7 arrested at LA County social worker protest

social worker strike

Submitted by Michelle Lucarelli

L.A. County social workers and supporters are seen in the street during a sit-in protest Thursday, December 10, 2013. Seven people were arrested.

UPDATE 7:10 PM: LA County social workers suspend 6-day strike 

Earlier: Seven people were arrested in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday during a loud but peaceful demonstration in which hundreds showed support for striking L.A. County social workers.

“I think it was still very spirited,” protest attendee Michelle Lucarelli told KPCC of the demonstration that shut down the intersection of Temple Street and Hill Street. “The police were not being aggressive. They were arresting people, unfortunately, and I think the protesters felt even more spirited that their cause was being heard.”

Lucarelli says the aim of the strike is to improve child safety.

Social workers are in negotiations with L.A. County officials over a new union contract. About 3,600 workers from the Department of Children and Family Services have been on strike since Thursday, fighting to lower the case load of each social worker. 

The Associated Press reports that county officials say they have called in supervisors to answer hotlines and are also relying on local law enforcement to investigate child welfare claims until the walkout is settled.

Officer Sara Faden says the individuals were arrested in a planned act of civil disobedience when they refused to leave the area, according to AP.

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