The Occupy Wall Street movement hit Florida in full force this week, with protests taking place from big cities like Miami to one-percenter retirement meccas like Naples. Naturally, college town Gainesville got in on the action, and held a demonstration in Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Bo Diddley's son was actually there, and promptly got arrested in a park named after his own father.
On Thursday night, about fifty protesters had assembled in Bo Diddley Community Plaza. The park is named after the rhythm and blues legend who spent his finals years living in nearby Archer, Florida.
They had planned to stay the night, but the city denied the group a permit to stay past the closing time of 11:30. Police gave the protesters about 30 minutes to vacate the park and take their protest to the sidewalks.
A group of protesters, including Ellas Anthony McDaniel, Diddley's 56 year-old son, chose to stay behind. McDaniel was arrested and charged with trespassing.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"This is my father's park," McDaniel told The Florida Independent Alligator. "For them to arrest me in that plaza is ludicrous. ... I'm an American. This is freedom of assembly."
McDaniel was not taken to jail, and police merely handcuffed those arrested, lead them to a police car, and released them minutes later.
After being released McDaniel rejoined the protest on the sidewalk.