[QODLink]
Americas
Police arrest hundreds of Occupy LA activists
Officers enter encampment after protesters ignore mayor's midnight deadline to leave park near City Hall.
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2011 15:23
 Protesters have been camped for eight weeks outside City hall in Los Angeles [Reuters]

Police in riot gear have raided 'Occupy Wall Street' camps in Los Angeles, arresting at least 200 people outside City Hall.

Busloads of officers closed in on the eight-week-old camp aftet midnight, declaring the hundreds of protesters congregated on the lawn, pavements and streets around City Hall as an "unlawful assembly" and ordering them to disperse or face arrest.

The encampment, which officials had left alone for weeks even as other cities moved in to clear out similar compounds, was among the largest on the West Coast.

"It's easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk"

Opamago Cascini - protester

The demonstration is aligned with the two-month-old national Occupy Wall Street movement protesting against economic inequality and excesses of the US financial system.

Except for some minor initial scuffles, the crowd remained boisterous but peaceful.

At least 20 protesters quit the area immediately, carrying tents and other belongings out of the camp, followed by a number of others escorted out by police.

At least a dozen people were seen handcuffed within 90 minutes after police moved in.

Planned eviction

City officials had hoped to keep the timing of the widely expected eviction operation under wraps.

But live local television footage revealed large numbers of police, patrol cars, buses and other vehicles meeting at Dodger Stadium, a few miles away, ahead of the raid.

The pictures prompted supporters to stream into the area in a show of solidarity with the activists.

Protesters sat in a circle on the lawn outside City Hall, their arms interlinked, saying they would rather be arrested than leave.

"It's easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk," Opamago Cascini was quoted as saying by the AP news agency.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa earlier said he hoped to avoid confrontations between police and protesters that have marred evictions in other cities.

Villaraigosa issued the eviction order, saying the camp was unsustainable because public health and safety could not be maintained.

In Philadelphia, about 100 Occupy protesters peacefully vacated their camp early on Wednesday after police moved in and warned activists they faced arrest unless they left on their own, police said.

City officials earlier said the camp must be cleared to make room for a renovation project.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.