8 arrested after immigrant rights protest blocks downtown LA streets

Several dozen protesters gathered near Los Angeles and Temple streets in downtown Los Angeles to protest immigration policies on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.
Several dozen protesters gathered near Los Angeles and Temple streets in downtown Los Angeles to protest immigration policies on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. NBC4

12:20 p.m.: 8 arrests made; traffic back to normal

Police have arrested immigrant-rights demonstrators who blocked an intersection near the downtown Los Angeles Federal Building.

Los Angeles police characterized the protest as "peaceful" in a tweet and said 8 who refused orders to disperse were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly. Police said traffic has since "resumed to normal."

Several dozen protesters linked hands Tuesday while lying on the pavement. Others formed a circle around them.

Organizers said in a press release they would be demanding a stop to deportation of Central American immigrant families and recognition that they are refugees seeking asylum.

— KPCC & Associated Press

10:23 a.m.: 300 immigration protesters block downtown LA streets

A protest against immigration detentions blocked streets near the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning. 

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Aerial video showed protesters gathered in a circle and seated on the street at the intersection of Temple and Los Angeles streets, reported NBCLA. As of 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, LAPD officer Jane Kim said the crowd had grown to 300 people. There had been no arrests but LAPD is on modified tactical alert, according to Kim.

Los Angeles police said they were preparing to declare an unlawful assembly around 10:09 a.m.

Tessie Borden, director of communications at Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Los Angeles, spoke with KPCC about the planned protests this weekend. 

She said several immigrant rights organizations were coming together as a response the arrests of Central American migrants that took place earlier this month in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.

"We're responding to the Obama administration's continuing policy of conducting raids and persecuting mothers and children who are from Central America and who are seeking asylum and protection," she told KPCC. "We are preparing for them, and we are protesting the policy."

— KPCC staff

This story has been updated.

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