PHOENIX -- For more than a month, demonstrators have occupied Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix. Over the last few weeks, Occupy protests across the country have been dismantled by local police agencies. What started out as a similar situation here, however, turned out to be something different Tuesday morning.
Officers moved into the plaza to dismantle tents set up by the more than a dozen protesters. According officials with the Phoenix Police Department, they did that because some of the occupiers were sleeping in the plaza.
The deal between city officials and protesters, according to one sergeant, is the demonstrators could stay and protest as long as they don't sleep. When officers saw eyes closed, they moved in.
They were able to make contact with at least three protesters. One was warned and the other two were arrested because they had been warned before. In addition, their tents were dismantled and confiscated.
According to demonstrator Alex Soto, the three people in question "closed their eyes to pray or something spiritual."
"Police react and say you're sleeping when you close your eyes," he said.
The two arrested were cited.
City workers moved in behind officers to clean the area. The dozen or so occupiers who were left stood on the outskirts of the plaza to continue protesting corporate greed and big businesses.
These latest arrests bring the total arrested since the Occupy Phoenix movement started to 100.