Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: LAPD police officers evicted protesters from the Occupy LA encampment near city hall on Wednesday, but it fell to the city's sanitation department to do the heavy lifting in terms of actually clearing the camp site.
The Los Angeles Times reports that sanitation workers have already removed 25 tons of debris from the encampment and expect that number to grow to 30 tons by the time their job is done.
The paper with more: "The sheer volume of personal belongings left behind after the early morning Los Angeles Police Department raid has astonished city workers: books and CDs, luggage and boom boxes, mattresses and dining chairs, cellphones, electric razors, a small red guitar with its neck snapped –- all surrounded by dozens of collapsed and empty tents."
Wednesday, Nov. 3: Los Angeles officials followed through on their promise on Wednesday morning to clear the city's Occupy encampment.
The Associated Press reports that the city used more than 1,400 police officers to raid the Occupy Los Angeles camp, driving protesters from a park near City Hall that had served as their home for nearly two months and arresting more than 200 in the process.
A similar scene took place across the country in Philadelphia, where police arrested 52 demonstrators as they brought an end to that city's Occupy encampment.
There were minor injuries reported at both scenes but overall the raids reportedly proved relatively peaceful and lacked much of the drama of the NYPD's raid of Zuccotti Park earlier this month.
Hundreds of police officers swarmed the large camp at City Hall’s south lawn shortly after midnight, encircling the demonstrators in less than 10 minutes. By quickly establishing a perimeter, police managed to take control of the scene in the first moments of engagement.
No tear gas was used in the shutdown of what was the nation's largest remaining Occupy camp. ...
The protesters largely kept to their promise of confronting the police peacefully. While some taunted police verbally and a few rocks were thrown, most protesters either left on their own or nonviolently submitted to arrest, with many going limp and forcing the police to carry them out.
And the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Police swarmed around City Hall and rousted Occupy Philadelphia protesters from their encampment overnight, more than two days after a deadline passed for them to leave.
The occupiers responded by roaming around Center City, scattering and regrouping with police following their every move in a chaotic night of cat-and-mouse that ended before daylight.
"The Dilworth occupation is over," Mayor Nutter said at a news conference just before 7 a.m.
Crews were using bulldozers and other heavy equipment to clear up debris and fire hoses to wash down the plaza as he spoke.
Monday, Nov. 28 at 2:18 p.m. Police still have yet to follow through with plans to evict the Occupy LA protesters from their encampment near City Hall, but the demonstrators are prepping to go to court in order to make sure that doesn't change.
The Los Angeles Times reports that protesters were set to file for a federal injuction on Monday that would prevent the police from dismantling the encampment and evicting the protesters, who have gathered at the park for going on two months.
The complaint argues that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck violated the protesters' civil rights by ordering the protesters to leave and accuses them of engaging "in "arbitrary and capricious action in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments by first approving the Occupy presence for 56 days before suddenly revoking permission through the unilateral action of defendants."
The city has said that camping in the City Hall park is now illegal, although they have yet to forcibly evict the protesters. That may change soon, however. "We will enforce the park closure," Villaraigosa said in an interview with KTLA-TV. "We thought talking through this was the best way to proceed and we've done that. But it's become crystal clear … that it wasn't sustainable to be there indefinitely."
Monday, Nov. 28 at 9:35 a.m.: Los Angeles police are holding off on a plan to forcibly evict Occupy LA protesters from their encampment near city hall for now, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The city had originally set a midnight deadline for the protesters to clear the area, but later pushed back the deadline to 4:30 a.m. local time after thousands of protesters gathered at the location to show their support for the movement.
According to the Times, police issued an order to disperse shortly after 5 a.m. to protesters who had spilled over from the encampment into a nearby intersection, and most people complied, moving back into the park that is home to the city's OWS encampment. Still, the paper reports that a few refused to leave the street and that four people were arrested after several protesters began throwing things at police.
Hundreds of police wearing riot gear have lined the streets but currently continue to show restraint. The LAT: "Police said that there are still no plans to begin evicting people from the City Hall park, which was officially closed at midnight Sunday. They said their main intention was to clear the streets for morning commuters."
Sunday, Nov. 27: As many get ready to head back to work after a holiday weekend, Occupy protesters in Los Angeles are preparing to defy LAPD’s assertion that their fun is over, too.
The Associated Press reports that an encampment at Los Angeles City Hall is scheduled for evacuation starting just after midnight Monday morning, but protesters weren’t packing up. Instead, they were learning resistance tactics, and learning how to deal with the possibility of rubber bullets, tear gas, and other police crowd control weapons.
“Their plan is to resist the closure of this encampment and if that means getting arrested so be it,” occupier Will Picard told AP, speaking of protest organizers. “I think they just want to make the police tear it down rather than tear it down themselves.”
The Los Angeles Times reports Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck set the midnight deadline for Occupy protesters, and admitted that arrests were likely but would not divulge plans about how protesters might be moved.
"This is a police department that is very good with the application of force if we need to be. Nobody questions that," Chief Beck said, according to the LAT. "But I also want to be known as a department that can avoid the application of major force."
Meanwhile activists argued that the move to evict protesters could backfire on the mayor and police. Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel told the LAT the deadline “made people dig in their heels. There were discussions taking place. There was no reason not to let it play out further and see what the city could do.”