Hundreds of Miami and Miami-Dade police dressed in riot gear forcibly evicted the Occupy Miami campground last night outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, about 10 hours after the Occupiers had been served with an eviction notice. At least four people were arrested, including photojournalist Carlos Miiler, and no one was seriously hurt.
A core group of Occupiers -- about six in all -- who stood their ground hoping to get arrested were all but ignored and released shortly after police cleared the surrounding streets of protesters.
As the police converged upon the camp at approximately 8 p.m., most of the protesters were forced to the streets as riot police lined the sidewalk on the western edge of the encampment, leaving behind six occupiers locked in a huddle and guarded by three officers.
The whole ordeal lasted two hours, and ultimately was a stark contrast to the violent crackdowns in Oakland and elsewhere in the past week.
The rest of the protesters poured onto NW Second Avenue, refusing to leave, as police began to block the corners of NW Third Street and Second Ave., and NW First Street and NW Second Ave.
Police started beating riot sticks against their body shields and began the slow march down Second Ave., forcing protesters down NW First Street toward the river.
Protesters chanted and challenged the police to a standoff, while cameramen ready for action dressed in riot helmets and flak vests filmed the showdown. Shortly before 10 p.m., police served a last warning to disperse, then announced that everybody standing on the street was under arrest.
One of the Occupiers who resisted eviction, Rudolfo Serrano, played violin as the police began their descent. Serrano learned how to play violin while staying at the camp.
"Police surrounded the circle but kept on going," said Serrano. "I kept the tunes of the violin to keep the anger down in the camp."
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