Occupy Colorado Springs protesters are figuring out what's next for their movement after the city denied them a permit and a protester was arrested.
On Monday, Mayor Steve Bach announced that protesters would not be granted a year-long permit to set up things such as tents and tables near Acacia Park. Occupy Colorado Springs' 30-day permit expired at midnight Monday, and after a two-hour warning to protesters, code enforcement officers took action, confiscating tents and other items.
Monday afternoon, a group of protesters rallying outside of City Hall set up chairs and a table, prompting police to confront the group for violating city code. One man took responsibility for the belongings and was handcuffed. KRDO Newschannel 13 got exclusive video of Nic Galetka's arrest, and protesters angry words for police.
"Shame on you!" shouted one woman. "You are not allowed to use our tax dollars for this!"
"Uphold the constitution!" a man yelled.
Galetka was ticketed for violating city code and released soon after his arrest. He said he's not afraid to challenge police again.
"If that's what it takes," said Galetka. "If they're going to keep arresting us, it's their choice."
Protesters said they decided not risk arrest by setting up tents on Monday night. At 10 p.m., just two protesters remained, while others decided to get some sleep after a long 24 hours. They said they plan to meet Tuesday afternoon to talk about what's next.
In a statement, Occupy spokesperson Jason Warf wrote: "Occupy will be moving forward with both criminal and civil action against the city. This is not the route that we chose and this is not a route that our city can afford."
Mayor Steve Bach said Occupy Colorado Springs did not consistently meet the guidelines set with their initial permit.
"The boundaries have not been met pursuant to the letter we have provided these folks," said Bach.
He said the city had gotten many complaints from merchants and citizens about protesters.
"It's what's right for our city in terms of public safety and wellness," said Bach of his decision.
He said city council could overrule his decision not to renew the permit. Protesters said they planned to appeal.