Occupy L.A. raided by LAPD

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An Occupy Los Angeles Protestor was arrested and carried out of Solidarity Park. An estimated 300 protestors were arrested during the eviction of the OccupyLA encampment. Photo Credit: Kat Russell / Daily Sundial

LAPD raided the Occupy LA encampment with little warning just after midnight on Wednesday, arresting 292 protesters.

A selected media pool was created by LAPD Monday during the encampment’s first eviction attempt, so only reporters that were chosen by LAPD could document the night.

No independent media were allowed without threat of arrest, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to file a court order against the LAPD unless they lift media restrictions, according to LA Weekly.

An anonymous man on a bicycle rode by the encampment around 8 p.m. Wednesday, warning of a raid scheduled for that night. Four hours later, over 1,000 LAPD officers arrived in buses and lined the streets surrounding City Hall.

Additional officers came out of City Hall and quickly formed lines around protesters in the encampment, the longest one in the nation lasting nearly 60 days.

Just before 1:00 a.m. LAPD gave their final warning to protesters and media to leave City Hall property. Those who stayed, including protesters that had taken to the streets, were arrested.

All but two arrests were for failure to disperse – one person was arrested for interfering with police action and the other for battery of an officer, Sergeant Mitzi Fierro told Reuters.

The National Lawyers Guild released a statement demanding the “immediate release” of all Occupy LA protesters arrested last night, according to KPCC.

Facing a line up of police blocking traffic into City Hall, a masked protester holds a candle in silence. Photo credit: Ken Scarboro/Editor in chief

“The City is holding them in jail on $5,000 bail until they can be arraigned by a judge, which can take up to 48 hours.” the statement noted. “This punishes people for exercising their First Amendment rights.”

There were no occupiers in the encampment by 5 a.m. and what was left of their tents and belongings were spread across the lawns, according to the LA Times.

An anonymous occupier that had been staying at City Hall since the two-month encampment began said this is only the end of chapter one, and protesters would be back.

LAPD did not use teargas but batons were used throughout the night and beanbag guns were used at close range to remove three protesters from a tree, one of them was seriously injured, according to Neon Tommy.

Not everyone thought the use of weapons on the mostly-peaceful, unarmed protesters was excessive.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what I believe is maybe the finest moment in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department,” Villaraigosa told reporters.

He said there were no major injuries to police or protesters, according to Reuters.

The only media allowed to observe the raid, and not moved to areas too far away to see the arrests, were the LA Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, a photographer from Associated Press, FOX 11, NBC 4, ABC 7, KPCC, KNX and KFI.

To be considered for the media pool, reporters had to attend a secret meeting held Monday  by LAPD, and have a police-sanctioned pass, which are only given to reporters specifically covering police, according to LA weekly.

An email sent by Lieutenant Andy Neiman, head of LAPD media relations, told select media outlets about the meeting at 5:30 p.m. City News, a wire service that not all news outlets subscribe to, released the email at 6:00 p.m.

The meeting began at 7:15 p.m., according to LA Weekly.

“At some time in the future, whenever they decide to shut down the park — once it’s declared an unlawful assembly — only the ‘pool’ people are going to be allowed in there,” said Officer Karen Rayner in the media relations office.

Mayor Villaraigosa did not view the pool as a violation of the first amendment.

“During the park closure, a First Amendment area will remain open on the Spring Street City Hall steps,” Villaraigosa said in a statement made at City Hall at 1:01 a.m. “Once the park is cleared, it will be repaired and returned to all Angelenos to exercise their First Amendment rights.”


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  • Achilles

    OMG They were dispersed peacefully 2 days after the deadline. WTF is wrong with some of you authors that work at the sundial. Seriously. Your teacher should find you and slap you in the fucking face for being such a moron.

    • wethepeeps

      What about the people that were arrested two blocks away from city hall? Is it illegal to walk the streets now too? Because I don’t remember getting an eviction notice for the streets of la.

  • Umi_turncoats

    Seriously, this was possibly the most uneventful dispersal. 

  • Vlad

    This is your limited Media pool?

    LA Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, a photographer from Associated Press, FOX 11, NBC 4, ABC 7, KPCC, KNX and KFI.

