7 Arrested at FIU in Occupy Event on Haiti Quake Anniversary

Occupy Miami says they were a mix of its and Occupy FIU's demonstrators

Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 6:33 AM EDT
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Julia Bagg/NBCMiami.com

Occupy Miami tents at the Stephen P. Clark center on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011.

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Seven people were arrested at a protest at Florida International University Thursday at what the Occupy movement said was a music festival it held in solidarity with Haiti earthquake survivors.

Three Florida International University students and four non-students were arrested, FIU spokeswoman Maydel Santana-Bravo said.

Occupy Miami, on its Facebook page, identified those arrested as a mix of Occupy Miami and Occupy FIU demonstrators.

They were holding a protest without a permit and were asked to break it up for some time, but they refused and were arrested by campus police Thursday afternoon, Santana-Bravo said. They were charged with unlawful assembly and were being transported to jail, she added.

Occupy Miami said, however, that they “were arrested today while legally engaging in free speech and peaceful assembly.” The leaderless movement said in posts that officers led away demonstrators in handcuffs without explaining what they were being arrested for.

An Occupy FIU member who was there when the arrests happened said that students were abiding by the police's requests.

“To this time, we’re not really sure what happened and why they were arrested, because there was no resistance being put," she told NBC Miami. "I mean, there was nothing violent at all.”

Occupy Miami could not be reached for comment at its main phone number or via email Thursday night.

After the initial protest held on the second anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake, demonstrators promoted what Occupy Miami called on Facebook “a vigil in support of the FIU seven,” to begin at 9 p.m. at 1350 Northwest 12th St.

A NBC Miami photographer at the scene reported at about 9:30 that there was no vigil to be found, however.

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