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12 ticketed at Occupy Tucson

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12 ticketed at Occupy Tucson

Including three protesters cited on Monday night, a dozen demonstrators were ticketed at Occupy Tucson over the weekend, police said.

Friday night, two protesters were ticketed for for remaining in a downtown park after closing time overnight, a department spokeswoman said.

Saturday night, four were cited, with three given tickets on both Sunday and Monday nights for refusing to leave Veinte de Agosto Park, said Tucson Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke.

There have been over 600 arrests since the protest began Oct. 15, police records show.

The City Council deadlocked last Tuesday on a proposal to create a free speech zone in the park, allowing demonstrators to remain overnight without permits.

Although the downtown park, also known as Pancho Villa Park, closes at dusk, police have waited until about 10:30 p.m. to issue citations for being in the park after closing time.

Demonstrators moved to the park after being evicted from nearby Armory Park nearly three weeks ago.

Police had been citing some 20 or more protesters each night until just before the move from Armory Park.

Occupy Tucson protesters have been allowed to remain in the parks overnight after being cited for the misdemeanor offense of being in a park after closing time. Each night, police allow those who wish to leave to do so before making arrests and writing tickets.

The protesters face a maximum $1,000 fine for violating the park closing rules, a misdemeanor. While many of those arrested for trespassing at unrelated Tucson demonstrations in the past have seen their charges dismissed, the city has moved ahead with prosecuting those ticketed at Occupy Tucson.

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