SAN DIEGO - Occupy San Diego protesters have been told by San Diego police they have to remove the last tent in the civic center by 6 a.m., Saturday morning.
Friday morning, two men camped near city hall as part of the protests against perceived financial and political corruption were arrested and the group's personal possessions, including tents, were clears out of the common area.
On Thursday, San Diego police warned protestors to remove all their tents, tables, chairs and other camp paraphernalia or face arrest, though they were welcome to continue exercising their Free Speech without their belongings.
"I think we've gone way out of our way to make sure the people have a right to protest," said San Diego Chief of Police William Lansdowne.
Participants in the week-old "Occupy San Diego'' sit-in can remain at the downtown Community Concourse indefinitely, but not their possessions, San Diego Police Department Assistant Chief Boyd Long announced late Thursday afternoon.
Long appeared in person to explain the order to the demonstrators.
"We have a fundamental right to stay here and be here," explained Trevor Slutzman of Occupy San Diego. "We will be here to voice that right as long as we possibly can."
About 7 a.m., police forcibly removed a man who sat side-by-side with about 100 other protestors on the ground in front of their tents and other makeshift camp belongings. Several protestors did comply with police orders, having vacated the area before dawn.
"A male was arrested for resisting, delaying, or obstructing officers as they were trying to remove tents from the area," Long said.
Roughly half dozen tents were torn down by police around 8 a.m.
Police said the makeshift camp had to go because a World Dance Tour group has a permitted event planned for this weekend in the same area and is expecting a crowd of at least 2,000 people.
Until Friday morning, the rally had been largely confrontation-free and the only incident to mar the protest was Monday's death of a defendant in a pending vehicular manslaughter case who plunged to his death from a nearby parking structure. It has not been confirmed if he was taking part in the movement.
Later in the afternoon, protesters and police clashed when police tried to remove the last remaining tent. A handful of protesters were pepper sprayed.
"I was pushed," said Jessica Karle.
Karle's friend, Melissa Deutsch, was one of the protesters who was sprayed in the face with pepper spray.
The Civic Center is expecting a few thousand people Saturday evening for an event. Police say protesters can't obstruct business.
"We've been very tolerate," said assistant police cheif, Boyd Long.