Before Saturday's 11 p.m. curfew, a crowd of several hundred protesters had set up tents at Woodruff Park, the scene of about 50 arrests of demonstrators last month. Organizers had said they planned to stay overnight despite warnings from the mayor and police that anyone there past closing would be arrested.
But as 11 p.m. approached, protesters began decamping peacefully. Dozens of officers were on hand, herding protesters away from the park's entrances and installing barricades around it. A police helicopter flew overhead.
"Police arrested about 20 demonstrators on the streets around Woodruff Park late Saturday as the Occupy Atlanta protest took an unexpected turn onto Peachtree Street."
"Before midnight, waves of police were moving south down Peachtree, forcing the marchers back. The first rank of police was simply in uniform and carried plastic handcuffs. They were backed by officers in riot gear — face plates, body armor and long nightsticks — and mounted police."
"As they waited for the confrontation to come, one or more protesters Saturday evening stole across the street to the SunTrust building that fronts on the park, lowered the American flag and then ran it back up the flagpole upside down — a widely recognized distress signal."
Those arrested Saturday night were released on signature bonds today.
"The group arrested Saturday night included Creative Loafing photographer Stephanie Pharr and a KSU student reporter."
"Eight of those arrested are college students pursuing bachelor's or masters degrees."
"Two of those students attend Georgia State University and claim they were not part of the protest but got caught up in the commotion."
Most were arrested for obstructing traffic on Peachtree Street, but one protester, Brandon Wojcik Tremblay was charged with aggravated assault and obstruction, the first felony charge for Occupy Atlanta. Police say he assaulted a motorcycle officer, but protester and witness accounts differ.
The following Youtube video was taken by Occupy Atlanta protesters, and appears to show one of the motorcycle police plowing through a crowd of protesters. I don't see an officer being assaulted as claimed, yet the protester on the ground is the man charged with felony aggravated assault.
Take a look for yourself: