Police force protesters out of Kanawha Plaza - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Police force protesters out of Kanawha Plaza

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - "Occupy Richmond" is looking for a new home. Early Monday morning Richmond and state police broke up the protest and evicted everyone who had been staying in Kanawha Plaza for the last two weeks.

It was 1 a.m. - Richmond police surrounded Kanawha Plaza and gave a warning. 15 minutes to get your stuff and get out.  

"I feel like this is probably costing the tax payers a lot of money. I mean there were probably a hundred cops here," said protestor Danielle Lewis. 

Cruisers blocked the road- officers were on horseback.  

"This as an attempt to come in when people were at their weakest; while they were asleep. Tell them to immediately leave," protestor Christopher Goad said. 

Protesters were pushed to the sidewalks. Tempers flared! 

"No state or city governance can overrule the constitution," a protestor shouted. 

But no tear gas- no riots like we've seen in other cities. As bulldozers moved in to crush and wipe away tents and sleeping bags...Occupy Richmond made its point by singing the Star Spangled Banner.  

By daylight- city crews began power washing. Protesters returned with a message for the mayor. 

"It's pretty appalling. They destroyed a lot of people's stuff and destroyed a lot of people's stuff who weren't even part of Occupy's stuff," said Megan Walker. 

Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring says 9 were arrested or detained for obstruction of justice or trespassing. He says after 15 days- a city law that prevents people from sleeping over in city parks needed to be enforced. 

"My conclusion is the mayor reached a point where he simply could not accommodate them anymore. The police department wanted to move in sooner and I did too, but I can understand they position the administration took," Herring said. 

We requested an interview with the mayor- but city hall was silent- never responding...not even issuing a statement. No word tonight how long the park will be closed to the public.  

The protesters are regrouping at 7:00 at the compass on the VCU campus to decide where they go from here.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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