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article imageOccupy Los Angeles camp shut down after police raid

By Kevin Fitzgerald     Nov 30, 2011 in World
Los Angeles - Police conducted a sweep of the Occupy Los Angeles encampment two days after a final eviction deadline was imposed. Nearly 300 arrests were made.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced last Friday that the park in front of City Hall would be closed to overnight camping beginning Nov. 28 at 12:01 am. Police finally enforced the ordinance after giving protesters extra time to leave the park voluntarily before being arrested. They wanted the operation to remain as peaceful as possible.
ABC News reports that on Nov. 30 just after midnight, approximately 1000 police officers in riot gear were transported by 30 MTA buses from Dodger Stadium to the protest site.
Once they arrived, they began closing off surrounding streets and declared that the demonstrators were conducting an unlawful assembly.
Police entered the park and gave protesters a last minute warning to vacate the park or face arrest. They were accompanied by officials wearing white hazmat suits who were to begin clean up of the camp as the protesters were removed.
Several arrests were made. Some had to even be taken down from a tree, after they had climbed up there in an act of defiance. Those who were arrested were taken to a local jail where a $5,000 bail was set for each person.
Despite the arrests, the LAPD says that the operation went smoothly. Police Chief Charlie Beck stated:
"The world was watching last night, and what the world saw was an elegant operational plan that was brilliantly executed by America's finest police force. It was a restrained application of overwhelming force that perfectly responded to the actions of the crowd."
The park will remain closed until crews fully assess the damage and sanitize the area. A set of stairs will remain open outside City Hall for protesters to gather and exercise their First Amendment rights.
Similar police raids were conducted in nearby Riverside, as well as in Philadelphia.
More about Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Wall Street, Protest, Eviction
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