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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

As several Occupy movements have been swept from the streets of cities around the nation, Occupy Gainesville still stands.

After police raided the Occupy L.A. camp at City Hall, they arrested about 300 people and collected 25 tons of debris, according to The Associated Press.

The large amount of garbage was making the area unsanitary, causing the government to remove the protesters, among other reasons.

This is the problem with the large Occupy movements, said 19-year-old Occupy protester Johnny Morrow, a student at Santa Fe College.

"The Occupy protesters in the big cities are less of a community than we are," he said. "We are peaceful."

Occupy Gainesville is smaller. About 25 protesters have been arrested since the protesters set up downtown on Bo Diddley Community Plaza in October.

The local movement has not been removed from downtown because protesters are not violating the law, said Gainesville City Commissioner Jeanna Mastrodicasa in an email.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the temporary eviction of the Occupy encampment of Zuccotti Park because the protesters had become a health and fire hazard, according to Reuters.

Occupy Gainesville is not a camp, said Cpl. Angelina Valuri, public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department. The protesters set up during the day and leave when the park closes.

"The situation in other cities is not what is going on in Gainesville," Valuri said.

About 15 protesters stay through the night on the sidewalks bordering the park.

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