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Occupy LA protesters spend night in downtown LA to support whistleblower 'hero'

Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

Lila Salas came from Whittier to spend the weekend at Fletcher Bowron Square. "I came out because I want to live in a world where our government is transparent and we know what our activities are abroad," she said.

Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

Individuals from the activist group Military Families for Peace spoke at an open forum on how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have affected them at Fletcher Bowron Square in downtown Los Angeles, July 14, 2012.

Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

John Hames attends an information booth on Private Bradley Manning, who is now in custody for suspicion of leaking sensitive military information to the whistleblower website Wikileaks. Hames says he feels Manning is a hero.

Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

Occupy activist and student Patrick Serrano says he camped out at Fletcher Bowron Square just a few blocks from City Hall Friday night and expects to be there for the weekend. "It felt like a reunion," he said.

Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

Sgt. Larry Guillen says he doesn't expect trouble, but that officers will enforce the closure of the park at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday.


About two dozen Occupy L.A. protesters are saying they'll spend the weekend at downtown L.A.'s Fletcher Bowron Square, just a few blocks from their former outpost at City Hall. Some of them spent the night there Friday. They say they'll be there for the weekend to stand up on behalf of Private Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who is accused of leaking sensitive information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the website Wikileaks.

Protester Patrick Serrano said camping out overnight brought back memories.

"I didn't know how the night would go last night," he said. "It felt like a reunion, because we were so close back to city hall. A lot of familiar faces. A lot of people who were evicted [from the city hall grounds] planned this event. It just goes to show that nothing has changed," he said. 

Protesters say they'll hold a candlelight vigil each night for those who've died in the wars. Police say they hope they expect the event will be peaceful, but they'll be on hand to enforce the law if need be. LAPD Sgt. Larry Guillen says that means asking protesters to leave the park once it closes on Saturday night.

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