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Police arrest two Occupy Tampa protesters they say confronted officers

Published Jan. 30, 2012

TAMPA — Two Occupy Tampa protesters were arrested Sunday night and accused of trying to fend off police efforts to keep a rally away from busy traffic, authorities said.

Tampa police said they got calls about 8:40 p.m. saying that about 50 protesters were blocking the intersection of Kennedy Boulevard and Dale Mabry Highway. The callers said they were concerned the protesters might be struck by traffic. Officers arrived and said most of the protesters left.

But one, Marisol Marouani of Tampa, refused orders to get out of traffic and was arrested after a brief struggle, police said.

Another, Seth Collins of Tampa, approached an officer with clenched fists, police said.

Marouani faces charges of obstructing a sidewalk and resisting arrest without violence. Collins faces a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.

Police said the two told them the protest was in response to the crackdown on the Occupy Oakland movement in California, where protesters vandalized a historic city hall and police arrested more than 400 people.