Liveblog: Occupy LA under assault now. Philly, too
Sigh. I was preparing a post on how much better the Los Angeles Police Department had handled themselves than the NYPD. It really looked like things were going to be civilized. But now…. UPDATE: Looks like they handled themselves well. Minimum arrests, no violence.
UPDATE: Apparently Occupy Philadelphia has also been evicted.
I just did a search. My tweets during this liveblog mostly do NOT come up on a search of the #occupyLA hashtag. WTF? Is twitter blocking some users?
3:30 PST: Word from the chief: about 200 arrests, 1400 total officers involved.
Only a couple of uses of force, but no tear gas, no rubber bullets, no pepper spray, no water, no baton use.
Those arrested will need to make bail, they won’t just be released.
3:10 PST: LAPD is calling (on scanner) for buses to pull out their force. We’re winding down.
2:50 PST: Okay, we’ve got one video that’s not totally sweetness and light. This apparently happened early in the raid – an LAPD officer didn’t like how close this cameraman was getting and shoved him back pretty hard. When the cameraman got upset, he was arrested pretty violently. NOT pretty. (Sorry about the crappy quality – looks like this was filmed off a TV screen).
2:45 PST: Report: “OccupyLA is NOT going home! We will reconvene at Placita Olvera Street which is right in front of Union Station.”
2:30 PST: Things are fairly chaotic on the ground right now. Various occupy groups mingle in the area. LAPD moves them from corner to corner. There’s talk on the police scanner that they’r preparing to make more arrests – possibly as many as 100.
One of the tree-sitters has been plucked from his perch via cherry picker and is being arrested.
They are also talking about arresting a couple of folks from the media team who didn’t have their IDs on them. “They didn’t have their IDs, so I’m comfortable with the arrests”.
The eviction went down with just 8 arrests; Occupy Philly is still marching through the downtown.
2:15PST: Remember those rumors of coordination with Homeland Security? Guess whose busses are taking away those arrested? Twitter also reports that they’re being swabbed for DNA.
2:10PST: This will be the tricky moment. LAPD wants the crowd to disperse. They’re moving in. Some of the crowd chants “Stay together”… but how good an idea is that?
@TheBradBlog: Lesson of night: When police are non-violent, so are demonstrators. #duh.
2:oo PST: The most impressive thing so far – despite the 1300 LAPD and the large crowd, there was no use of tear gas, no use of pepper spray, no use of rubber bullets or bean bags. Rather than assaulting the full crowd, the LAPD moved on them piecemeal, clearing out one area at a time and making arrests as needed. Even with those passively resisting, they didn’t bust out the batons. And the tree-sitters have had beanbag guns aimed at them, but not used.
Smart tactics. They’ve learned. Let’s hope it stays that way as they attempt to disperse the remaining crowd.
1:55 PST: There is s crowd still just beyond Main Street, and now the police are talking to them, telling them it’s time move away. The Occupiers are trying to figure out where to move out to.
OLA spokesman says LAPD deserves credit for not going violent. “This is what cooperation looks like”.
1:42 PST: LA times reports: Occupier to cop, “If you give me a hug, I’ll leave right now”. Officer smiles. No hug, though.
1:35 PST: Occupiers tell riot cops “We are peaceful! Put the guns away!”
We had earlier heard a rumor that LAPD was concerned occupiers would fling poo.
1:20 PST: Occupy Oakland says they will sue to reclaim their rights.
1:15 PST: LAPD says the officers in white are actually helping those being arrested to pack up their belongings. Improvement on NYPD, Denver and others where belongings were trashed.
1:05 PST: Buses have pulled up to take away those arrested. But things are fairly calm at the moment. About 2 dozen arrested, but no violence so far. Most people seem to be packing up and leaving voluntarily.
One woman was jumped by about 8 officers. Not clear what was going on there. Didn’t look like she was resisting or anything.
1:00 PST: Mayor Villaregosa statement asks to leave voluntarily. And that the park will be re-opened once it has been cleared.
12:54 PST: Police have begun tearing down tents. Arrests are beginning.
12:35 PST: Police are saying “You have seven minutes to leave unlawful assembly. Grab your stuff and let the officers know you want to leave and you will be allowed to do so. If you remain in the area you will be subject to arrest.”
12:25 PST: Officer to journalist: “It’s going to get very dangerous very soon.” (via livestream)
12:15 PST: Police are on the move in LA. Hundreds of them poured out of City Hall. Rumor: There are 1300 officers deployed.
Occupy Philly has been evicted. They are now marching arm in arm: “This is what a police state looks like!”
12:00 PST: KTLA reporting that Homeland Security has replaced LAPD in some parts of the cordon around Occupy LA. 11 buses have just left Dodger Stadium, heading for the plaza.
Philly: Mounted police have just arrived. So far it has been non-violent.
11:30 PST: 1st and Broadway, LAPD in riot gear with tear gas canisters and sponge guns blockading OWS. There are also a ton of police at 3rd and Main. Word is that people can still join the occupation by coming south on 1st/Alameda.
@CandlelitLies: a lone trumpeter plays The Star Spangled Banner in the background as the officers and protesters face off.
At this hour:
- A statement released by founding members of Occupy L.A. said they are calling “on all sides to ensure a nonviolent resolution to the encampment at City Hall.”
- An LAPD helicopter is hovering over the camp, drowning out the chants of the Occupiers.
- LAPD has issued a city-wide tactical alert.
- They have also begun putting up barricades.
- Police are reported to be assembling at nearby Dogers Stadium. KCAL9 estimates 27 busses w approx 15 officers per bus. KCAL9 also is reported to have said local media agreed to censor tactical info in exchange for access.
- Ross X (@dudeonabike):
Recall LAPD’s motto: “To Protect and Serve.” Bus boarding LAPD at Dodger Stadium to evict
@OccupyLA reads: “Not in Service.”
- The mayor, a former union organizer and president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union who should certainly know better, said he decided to shut down the encampment after learning there were children present.