The Los Angeles police chief says more than 200 Occupy LA protesters were arrested as over a thousand officers moved in to dismantle the Occupy LA City Hall Camp. A similar encampment in Philadelphia have been cleaned early hours on Wednesday.
Messages on Twitter suggest 10 to 15 people have been arrested in Philadelphia and one person has been sent to hospital as police on horses apparently trampled peaceful protesters.. Messages also suggest police using extreme measures to silence the movement while protesters remain non-violent.
Reports also suggest police are stepping up as law enforcers in LA have closed off streets surrounding the encampment as hundreds waited for what they believed was an imminent operation.
Messages on Twitter from LA reveal the wrangle between the two sides. Police tell protesters they are in violation of penal codes. Protesters tell police they are in violation of the Constitution.
Some protesters are believed to have let off fireworks near the camp.
About half of some 500 tents remained in Los Angles below Monday morning eviction deadline for the weeks-old encampment – one of the largest still remaining in the country.
The action in Los Angeles came after police in Philadelphia began pulling down tents after three warnings to leave. The eviction came more than two days after Philadelphia’s deadline for protesters to remove all structures and belongings from Dilworth Plaza.
According to Associated Press, Police Commissioner in Philadelphia Charles Ramsey said breaking up the camp in the early-morning hours helped minimize any disruption to businesses and traffic. No arrests were made, he said.
Occupy protesters started marching through the streets of Philadelphia, but were later stopped by police.
Most protesters participated in the march, but a few watched police take down the tents and chanted, “We are the 99 per cent.”
“This is a symbolic action, but in another sense this has been our home for almost two months and no one wants to see their home taken away from them,”
Associated Press quotes 22-year-old protester in Los Angeles Bri Barton as saying.
“This is a monumental night for Los Angeles. We’re going to do what we can to protect the camp,” said Gia Trimble, member of the Occupy LA media team, as cited by AP.
She said she thought a lot of people would stay and risk arrest, adding, “We’re really committed to this.”
The movement against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed began with Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan two months ago, and police have removed Occupy demonstrators in other cities. Some of those instances involved the use of pepper spray and tear gas by authorities.