Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Police Raid On Occupy LA Encampment Imminent

Reports: Police raid on Occupy LA encampment imminent

Tents remain in place during the Occupy LA protest outside City Hall in downtown on Nov. 29.

By staff and wires

LOS ANGELES -- A raid on Occupy LA’s City Hall encampment was imminent Tuesday night as several local news sources reported that Los Angeles Police were gathering at Dodger Stadium.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he decided to evict the protesters after learning that children were staying in the camp.

Occupy LA’s Facebook page said city buses would be staged near City Hall between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., NBC station KNBC reported.

It was not known exactly when police would clear the area out, but about half the tents were gone, the KNBC report said.

On Monday, protesters declared a minor victory after defying a midnight deadline to clear the camp, the Associated Press reported. Police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters there was “no concrete deadline” for removing the protesters.

"This is a monumental night for Los Angeles. We're going to do what we can to protect the camp," said Gia Trimble, member of the Occupy LA media team.

She said she thought a lot of people would stay and risk arrest, adding, "We're really committed to this."

The protesters designated medics designated with red crosses taped on clothing. Some protesters had gas masks. Broadcast footage showed Los Angeles police officers boarding buses that had lined up near Dodger Stadium at what appeared to be some sort of staging area.

Organizers at the camp packed up computer and technical equipment from the media tent.

Two men who have constructed an elaborate tree house fashioned a ladder pusher out of bamboo sticks tied together with twine. It was intended to push down a ladder that police may erect to get them out of the tree house.

Members of the National Lawyers guild had legal observers on hand for any possible eviction that may occur.

Pam Noles, a member of the camp media team, said the park is legally closed at 10:30 p.m.

Police have removed protesters in other cities. Some of those instances involved pepper spray and tear gas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

No comments: