10 Net Neutrality Protesters Arrested After Refusing to Leave Google Campus

(San Jose Mercury News/MCT) -

A protest by a group calling itself Occupy Google resulted in the arrest of 10 people late Tuesday night after they refused to leave the internet giant’s campus, according to police.

The protesters were staging a demonstration calling for net neutrality at Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. About 20 demonstrators wearing matching blue shirts reading “Defend internet freedom” participated and pitched tents on the company’s campus.

Google allowed the protesters to stay on their campus during the day but requested they leave for the night, Mountain View police Sgt. Saul Jaeger said. Google security notified Mountain View police about the protesters during the day, and police made contact with the group and left.

“It was a very peaceful demonstration,” Jaeger said. “Google was okay with the protest, as long as it was not blocking business and remained peaceful.”

When it became apparent the protesters wanted to remain overnight, police were called out again, Jaeger said. Google security and Mountain View police warned the protesters several times they would be arrested for trespassing if they did not pack up and leave.

“We want to make every effort to not have to arrest anybody,” Jaeger said. “They were warned several times of the ramifications.”

At 11 p.m., some of the protesters had packed up, but two of them sat down and refused to leave, Jaeger said. Others also remained, and at Google’s request, they were arrested for trespassing.

Jaeger said Google had told the protesters they could return in the morning but had to leave for the night.

On its website, the Occupy Google group said, “We are here to call on Google and all its employees to stand up and join us in the fight for a free and open internet.”