Monroe Park protest broken up, several arrested

By Deon Guillory - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A tent city that went up in Monroe Park came down overnight. Police arrested several people, but the group behind the campground say they will not stop fighting.

This group says it's all about preserving Monroe Park, keeping it friendly to the homeless.

Right now, the few who weren't arrested say they are waiting by the phone to go and bail their friends out of jail.

Around midnight, Richmond police moved in, and the people here had to move out.

Officers were there to break up this protest, which had been going on for several days. We're told eight people were arrested.

Others grabbed their belongings, blankets and plastic bags filled with items. They also took down their tents and a sign with a list of demands.

"The only reason why they are not wanting to do this in stages is because they do not value the people that it would mostly inconvenience," said protestor Mo Karn.

"It would have been a statement, if we just stayed until sunset. It would have made a difference," said protestor Anthony Gatto.

Police tell us city code doesn't allow anyone in the park after dusk and before dawn. And that this group failed to comply with several requests from the city. And after refusing to leave, they were arrested and charged with trespassing.

This protestors says they plan to regroup and say they will be back until someone with the city decides to negotiate.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.