    And they all Lied about the events of the night, as a conspiratorial cover-up?  Ahh,umm,okay,I guess.

    Vald

    • http://gagaism.org Jarraxe

      There is a huge difference between those that were present in the media pen just outside the park and those who directly witnessed the events occurring during the initial raid. I witnessed it. Take my word for it or not but I’m trying to be helpful.

  • http://gagaism.org Jarraxe

    Thank you for speaking the truth about what really happened. I am in complete shock over Wednesday’s events and the lying-through-their-teeth propaganda of the mainstream media. They raided suddenly and violently, hurting people, separating pet owners from their pets, and causing unnecessary panic and terror. They were supposed to give an order to disperse before going on the offensive and yet they instead resorted to shock-and-awe tactics.

    I have never seen such an excessive police presence in my life. No matter what anyone thinks of the occupiers, this was a completely disgusting act of police intimidation and media censorship. The only media who witnessed what happened inside the camp during the initial attack (yes, attack) were those who agreed to not report on it. Actually, there were others, but many were targeted by the police and video documentation is being removed from YouTube. It’s insane!

    • David the small-L libertarian

      What B.S.!  Blame it on the “brutal” police, as usual.  The city handled these people with kid gloves. When you defy lawful orders don’t be surprised if you get arrested.

      The mainstream media would have liked nothing more than to paint the police in the worst light possible and the city took extraordinary measures to minimize that likelihood.

      • Sxlc2002

        Your a libertarian that believes in “unlawful assembly” maybe your should change your “small-L” to a Big R… Since you dont know what liberty means… you know, since freedom and rights as essential to liberty…

        • David the small-L libertarian

          So if I’m not for allowing people to take over public property in whatever manner and for however long they want, I “don’t know what liberty means.”

          Wow, really?

          Does this extend to lying down in the middle of a public roadway, sidewalk, park or whatever, denying others the ability to use it?  Does it mean that hundreds of people can just take over a state capitol building like they did for days on end in Wisconsin and cause damage to the building?

          The Tea Party did none of these things and was quite effective in getting out its message.

          And why is it that you think that Republicans are the ones against liberty?  Democrats pass far more legislation that controls your life compared to Republicans.

    • Vlad

      Nonsense!

      The city gave protestors 2 days notice to disperse.

      The premise that ALL of the mainstream media lied about the events of the night, is laughable. 

      The police used ONLY as much force as was necessary to fulfill their objective. If you cooperated, you were dispersed. If you were  in opposition to the law to disperse but peaceful, you were likewise peacefully cuffed and taken in to custody. If you resisted arrest, or otherwise provoked the authorities, you were dealt with in kind.

      Take some accountability.

      BTW,Occupiers showed their true colors once cleared out. Feces, piss bottles, graffiti, destruction of private poerperty, including the defacing of a bench dedicated to a woman who faught against violence against women. Disgusting. This is what you accomplished. Nothing more.

      Vlad

      • http://gagaism.org Jarraxe

        Very few (12) media were allowed inside the park during the raid. Most others with cameras were arrested.

        I am not trying to avoid accountability. I am telling you what really happened. The mainstream media isn’t evil. They are being intimidated and lied to just like the rest of our populations. The la times had a live blog that clearly indicated arrests being made before the order to disperse. YouTube has videos up of Tyson Zoltan being punched in the head while cuffed by police after being pushed down the stairs. He never touched them and HE is being charged with assaulting a police officer.

        I’m not trying to be controversial or to argue with anyone, but you have a right to know the truth. If you don’t want to believe it or are unwilling to follow current events further than the nightly news, that’s your right.

        I am not a camper. I have been at OLA documenting and I have seen what has occurred there and I came to realize very quickly that what I saw on tv did not match what I saw in person. To try and convince me that what I saw and documented (which is corroborated by other testimony of those now being released and videos all over YouTube-when they aren’t being taken down) is ridiculous. I’m not stupid and I’m not a hippy. I’m simply telling the truth.

        By the way, the designated “free speech zone” as appointed by the mayor to be open during the parks “rehabilitation” currently has caution tape around it and cops telling people not to enter the area. Go see it for yourself.

