Immigration Protest Shuts Down Wilshire & Highland [Updated]
Traffic has come to a halt around Wilshire and Highland as a protest about Arizona's immigration law, which goes into effect today, becomes more out of control. Initial reports indicated some 30 to 40 protestors were lying in the street, according to Weho Daily, which monitors police broadcasts, but a further report by the LA Times says about 200 people laid down in the street. 14 people who chained themselves on a downtown street were arrested in a similar type of protest in May.
Traffic is being diverted in the area and the LAPD has responded, but it is unclear if any arrests will be made at this point.
Update, 11:40 a.m: ABC7 camera footage shows a number of people in the intersection surrounding 10 protestors linked together by metal pipes lying in the street. Activists chose this location because of a security company's office that provides services for deportation facilities. Drivers, even those who oppose SB 1070, are angry at traffic being shut down. "They're pissing us off," driver Joey Farewell told ABC7, "I'm mad and I support them, I don't get it."
Update, 11:48 a.m: An unlawful assembly has been declared by the LAPD. Police are reportedly in riot gear.
Update, 1:20 p.m:: An official dispersal notice to the crowd was made in English, Spanish and Korean. Anyone on the street after five minutes will be arrested. The 10 people chained together using the sleeping dragon technique will be arrested after firefighters safely saw their chains.
Lindsay William-Ross contributed to this report.