Occupy Albany Camp Dismantled As Police Pepper Spray Protesters

12/23/2011 03:07 pm ET | Updated Dec 23, 2011

So much for the holiday spirit.

Police pepper sprayed Occupy Albany protesters in front of a man dressed as Santa Claus on Thursday night. The incident occurred as police dismantled the protester's camp, the AP reported.

After a judge issued a court order allowing the city to remove the camp's tents, a large group of city workers and police officers entered the camp. As the last tent was being removed, protesters began to fight back, holding on to it and engaging the cops in a tug-of-war. The AP reports that at least 5 protesters were pepper sprayed, 4 were arrested and 1 was taken away by an ambulance.

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings defended the police action and insisted there was "no legal ambush" or "planned force."

Watch police clash with protesters in the video below.

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