For the past six hours, it has been clear that the LAPD was building up for a raid on Occupy LA tonight. The biggest hint was the decision to hold a lottery for press that would be allowed into a “pool” that would be protected and allowed on the scene during the raid. Any media not in the “pool” would likely face arrest if they did not disperse from the area when police began to move in to make arrests.
The LAPD began to use Dodgers Stadium as a staging area. At the moment (9:30 AM), buses of cops are headed to Solidarity Park, where the LA occupation has been located.
Moments ago (about 12:36 PM ET), @DustinSlaughter
tweeted, “CONFIRMED: #Philly PD staging at Art Museum. From PD officer at museum. #OccupyPhilly is going to get raided.” He followed that tweet up with, “News media told to move vans offsite to make space for police action. Media crews on site, however. No media blackout.”
Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues now. We’ve been blogging #Occupy since September 17. All times are EST. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates.
USTREAM FROM OCCUPY LA
OCCUPY PHILLY LIVESTREAM
2:49 PM On my visit to Occupy New Haven – I look at how the space being occupied is owned by what is essentially an aristocratic body.
2:30 PM Number of arrests last night updated to 292 arrests in LA.
12:25 PM The militarization of local police
11:35 AM Possibly 20 or so arrests outside defense contractors conference in NYC. Occupy Wall St had planned to protest. More soon.
11:21 AM Watch Occupy London at #N30 strike here.
11:13 AM Boston city moving to evict Occupy Boston. The city just submitted a 200-page document in court that argues the occupiers have right to free speech but are not permitted to live on public property.
Court date on Occupy Boston is scheduled for December 1. For background, go here.
11:07 AM Occupy London is participating in major strike in UK today. BBC News has live updates on the national strike. Riot cops are currently at Piccadilly Circus where they planned to rally at 3 pm. About 300 people said to be gathering so far.
10:56 AM Democracy Now! report on Occupy LA, Occupy Philly evictions
10:40 AM LA Times photos of Occupy LA eviction
10:39 AM This is video from OakFoSho’s stream of man in tree that LAPD had to get down last night.
10:33 AM While Occupy LA braced for a raid, Occupy Philly was getting charged by Philly police on horses. Here is a video of last night’s action:
Press were not allowed to be anywhere near the police who were dismantling tents.
Additionally, Occupy Philly managed to negotiate with police to get a place for homeless population to go, since they had been living in “Love Park.”
10:26 AM Report from LA Times that streets around City Hall will remain closed today.
10:19 AM The story behind the white hazmat suits (picture below from @misterkong) is that Commander Andy Smith said “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.”
Occupy Bloomington reacted on Twitter, “Overkill. EMTs don’t wear hazmat for MRSA.” (h/t to TarheelDem who tirelessly posts updates in the comments threads of my live blog posts)
10:14 AM Official report is that at least 200 were arrested at Occupy LA. At Occupy Philly, there were at least 50 arrests.
4:59 AM – video shows the last dog — “Lucky” — being taken off to the pound. Lisa asks to take custody of Lucky, but police insist Lucky must be taken to pound until claimed by owner. Lisa: “I’ll rescue Lucky.”
4:54 AM Police extract last dog — yes, dog — from the last remaining tree house; four protestors had already been extracted by a crane, after being subdued by beanbag shots.
4:30 AM The video coverage in LA confirms that at least 4 shots (bean bag or rubber bullets) have been fired at protestors still holding out in trees houses. Large equipment has been brought in to dismantle and remove all structures.
4:19 AM Arrestees being loaded on to a bus (via Eric Spiegelman)
4:09 AM Mayor Villaraigosa puts out email on eviction of Occupy LA
3:30 AM Cops are carrying “weird green guns.” (via Jason Leopold)
3:21 AM Cops begin to move into park. They rush in quickly. No perimeter is formed around the park. No orders to disperse before moving in and forcing occupiers out. First arrests are being made right now.
