Janitors Rally On University City Streets

Traffic Snarled Due To Rally; Window Broken After Protesters Became Aggressive, Police Say

San Diego janitors were joined by union brethren from Los Angeles and Orange counties Friday, taking their demand for better wages and benefits to the streets near University Towne Centre in University City.

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The intersection of La Jolla Village Drive at Town Centre Drive was shut down due to the demonstration, snarling traffic for several miles.

As the crowd utilized drummers and bullhorns as they demonstrated, San Diego police Sgt. Duane Voss was coordinating crowd control.

"There's hundreds of people banging drums and screaming and someone in the crowd got aggressive," Voss told 10News.

Voss said the protesters wanted to get into a building lobby and one of his officers was pushed into a window, causing it to break.

"The officers were in fear for their lives at that point," said Voss.

Others officers quickly responded and calm was restored. Buses were brought in and the demonstrators left the area.

However, traffic was at a standstill, leaving many motorists frustrated.

"I have class, three classes to go to today. I'm late," one commuter said.

Another driver bemoaned the fact that "it's backed up for two miles now. It's ridiculous."

10News found some who supported the janitors and their demonstration.

"They deserve a decent wage. They're not asking for charity," one supporter said.

Another told 10News, "The janitors are human beings. They deserve dignity, respect and fair wages."

Thousands of janitors will see their contracts expire at the end of the month so there is some urgency to their making noise to attract attention.

Police are investigating if any charges might be lodged for the violence in the lobby.

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