Occupy L.A. Live Blog: Eviction Night

Los Angeles Police officers on Monday morning | Photo by Alex Thompson

The Los Angeles Police Department gave a final deadline of 10:30 p.m. tonight for people to vacate City Hall Park, where for the past 60 days the Occupy L.A. protest and encampment has been located.

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4:03 a.m.: Well, that's a wrap. I hope you found it informative. A big thanks go to all the reporters and citizen journalists gathering information out there tonight (and KCET's Michelle Lanz for some Twitter assistance earlier). And OakFoSho's stream is still going live (below or at this link)! Remember that the city will hold another press conference at some point later this morning with total numbers on arrests and more. Occupy L.A. also has a press conference planned for the morning about next steps. A rally is planned for Pershing Square in the afternoon and the nightly General Assembly meeting will be held on the steps of city hall. Keep tabs on the their Twitter account for that info.

3:53 a.m.: Protesters in the treehouse are still there, says blogdowntown.

3:40 a.m.: Why did a number of officers wear white hazmat suits? Commander Andy Smith says there were reports of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the encampment (human waste, too). It's a type of "staph bacteria that does not respond to some antibiotics that are commonly used to treat staph infections," according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

3:36 a.m.: The park will be fenced off and property seized by police will be brought to a location where people can pick up their belongings, says Commander Andy Smith.

3:34 a.m.: Commander Andy Smith tells press that arrested protesters will probably not be released on their own recognizance and have to make bail. He thinks the charge will be a 409 of the California penal code--failure to leave the scene of an unlawful assembly.

3:22 a.m.: Here's what Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the press at a short press conference: "In my life I've never seen a more professional restrained police force under very very trying circumstances.... I think every one of us including those of you in the media can be proud of the professional way our officers handled this demonstration. I also very proud of Charlie Beck. This is a man who's understood that Constitutional beliefs is the only way for Los Angeles to go. His officers responded to his call and they did a phenomenal job."

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said some 1,400 officers were deployed tonight, resulting in probably 200 arrests with minimal use of force. The exact tally of arrests and more details will be released at a press conference later this morning.

3:15 a.m.: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck are expected to hold a press conference in a few minutes. OakFoSho is on scene with a live Ustream, which can be seen below (scroll down to 2:36 a.m.)

3:11 a.m.: Over 100 arrests reported so far, with that number expected to rise, according to blogdowntown, which spoke to Commander Andy Smith and is live blogging here. There were two minor uses of force.

3:04 a.m.: An Occupy L.A. representative tells OakFoSho that a General Assembly will still take place on Wednesday, probably on one of the steps at city hall.

2:55 a.m.: Benjamin Gottlieb, a USC student and Senior Editor at school's Neon Tommy (he's written for KCET as well), says on Twitter that about 20 protestors remain as the LAPD slowly makes arrests.

2:51 a.m.: Great observation from veteran journalist and USC professor Marc Cooper, a partner of this blog. Via his Twitter: "I have been in demos since 1966 and have never seen anything with such potential violence handled so well by both sides #occupyla Word."

2:36 a.m.: Watch the removal of the tree sitter(s) on OakFoSho's Ustream:


2:30 a.m.: Tree sitters are now a focus of officers. A cherry picker has been brought out, reports Dennis Romero on Twitter with a photo.

2:23 a.m.: Paul Weber, president of the union Los Angeles Police Protective League, put a statement during the eviction. "Amid ever-changing political winds, Los Angeles police officers have adhered to the highest standards of law enforcement in dealing with the Occupy L.A. protesters over the past two months... We commend the officers for effectively and efficiently ending Occupy L.A. at City Hall with minimum use of force." Read the full statement at The City Maven.

2:13 a.m.: KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze tweets, "Police gently arrest remaining protesters. Some go limp and are carried off."

2:09 a.m.: Dennis Romero of the LA Weekly says there will be an Occupy L.A. press conference at 9 a.m. to take the movement "beyond city hall."

1:55 a.m.: Here's what that structure, donned with street art murals, looks like. Photo compliments of Tom Andrews:

1:49 a.m.: A protestor/journalist tells KTLA that people are hiding inside the walls of the structure created to protect City Hall Park's fountain.

1:47 a.m.: A Wednesday 4 p.m. rally at Pershing Square has been announced, says Neon Tommy.

1:46 a.m.: Tweets via Dina, who is still on scene: "Sgt. Brawner having discussions w/protesters abt philosophy of raid. Actually taking each other seriously." and "Protester to female cop: this is wrong time to tell u, but u have great lips. Lol."

1:32 a.m.: As first reported by the LA Times' Kate Linthicum, KTLA is talking to an officer about arresting the tree sitters. Bean bag rounds would be used if the tree sitters use violence against them, it was explained. Otherwise, officers will go up to extricate them. KCET's earlier piece about the tree sitters and removal can be read here.

1:30 a.m.: Jon Mukri, head of the Department of Recreation and Parks, declares City Hall Park as closed indefinitely in an interview with KTLA.

1:26 a.m.: Earlier this month, Dina produced this piece on Occupy L.A. "The battle cry in the streets is 'Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.' But CEOs are angry too, and some are pledging to withhold donations to politicians. Everyone agrees we're in a crisis of confidence."













1:22 a.m.: Lt. Mitzy Grasso reports no injuries of protestors or officers in an interview with KTLA. She said there's been "extensive planning" for today's action.

1:12 a.m.: SoCal Connected producer Dina Demetrius tweets from the scene: "Phalanx of officers just marched down Temple, away from City Hall."

people who just left say cops poured out of city hall, swarmed around camp and wouldn't let them leave til organized exit.

1:04 a.m.: KTLA reporter says "everything looks peaceful for now." No violence has been seen, as far as the KTLA team can tell.

