruz Police Department spokesman, Officer Zach Friend.
Still, the hope was to remove the demonstrators without incident – something Friend says they were able to do.
“We wanted to be as safe and balanced as possible,” he said.
The police department is compiling a report on damages to the building and identifying those involved.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
Separately, Sheriff’s deputies removed an Occupy “dome” tent near the courthouse steps. No arrests were made, and the main Occupy Santa Cruz encampment remained at San Lorenzo Park.
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