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Occupy L.A. Continues, Former US Marine Offers Protection From Anyone Who 'Fucks With Any Protestors'

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Photo by @chola113 via Twitpic
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Occupy LA camped out overnight and continued its protest on the streets of downtown today.

The local crowds protesting the bailouts of Wall Street and corporate greed marched from Pershing Square to the lawn of City Hall yesterday. Although the crowds dwindled from its afternoon peak, a solid core camped out on the sidewalks downtown, according to the blog l.a. activist:

A general assembly meeting was held and a debate ensued on whether or not to camp out on the lawn. It is legal for the protesters to sleep on the sidewalks, but the lawn of City Hall was forbidden by police.
A minority of demonstrators seemed more interested in picking a fight with police, using the issue of where they can or cannot sleep as a vehicle for conflict. Tempers flared, but by 9 p.m., it appeared cooler heads prevailed.
"Your body is your vote right now," said one protester at the general assembly meeting. "If you get arrested you are taking your vote away from us. Why would you want to do that?"

The organizers plan to maintain their presence downtown throughout the day:

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Photo by @OWSLosAngeles via Twitpic
So far there haven't been any reports of major conflicts with the Los Angeles Police Department. That's in contrast to the sister protest going on in New York City, where the New York Police Department pepper-sprayed protestors and arrested hundreds of protestors (including one New York Times journalist) on the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday.

One former U.S. marine from the high desert offered his support just in case things did get rough on the streets of Los Angeles. Peter Santilli posted this message on the Occupy LA Facebook page, as well as his own blog:

My Name is Peter Santilli, and I am a Former US Marine who lives in the High Desert. If LAPD, or any other Gov't Law Enforcement entity fucks with any protestors, please call me ASAP at XXX-XXX-XXXX [eds. note: redacted]. I will put together a large group of combat war veterans to protect the protestors. Peaceful revolt will absolutely be backed up with a large number of veterans who know EXACTLY how democracy is preserved. Please share my contact info with your peeps!