The Occupy L.A. campsite near Los Angeles’ city hall is “in shambles” this morning after police moved in to clear out protesters who had been ordered to leave, the Los Angeles Times writes. Tents have been “uprooted and strewn all over,” the newspaper says.
Our colleagues at KPCC, who were live-blogging through the night, report that more than 200 people were arrested during an operation that involved about 1,400 police officers. It appears the overwhelming show of force, plus a strategic decision by police to divide up the site into several sections rather than to confront protesters with one solid line of officers, kept things mostly peaceful.
On Morning Edition, KPCC’s Frank Stoltz told host Renee Montagne that it was “a massive police operation.” Many of those arrested resisted passively and were carried or led from the scene by officers.
Only a few protesters remain. They’ve climbed into trees. Police are using their bomb squad’s “cherry picker” to reach up to get those individuals.
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protesters had been camped out near L.A. city hall for two months. Some have vowed they will return to the site near city hall, the Times says.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia there have been more than 40 arrests at the Occupy protest site near city hall. According to WHYY:
“After reading warnings starting at 1 a.m., officers moved in to arrest people who would not leave Dilworth Plaza. Four men and two women were taken into custody about 3 a.m. The city wants the protesters out so a long-planned $50 million dollar renovation can move forward.
“As officers moved in to make arrests, many Occupy protesters left and starting marching through the streets. About 5 a.m. police arrested about 40 more people near 15th and Hamilton Streets. Police still did not have exact arrest numbers.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer says police there also used overwhelming force during the operation, but reports there were some injuries as protesters tried to evade arrest and police pursued them. “At least two police officers reportedly suffered minor injuries,” the newspaper says, and “one protester was injured by a police horse, but not seriously.” Some of the Philadelphia protesters have obtained a permit that will allow them to hold daytime demonstrations across the street, the Inquirer adds.