Austin police began clearing the City Hall grounds downtown of Occupy Austin demonstrators who have camped on the square for nearly four months.
The Austin American-Statement reports police, about 10 p.m. Friday, began enforcing a new city policy that bans overnighters from the public building. Witnesses say the operation was peaceful as Wall Street protesters began gathering up their personal effects and leaving.
City officials had begun to express concern over the rising police overtime costs and maintaining cleanliness as 30 to 40 people slept on the square for weeks. Police officials said constant police patrols were costing $110,000 to $115,000 every two weeks. City officials estimated the movement had cost city taxpayers about $800,000.