Police Arrest 4 Occupy L.A. Protesters After Midnight Evacuation Deadline Ignored
The midnight deadline set by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for Occupy protestors to vacate their camp ground came and went with out much fanfare in Monday's early hours.
A few of the demonstrators tossed bamboo sticks and water bottles as officers who arrived to attempt to evacuate the area, Cmdr. Andy Smith told the AP. But, police withdrew, reopening First Street in time for the morning's commuter rush. There is no plan to raid the camp again any time soon.
The mayor released a statement shortly before midnight, saying police “will allow campers ample time to remove their belongings peacefully and without disruption.”
In the hours leading up to Villaraigosa's midnight deadline, hundreds of Occupy protestors flooded the area to join in an "eviction block party." For nearly two months the streets and park surrounding City Hall have been overtaken by hundreds of tents.
But, by 2:30 a.m., most of the demonstrator had moved from the campsite in City Hall's park to the streets, putting them in compliance with the mayor's eviction order. However, at 4:50 a.m. police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly and protesters were told to vacate the street within five minutes, says the AP.
The midnight deadline coincided with other evacuation attempts throughout the country. Occupy Philadelphia's protesters were also told to leave their campsite, but the deadline passed without any arrest.
Eight people were taken into custody in Maine after Occupy Augusta demonstrators were told to get a permit for their camping shelters.