Rowdy behavior leads to schism in Occupy San Luis Obispo movement

Leaders of an umbrella group that spawned the Occupy SLO movement have withdrawn formal support for the splinter group that has been occupying the county courthouse lawn in downtown San Luis Obispo for a week, citing a compendium of bad behavior by people who joined the protests after they began.

“We have officially pulled up stakes,” Pete Evans of Occupy SLO said Wednesday. “Anyone down there (at the courthouse) does not represent” the organization.

Both Evans and Evan Sylvester said some people who latched onto the protest after it began last week “put a poor public face” on the larger movement with such behavior as drug and alcohol use, public urination and fights.

“It’s been a frigging nightmare,” Sylvester said.

But the protest continues in front of the courthouse, where undaunted participants said Wednesday afternoon that the problems were exaggerated and have been handled.

They say focusing on them, as Sylvester and Evans have, is a distraction, as is highlighting the inevitable differences of opinion in what they call a “leaderless movement.”

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