Occupy LA arrests: After march, 47 arrested at BofA

Occupy LA Protestors Set Up Encampment At Bank Of America Plaza

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

A protester is arrested by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers after he attempted to join a group of Occupy LA demonstrators who were occupying a park in front of the Bank of America building on Nov. 17, 2011 in downtown Los Angeles. Several dozen Occupy LA demonstrators were arrested by the LAPD after marching through downtown. The protest was part of a 'Day of Action' marking the two-month anniversary of the movement that started in New York as Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy LA March - November 17

Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

LAPD officers form a line along Broadway to keep Occupy LA marchers on the sidewalk.

Occupy LA March - November 17

Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

A protester is arrested during a Thursday afternoon Occupy LA march that did not have police permits.

Occupy LA March - November 17

Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

LAPD officers and Occupy LA protesters engage in a standoff on Broadway after police officers moved the unpermitted march back onto the sidewalk.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

An Occupy protester being arrested following a planned disobedience, blocking traffic at Figueroa and Fourth in downtown Los Angeles.

Corey Moore/KPCC

An Occupy protester being arrested following a planned disobedience, blocking traffic at Figueroa and Fourth in downtown Los Angeles.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Riot cops at an Occupy protest in downtown L.A., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Riot cops at an Occupy protest in downtown L.A., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011

Corey Moore/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered in downtown L.A. for a march through the financial district.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered in downtown L.A. for a march through the financial district.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered in downtown L.A. for a march through the financial district.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Protesters at Figueroa and Third.

Eric Richardson/blogdowntown

Protesters round the corner of 5th and Figueroa during the November 17 Good Jobs LA march.

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Tents set up on Figueroa outside the World Trade Center

Eric Richardson/blogdowntown

A protester is arrested during the November 17 Good Jobs L.A. march.

Corey Moore/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Eric Richardson/blogdowntown

A protester is arrested during the November 17 Good Jobs LA march.

Corey Moore/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Corey Moore/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Police prepare to move in due to a planned civil disobedience by protesters.

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Protesters stand their ground on Figueroa Street, hoping to be arrested.

Eric Richardson/blogdowntown

Protesters carry a tent through the streets of Downtown during the November 17 Good Jobs LA march.

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Corey Moore/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district

Oscar Garza/KPCC

Hundreds of Occupy protesters gathered downtown LA for a march through the financial district


Following a morning march, police began arresting Occupy LA protesters who locked arms and set up tents, blocking the intersection of Figueroa and Fourth streets and snarling morning rush-hour traffic in the area. Later, police arrested more people during a later march that began at noon, but didn't have a permit. And then around 4:30, after a several-hour occupation of the downtown Bank of America plaza, the LAPD began arresting hold-outs and taking down their tents.

Shortly after the morning and afternoon marches, where 23 were arrested, protesters began setting up camp in the plaza. Helmeted police equipped with batons have surrounded the base of the bank tower but the protest was largely peaceful until arrests began. Ultimately, 47 were arrested there.

"In case somebody decides to break the law again, we'll provide them the opportunity to go to jail," one LAPD commander had said earlier in the day.

Beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday, hundreds of Occupy demonstrators hit the streets of downtown Los Angeles, chanting and carrying picket signs as they marched through the financial district. Protesters attached banners to overpasses and set up tents in the intersection of Figueroa and Fourth streets, snarling morning rush-hour traffic in the area.

Police declared an unlawful assembly and began issuing a dispersal order around 9 a.m; a small group remained in the street. Police began arresting those in tents blocking the street. Police removed the tents, though some protesters remained sitting in the street, waiting to be arrested. As of 10 a.m., 23 people were arrested.

Kwaze Nkrumah, outreach director of Occupy LA, has been with the movement since its beginning. He said the movement is spreading throughout the city and neighborhoods.

"Right now we're in the process of beginning to spread. [...] We're not simply Occupy City Hall, we're Occupy L.A."

Several hundred supporters lined the sidewalks as riot police moved in, in uniform fashion, and made the arrests. There was also heavy presence of organized labor groups here that helped coordinate things with police.

"I think the reality is the labor movement has to be involved in a major way," Nkrumah said. "They realize that the unions are on such heavy assault right now that their existence is at stake. What people learned is it's important to have alliances."

Earlier in the day, police arrested some protesters near Fourth and Figueroa streets in downtown Los Angeles, apparently because they tried to march to a different location than was pre-arranged by protesters who had obtained a permit.

"The march started splitting, and because of the public safety issue the concern for traffic (safety), the officers were trying to stop this march from going to streets that were not cordoned off, or blocked off," LAPD spokesman Lt. Andy Neiman told Fox 11.

Some ramps were closed by the California Highway Patrol.

Organized by Good Jobs L.A., Occupy L.A. and other groups, the march began at the Bank of America Plaza on Hope Street with protesters marching in a circle yelling, "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out."

Demonstrators said they planned on shutting down traffic when their permit expires around 8:30 a.m. Police officers said that although they expected a peaceful demonstration, they would make arrests if necessary.

According to organizers, the march is aimed at calling on Congress to hold Wall Street accountable for fixing the nation's economy and forcing corporations and banks to pay a larger share of taxes and invest in communities to create jobs.

Another march is tentatively scheduled to begin around noon in the Civic Center area.

The downtown Los Angeles protest comes amid a week of upheaval for Occupy protesters across the country and uncertainty about the future of the Occupy L.A. encampment at City Hall. L.A. officials have said the Occupy camp will have to end eventually, although no specific plans have been announced.

Occupy L.A. protesters issued a statement on their website Wednesday saying they "have no plans to leave — we have just begun our mission."

"If L.A. Occupiers eventually exit City Hall, it would be due to Occupy L.A.'s conclusion that our work could be done more efficiently at another location," according to the group.

Protests are expected to be held throughout the day in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and other cities.

Early Thursday morning, police raided the Occupy Cal encampment in Berkeley and arrested at least two protesters, the Los Angeles Times reports.

This raid comes only two days after Police in New York City cleared Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park. Clashes between protesters and police have occurred in Oakland and Portland during the last few weeks as tensions escalate.

KPCC's Frank Stoltze, Mike Roe and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

More in Politics & Government

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus