Another Occupy LA Protest, More Arrests in Downtown Today [UPDATED]
At around noon today, a second large protest got underway in Downtown Los Angeles involving participants in the Occupy LA movement. The group has been moving down Broadway, and currently is near 3rd, where arrests are taking place. The Los Angeles Police Department have declared the protest an "unlawful assembly," according to a live news report on KCAL-9, and are displaying a show of force to control the crowd.
Police are on the scene in riot gear, and the reporter for KCAL is calling the mood "heated," and says it's looking like "people are really fried up." He adds that the LAPD have told him if he steps off the sidewalk into the street he will be arrested.
The protesters are being corralled, and some report being "stuck" in the vicinity, and though there is movement headed North on Broadway, in the direction back to where the group started. Protesters say they were asked to leave, but that they are not being permitted to leave the police's perimeter. It appears the protesters who are part of groups like the SEIU and Good Jobs LA are more organized and have left the scene, while the LAPD are focusing on the Occupy LA group.
The LAPD maintain this march did not have a permit, like the protest at 4th and Figueroa this morning.
Streets are closed to traffic in the area. So far, at three arrests have been made, confirms LAPD Cmmdr Andy Smith.
LAPD in riot gear work to control the protesters (Photo by @dylanhatesyou via Twitpic)
UPDATE 5:03 PM Arrests are underway at Occupy LA's "Expansion Site" at the BofA Plaza. Protesters are being carried away by officers, letting their bodies go limp and not participating in their physical removal from the site. Reports are two others have been arrested for attempting to assault LAPD officers. UPDATE 4:42 PM Onlookers being held back by a line of LAPD officers in riot gear continue to chant and shout. "Take off that gear, there ain't no riot here!" they yell, or "We are the 99%, You are the 99%" or "We are peaceful!" The LAPD begin to dismantle tents in the main protest area, and the crowd boos in protest.
UPDATE 4:25 PM It's been a couple of hours of waiting for the LAPD to come to a decision about what to do with the group of about 50 protesters with tents and standing with locked arms at Bank of America Plaza. Reportedly arrests are likely to begin shortly.
UPDATE 2:05 PM The LAPD confirms there have been no arrests since the protest moved off Broadway.
UPDATE 2:01 PM Some protesters have set up tents on the plaza. "LAPD spokesman says tents have been set up on private prop, cops won't move protesters out unless bldng owner asks for it," explains KNX's Claudia Peschiutta on Twitter. The LAPD is attempting to discuss with demonstration organizers a peaceful way to bring the protest to an end.
UPDATE 1:57 PM The protest is now centered at the Bank of America plaza. Many of the participants who are affiliated with groups like the SEIU (in purple shirts) or Good Jobs LA (in white shirts) have left the protest, saying they do not want to be involved in a confrontation with authorities. The LAPD are at the protest scene, organized and prepared to intervene and make arrests as they deem necessary.
UPDATE 1:01 PM Many of the protesters have moved away from Broadway and are now at 5th and Grand. Protesters are also honing in on Bank of America Plaza and the U.S. Bank building.