AUSTIN -- Police arrested four Occupy Austin protesters early Thursday morning.
The city posted a notice to the group at City Hall about a scheduled clean up planned between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and told them they needed to vacate the premises. But protesters didn't buy it.
“This was a deliberate attempt at removing Occupy Austin from Freedom Plaza,” said organizers in an online statement.
Similar clean up efforts have been announced in other cities across the nation where groups are hosting related protests.
“We will not be stopped. We are the 99 percent!” said protesters online. “Law enforcement nation-wide is acting in a unified manner.”
At 2 a.m. Thursday, when the clean up at Austin City Hall began, police say four OA protesters refused to leave. Officers arrested them for criminal trespass, a Class A misdemeanor.
“The public display of support for Occupy Austin will increase with the news of these arrests,” wrote organizers in an online statement. “The occupation has not been broken as OA has maintained the space by holding on the sidewalks on the Plaza.”
Organizers say the majority of protesters on the plaza grounds left peacefully. They packed their bags and signs, placed them to the side and waited on nearby sidewalks while crews cleaned.
At 6 a.m., the clean up crews finished their work. Occupy Austin members immediately reentered plaza grounds and started putting their bags and signs back in place. The group says its intention is to draw attention to "corporate greed" and change the effect it has on the nation's political system. They've used personal signs and sidewalk chalk messages to spread the message.
In the notice about the scheduled clean up, however, there was also a written warning about what will no longer be allowed.
"Non-city signs may not be attached to the building, railings, walls or fixtures in the plaza area," it says in the statement. "[And] writing and marking of any kind is not permitted at any time."
Organizers say they will keep protesting as long as they can. During their general assembly on Thursday, they will discuss plans to form their own clean up crew to help maintain the City Hall Plaza grounds.