SAN DIEGO (AP) -- San Diego police arrested 51 people as officers cleared out economic demonstrators who occupied the Civic Center Plaza and Children's Park for three weeks.
Dozens of police officers and San Diego County sheriff's deputies descended on the encampment around 2:30 a.m. Friday, declared an unlawful assembly and removed tents, canopies, tables and other furniture.
Police say there had been numerous complaints about unsanitary conditions created by human and animal feces, urination, drug use and littering, as well as damage to city property. Police say demonstrators may return - without tents and other belongings - after the cleanup is finished.
Chief William Lansdowne says negotiations with demonstrators had broken down and officers received no cooperation.
Demonstrators began arriving at the plaza on Oct. 7 to protest perceived economic injustice and poverty.