[Debate] OCCUPY ! Occupy LA campers brace for imminent eviction

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Wed Nov 30 08:18:50 GMT 2011


Wednesday, 30 November 2011



OCCUPY !



BREAKING NEWS…. from TURTLE ISLAND :



Occupy LA campers brace for imminent eviction

Dan Whitcomb and Mary Slosson

LOS ANGELES | Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:02am EST

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/30/us-usa-protests-idUSTRE7AT0FO20111130



One hour ago, at the time of posting :

“Throngs of anti-Wall Street protesters braced for eviction on Tuesday  
night from their 8-week-old encampment outside Los Angeles City Hall,  
as police prepared to move in to enforce the mayor's order to vacate  
the compound.”



             JS


Occupy LA campers brace for imminent eviction

(Reuters) - Throngs of anti-Wall Street protesters braced for eviction  
on Tuesday night from their 8-week-old encampment outside Los Angeles  
City Hall, as police prepared to move in to enforce the mayor's order  
to vacate the compound.

Hundreds of Occupy LA activists, joined by supporters streaming into  
the area in a show of solidarity, stood crowding the lawn, sidewalks  
and streets around City Hall as word spread by broadcast news reports  
and the Internet that a police raid was imminent.

Several demonstrators climbed into trees, and fireworks were set off  
at one point as the crowd grew steadily more raucous in anticipation  
of police arriving. Many protesters chanted, "Move your feet, Occupy  
the street!"

The Los Angeles encampment, which officials had tolerated for weeks  
even as other cities moved in to clear out similar compounds, is among  
the largest on the West Coast aligned with a 2-month-old national  
Occupy Wall Street movement protesting economic inequality and  
excesses of the U.S. financial system.

City officials had hoped to keep the timing of the widely expected  
eviction operation under wraps.

But live local television footage revealed large numbers of police,  
patrol cars, buses and other vehicles massing at Dodger Stadium, a few  
miles away, in what appeared to be a major staging operation.

Twitter traffic among Occupy protesters was abuzz with unconfirmed  
reports that a police raid on the camp would be taking place within  
hours.

At about 11 p.m., Lieutenant Andy Neiman, a spokesman for the Los  
Angeles Police Department at the stadium, acknowledged: "The cat's out  
of the bag."

Roughly 1,200 police officers were to be ferried downtown from the  
stadium aboard 30 buses.

Asked what he planned to do when police arrived, Anthony Candelaria,  
21, a Los Angeles college student among the crowd gathered at City  
Hall, said, "Hold the fort down until they drag us out by our feet."

POSSIBLE RESISTANCE

One police supervisor told a group of officers to be ready for  
protesters who might put up a fight, warning that some demonstrators  
were believed to have gravel and other debris they were planning to  
throw at police.

Protesters began moving onto the City Hall park on October 1, and  
within weeks the encampment had grown to include as many as 500 tents,  
with between 700 to 800 full-time residents.

That number had diminished sharply since Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa  
said last week that he wanted protesters to pack up their tents and  
other belongings and clear out by first thing on Monday morning or  
face forcible removal.

That deadline came and went, however, with police closing in on the  
encampment early on Monday when protesters started to block traffic.  
But the roughly 300 officers sent in at that time stopped short of  
clearing the camp and withdrew once they had reopened streets for  
Monday commuters.

Since then, the status of the encampment had remained in a state of  
limbo. Attorneys for Occupy LA asked a federal judge for a court order  
barring police from shutting it down, arguing city officials had  
violated their civil rights by ordering the camp dismantled. But the  
judge has made no ruling.

Villaraigosa had initially welcomed the protesters, going so far as to  
supply them with ponchos for inclement weather. But as city officials  
complained of crime, sanitation problems and property damage they  
blamed on the camp, the mayor decided the group had to go.

He issued his eviction notice last Friday after talks on a plan to  
induce the protesters to leave voluntarily collapsed, setting the  
stage for the latest showdown between leaders of a major U.S. city and  
the Occupy movement.

The mayor has promised to find alternative shelter for homeless people  
who had taken up residence at City Hall and were estimated to account  
for at least a third of those camped there.

(Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia  
Johnston)

_____________________________

Jai Sen

jai.sen at cacim.net

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