November 30, 2011

Occupy Los Angeles' Protesters Brace for Eviction

Published November 30, 2011

Police at Occupy Los Angeles
Hundreds of Los Angeles protesters prepared for what they believe to be an imminent police raid on their weeks-old encampment Tuesday night as demonstrators with the movement in Philadelphia began marching through the streets following officers' orders for them to leave their encampment.
About half of some 500 tents remained in Los Angles after a Monday morning eviction deadline and the remaining protesters showed no sign of leaving their weeks-old encampment, which is one of the largest still remaining in the country. Before 11 p.m., Los Angeles police had closed off streets surrounding the protest encampment.
The action in Los Angeles came after police in Philadelphia gave protesters three warning they had to leave and began pulling down tents at about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday. The eviction came more than two days after Philadelphia's deadline for protesters to remove all structures and belongings from Dilworth Plaza.
"This is a symbolic action, but in another sense this has been our home for almost two months and no one wants to see their home taken away from them," 22-year-old protester Bri Barton said while also acknowledging she and other would have to leave the site.
Most protesters participated in the march, but a few watched police take down the tents and chanted, "We are the 99 percent."
Some protesters in Los Angeles shot off fireworks near the camp where Occupy members discussed emergency preparations.
"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."
Demonstrators and city officials in both Los Angeles and Philadelphia were hoping any confrontation would be nonviolent, unlike evictions at similar camps around the country.
The movement against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed began with Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan two months ago, and police have removed Occupy demonstrators in other cities. Some of those instances involved pepper spray and tear gas.
In their anticipation of an eviction, the Los Angeles protesters designated medics designated with red crosses taped on clothing. Some protesters had gas masks. Broadcast footage showed 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.

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