1:02 a.m.: Mayor Villaraigosa has released a statement via e-mail. Here it is in full:

At approximately 12:30 a.m., the LAPD began enforcing the closure of City Hall Park after giving those in the park a final opportunity to leave without facing arrest.

We have taken a measured approach to enforcing the park closure because we have wanted to give people every opportunity to leave peacefully. I ask that anyone who remains in the park to please leave voluntarily.

Our approach also recognized the human need in the encampment. Since the park closure was announced on Friday, outreach workers with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority have walked through the park, assessing needs and connecting interested individuals in need with an alternative place to spend the night.

During the park closure, a First Amendment area will remain open on the Spring Street City Hall steps.

Once the park is cleared, it will be repaired and returned to all Angelenos to exercise their First Amendment rights.

12:53 a.m.: Scratch that, some more arrests are underway, according to NeonTommy.

12:52 a.m.: Still only one arrest being reported by a variety of sources.

12:37 a.m.: An additional 10 minutes to disperse has been given to the crowd, according to Fox 11.

12:34 a.m.: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is on the South Lawn, Fox 11 cameras show. He is not wearing riot gear.

12:26 a.m.: A dispersal order has been given in both English and Spanish, according to Fox 11. Protestors have 10 minutes to clear out of the area.

12:23 a.m.: Officers in white hazmat suits were shown on cameras. "The white suits, btw, are likely haz mat crews; the park has been found to have numerous health violations and will be inspected tomorrow," hypothesized a city staffer on his personal Twitter account.

12:16 a.m.: Officers ordered an area clear and one protestor is already under arrest, KCAL cameras show.

12:15 a.m.: A tent, possibly the Occupy L.A. media tent, is being torn down by officers, reports KCAL.

12:14 a.m.: Officers are coming down the south steps of City Hall, reports KCAL.

12:05 a.m.: The buses are in route from Dodger Stadium, says KTLA.

12:03 a.m.: "This is how it happens," says a KTLA reporter about how one person will get the attention of protestors and draws them back and forth.

11:53 p.m.: Helicopter hovering above City Hall will remain monitoring crowd movement throughout the night, repots KTLA.

11:50 p.m.: KCET's Gary Dauphin says Metro buses seems to be still parked at Dodger Stadium.

11:46 p.m.: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, reports The City Maven.

11:44 p.m.: A candlelight vigil scene is taking place, as seen by KCAL's cameras on the lawn of City Hall.

11:41 p.m.: LAPD vehicles pouring down Solano Avenue, possibly out of Dodger Stadium, heading towards downtown, reports KCET's Gary Dauphin from the scene.

11:37 p.m.: A march has developed. They are chanting, "We are the 99%," says Fox 11.

11:29 p.m.: A group called the Anonymous Medics is standing by to help protestors. A masked man who would not give his name interviewed was interviewed by KTLA.

11:28 p.m.: "The crowd is now estimated to be between 1500 to 2000," tweets journalist Nancy Casanova. A source was not confirmed.

11:26 p.m.: "You can stay as long as you want to," reads a sign, apparently quoting a L.A. City Council member, according to KTLA.

11:22 p.m.: About 40 protestors in the middle of the Occupy L.A. camp are tied together preparing for a peaceful arrest, reports KPFK.

11:16 p.m.: Freeway off-ramps adjacent to downtown L.A. and city hall are closed, reports KTLA.

11:12 p.m.: Metro Red and Purple lines are bypassing the Civic Center station and the Gold Line is skipping the Little Tokyo station, says Melissa Pamer of the Daily News on Twitter.

11:08 p.m.: Metro buses are being used to deploy large number of officers. KNBC's Antonio Castelan has a photo. (h/t @KPCCLive)

11:00 p.m.: The National Lawyers Guild is out in force to observe tonight's action, says one volunteer member.

10:57 p.m.: The skirmish line around City Hall is growing, reports KCAL's helicopter reporter.

10:55 p.m.: Surrounded by a crowd, Commander Andrew Smith was interviewed by KCAL talking about basics of tonight. Nothing groundbreaking, just the basics were covered.

10:54 p.m.: LAist reports on Twitter that the protestor tree-sitting is still there tonight. Fox 11 earlier said more people have climbed into other trees. They will likely be the last to be removed. Read our story about the tree sitting issue here.

10:52 p.m.: The crowd is growing at Main and 1st, reports KCAL.

10:47 p.m.: A note about numbers of officers deployed for tonight. As a practice, the LAPD does not give out such information, even after an event has taken place. Be wary of any numbers reported unless confirmed.

10:40 p.m.: KCAL reports that a skirmish line has formed two blocks out from city hall to keep other people from entering the area.

10:37 p.m.: The 12 outlets allowed within the eviction permitter are the L.A. Times, Daily News and Reuters for print; L.A. Times, Reuters and Associated Press for photo; Fox 11, KNBC and KABC; and KPCC, KNX and KFI for radio.

10:34 p.m.: No movement yet from the LAPD. Fox 11, one of the 12 pool reporting outlets allowed within the perimeter, shows images of people praying, dancing and singing. Earlier, some small fireworks were lit in the street.

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11:07pm OCCUPY LA Eviction advisory given to people in the South Lawn that WILL be staying to be arrested, and practice civil disobedience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PvDlB6eG-c&feature=colike

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Thanks for the liveblog! Reporter stand-ups at the scene seem so 20th century, don't they? #OWS is nourished by citizen reporting and new tools. #MSM merely feeds on it today. I'll remember #OccupyLA for live the liveblogs & twitter streams, not TV news. (KABC couldn't even be bothered to cut away from junk programming. Is that a shame, or just an acknowledgment of the obvious?)