        • TheAntiV

          Jarraxe, the only people I saw threatening and intimidating journalists and reporters were Occupiers. And I’ve seen the video of Tyson Zoltan. He was clearly being aggressive and threatened officers.

          BTW, like you I’ve also been to Occupy LA and I can tell you they repeatedly refuse to police themselves accordingly and protest with a preconceived notion that cops are the ultimate enemy. Numerous accounts of sexual assaults, drug use, and violence have also been extensively documented at these events. Not to mention the fact that the encourage participants not to report abuses to the police.

          “currently has caution tape around it and cops telling people not to enter the area. ”

          Probably because of all the urine and fecal matter that was discovered their.

        • Vlad

          Jarraxe,

          Don’t you find it interesting that you can perceive the media has being manipulated and lied to, but not you? 

          I saw the video of Tyson Zoltan. We don’t see what transpired just prior to the first shove, but at a minimum he was given an order to leave the park. It is clear that he wasn’t. He is being portrayed as a journalist, I suppose to give credence to the righteousness of his “not vacating” as instructed, but from the perspective of the officer, there is nothing to indicate that he was functioning in a formal capacity. Badge? Hat? Vest?

          You, and the author are predisposed to side with the Occupiers, as you perceive them pursuing a just cause. This is blinding your objectivity.

          Lastly, there were a thousand citizen reporters on the scene. If you have evidence of blatant abuse, present it.

          Did you see the footage of the camp, following the decampment? Eff’ing disgraceful. This, if nothing else should make you feel ashamed of your involvement. Destroying property, demanding more from the rich(so that you don’t have to earn your dream), and living like slobs, is your accomplishment. Nothing more.

          Vlad

          • http://gagaism.org Jarraxe

            Vlad, you can see lots of footage of what the camp looked like before the cops raided it. There was nothing disgraceful about it. As for Tyson, it has not yet been established what time he was pushed down the stairs. I witnessed people being hit BEFORE the order to disperse was given. By the time it was given, I had left because the cops were going nuts.

            Obviously you don’t like the occupiers. Fine. I’m not going to change that and I’m not trying to. The abuse was clear though. Could something have happened before Tyson was pushed and hit? Quite possibly and I would not defend any actions on his part that were violent. However, a sworn peace officer should never punch a handcuffed citizen in the head.

            As for the other abuse, most of the people are just now getting out of jail and their stories are coming to light. You can also find numerous videos on YouTube of journalists being shoved and having weapons pointed at them. There is more and it will take time for the truth to break through the lies being perpetuated by unwitting accomplices such as yourself.

            The hostility I get from you guys for simply telling you what I saw is amazing. I’m not going to bother coming back here only to be picked on further for attempting to reason with people who are only interested in bashing anyone who disagrees with the “official” version of events (What would I know? I was only there), so this will be my last communication. Also, for the record, there were not “thousands” of citizen journalists. There were a couple hundred people at most in the camp during the raid and most were arrested and unable to share what they saw or may have recorded.

            I wish you all the best. If you spend the rest of your life thinking I’m a liar or just a nut, that’s fine. It’s up to you. I would rather tell the truth and have no one believe me than recant my honest account just to get people like you to like me.

          • Sxlc2002

            Yeah, and if the police tell you to do something you better do it… It doesn’t matter what it is… If they say jump you better say how high because if you dont you are an America hating socialist… Americans do as the job creators tell us to! Because America was built on people doing exactly what the people who wrote the laws said… And to say anything else is to be devil worship!! i mean hell if the cops raided yor hose yo better be able to eat off the floor when they leave or else you should be shot!!
             

          • shardydar

            The park did not look like that before the raid. Maybe it was the 1400 police officers trampling on others belongings. Complete violation of the 4th amendment.

    • Achilles

      You seriously make me sick.

      • http://gagaism.org Jarraxe

        If the truth makes you sick, then you need help.

        • Achilles

          Nope, just you make me sick. Your physical person and everything about you makes me sick.

          • guest

            If you are going to be against something, you should attack the argument, not the person. Otherwise, you sound ignorant. There are intelligent arguments on both sides. Unfortunately, yours is not one of them.