3:15 AM Lisa reporting from LA: Approx 100 arrestees. 20 to 40 now left, arms linked. And dudes in trees Cops trying to gently disengage arm linkers At least one went limp and was carried out There may be three guys in tree. NLG says per KNX they were impressed by the police activity in park, very controlled and measured. Most protesters put hands behind back and were escorted out in zip ties. No word on weapons fired or not from our local media. Police used tunnels under the street into City Hall, which I had told ppl was a possibility. The LAPD came out of city hall and also surround park on all sides per those who were in park. As seen on ustream, some were in biohazard suits ( I wish I had one for the portapotties!). There were definitely bean bag shotguns. Cops still walking on Main St per KNX, a group of 100 them smaller group of 12
3:08 AM Homeland Security is being used to cordon off the perimeter and have replaced some LAPD units (via Jason Leopold)
3:05 AM Tent goes up in street in Philadelphia as Occupy Philly continues to march around. Police tear down. A few protesters broke through a barricade. Riot police move in on protesters. There are a few hundred protesters who are marching around and trying to hold their ground in the aftermath of their removal from Dilworth Plaza where they had been occupying for more than a month.
2:59 AM @OccupyLA posts this photo
2:35 AM These are the Chosen Ones in media who have made it into the LAPD’s “pool.”
Dakota Smith, LA Daily News
Shelby Grad, Los Angeles Times
Steve Gorman, Reuters
Rob St. John, Los Angeles Times
Sam Mircovich, Reuters
Tracy Gitnick, Associated Press
Claudia Peschiuta Pete Demetriou, KNX 1070
Steve Gregory, KFI
They will be embedded with LAPD so judge their reporting based on that fact.
2:26 AM Los Angeles Times report on police/protester standoff unfolding. The report mentions city officials issued a citywide tactical alert. The alert is, according to LAPD, “due to unusual occurences in downtown LA.” Yeah, it is not every day that a militarized police force rolls in on a peaceful assembly that has been present for about two months.
2:05 AM Via @OccupyLA – first photos of LAPD lining up to take down Occupy LA
1:58 AM Media has agreed to not share any details on LAPD tactics before the raid
1:41 AM @PhillyWeekly tweeting updates from Rittenhouse Square:
1:28 AM Occupy Philly is trying to relocate to Rittenhouse Square. Police are on bicycles and are surrounding marchers.
1:25 AM From Occupy Philly – Legal: Third and final dispersal order given. Press was kicked out. People are marching from City Hall through the streets. (Facebook)
1:23 AM Some in LA occupation trying to get people to move into street. It is believed that will get riot cops to move in faster so discussion happening.
1:22 AM Botching the words but an occupier singing “All Along the Watchtower” right now
1:19 AM Occupy Philly apparently chose not to resist raid. Some decided to take off and march. But, bike cops are blocking the march right now. (via Dustin Slaughter)
1:16 AM David Begnaud, reporter for KTLA, interviews those protecting the “last tent to go” at #OccupyLA
1:15 AM Occupy LA sets off “freedom fireworks”; @OakFoSho finds a bail bondsman waiting around at the occupy
1:14 AM Occupy Philly has been ordered to disperse twice
1:04 AM Oh, musician Tom Morello aka The Nightwatchman planned to play Occupy LA tomorrow at 7 pm.
1:02 AM Most of tents have been taken down. @OakFoSho says the LA occupation was the largest in the country.
1:01 AM ICYMI: Mayor Villaraigosa used the fact that children were living at Occupy LA as a guise to send the militarized LAPD in to raid the LA occupation tonight.
12:57 AM In Philly, hundreds of cops moving in on the occupation.
12:56 AM Hundreds of police, ten to twenty buses headed to Occupy LA
12:43 AM A perimeter is being setup around Occupy LA at this moment.
12:40 AM CBS is broadcasting live from the scene.
12:00 AM Like Occupy Oakland before they were raided, Occupy LA is fortifying the camp (via @punkboyinsf)
10:16 PM I am keeping an eye on Occupy LA. Lisa Derrick is on the ground. If you are going to be following the action, I will be adding a livestream here soon. The situation is escalating. LAPD appears to be planning to go to war against Occupy LA and whatever they do to the occupation they will have the media feeling super vulnerable because they are going to be “outfitted in special protective clothing before the raid.”
LA Weekly has more on how the press have been handled. It is a must-read. There are a lot of clues in the post on how Occupy LA might be handled. LAPD is really going to go in with a big force. People nearby LA really need to go down there to bear witness tonight.
9:10 PM Pretty certain there will be a major police operation tonight and Occupy LA will get evicted. This is being reported now: “City buses will be staged near City Hall between 8pm-4am tonight. City Employees are being asked allowed to leave early.” (via @OccupyLA)
9:00 PM 2 Occupy Phoenix protesters are cited for… illegal camping
8:55 PM Now Lisa Derrick has an update on the LAPD’s plans for handling press at Occupy LA