Police Remove the Last Occupy LA Protestors; 200 arrested

Police officers entered the plaza in riot gear and carrying billy clubs. photo by Grant Slater/KPCC
Police officers entered the plaza in riot gear and carrying billy clubs. photo by Grant Slater/KPCC
UPDATE 8:15 am: Great live blogging and tweeting of events as they unfolded last night from KPCC – Southern California Public Radio.

Mayor Villaraigosa is holding a press conference later this morning with Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. Earlier this morning he praised the police. He issued this statement at 1 AM.

Meanwhile protestors are regrouping. There are multiple tweets reporting bail for those arrested is $5,000.

You can hear The California Report’s coverage of the night’s events.

Los Angeles police cleared the Occupy LA encampment last night. It had been the largest one still going in the nation. City streets around City Hall are still closed today for the clean up.

The eviction was largely peaceful, in contrast to the closure of camps in New York and Oakland. This from the LA Times:

Hundreds of police officers swarmed the large camp at City Hall’s south lawn shortly after midnight, encircling the demonstrators in less than 10 minutes. By quickly establishing a perimeter, police managed to take control of the scene in the first moments of engagement.

No tear gas was used in the shutdown of what was the nation’s largest remaining Occupy camp. More than 200 people were arrested in the operation that involved 1,400 officers.

“They were like storm troopers. They encircled us,” said protester Cheryl Aichele, who was sitting in the middle of the south lawn in a circle with other protesters when police first entered the camp.

The protesters largely kept to their promise of confronting the police peacefully. While some taunted police verbally and a few rocks were thrown, most protesters either left on their own or nonviolently submitted to arrest, with many going limp and forcing the police to carry them out.

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