(Reuters) - At least 21 people were arrested on Friday and tents were removed from an Occupy Denver protest after up to 100 demonstrators defied orders to vacate a park by the state capitol for the night, police said.
The Colorado State Patrol arrested 19 people and Denver Police arrested at least two on charges ranging from unlawful conduct on public land to assault on a citizen, state patrol spokesman Captain Jeff Goodwin said.
About 150 state troopers and Denver police were at the scene of the protest, he said.
The arrests came after the Colorado State Patrol posted a notice on Thursday declaring occupation of the park in which protesters had set up camp to be illegal between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The arrests occurred early on Friday.
“We’re not going anywhere,” one 20-year-old protester, a pre-med student who gave her name only as Emmi, told Reuters by phone. “We’re planning to rebuild. We’re planning on staying right there.”
She said she was present at the protesters’ camp at the time of the arrests and put the number of arrests at up to 24.
“We’re going to be there until things actually start to change within the government,” Emmi said, “things like making corporations again.” She was referring to a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that classified corporations as the legal equivalent of people.
Those arrested were transported to Denver County Jail where they will have an opportunity to post bond, Goodwin said.
Denver protesters also plan on taking part in an international day of action scheduled for Saturday, organizers said.
Reporting by Mary Slosson and David Bailey; Editing by Jerry Norton and Cynthia Johnston