Occupy L.A. Midnight
November 28, 2011 by staff
Occupy L.a. Midnight, Police in riot gear began closing in yesterday on about 2,000 anti-Wall Street activists who defied a midnight deadline to vacate an eight-week-old encampment outside Los Angeles City Hall as some protesters blocked traffic.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had given Occupy LA protesters until midnight local time to dismantle their tents, pack up their belongings and clear out of the City Hall park, or face a forcible removal.
However, Jim Lafferty, a National Lawyers Guild attorney and leading advocate for protesters in talks with the city, said two hours after the eviction deadline that police had assured him “there will be no move against this occupation tonight.”
He said he expected police would end up giving Occupy LA a two-day reprieve and that the only demonstrators risking arrest before then were those who remained in the roadway.
A police commander on the scene, Andrew Smith, confirmed the encampment would be allowed to stay put until at least daybreak. However, he said protesters who continued to block traffic had until 4:30am to move or face arrest.
“We have no plan at this time to go into the park and evict people,” Smith said. “That could change in the near future, but right now we are hoping to clear the streets and that’ll be the end and people can relax for a little while.”
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