AirTalk for November 30, 2011

LAPD raid ends Occupy LA encampment

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators willing t

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators willing to get arrested for civil disobedience seat themselves around a tent at the Occupy LA site surrounding City Hall in downtown Los Angeles on November 30, 2011.

Shortly after midnight, it began. Hundreds of police officers – some in riot gear, others in hazmat suits – secured a perimeter, swarmed onto City Hall grounds and began making arrests.

For days, police and protesters knew the raid was imminent. Both seemed to prepare for a non-violent confrontation.

Police arrested nearly 300 protesters for refusing to decamp from their two-month old, so-called occupation.

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said, "We didn't use tear gas on anybody today. We didn't use pepper spray on anybody."

It was an operation quite distinct from police raids on Occupy Oakland and Occupy Wall Street – where fires erupted and rubber bullets shot, all resulting in serious injuries.

The worst to contend with at City Hall this morning is a massive mess on the grounds. The stench of urine and piles of tents, bedding, clothing and more cover the lawns.

Still, Occupy L.A. supporters insist the location is a traditional public forum for First Amendment activity, and they want it back. Incoming court hearings challenging the "eviction," attorneys for protesters will cite resolutions by L.A. City Council in support of the encampment.

"It's the mayor we are very upset with for trying to usurp the powers that are not his and trying to override the very reasonable position of the city council, " said James Lafferty, National Lawyers Guild president.

WEIGH IN:

What's your reaction to how the raid unfolded? Are you surprised at the relative peace of it all? How did Los Angeles avoid the violence experienced in other cities? What's next for the movement?

Guests:

Shirley Jahad, KPCC Reporter. She is at the Corn Fields where the Occupy L.A. people are meeting

Carol Sobel, Executive Vice President, National Lawyers Guild

Sky Adams, activist with OccupyLA; actor, performer

Julia Wallace, Member of the Committee to end Police Brutality, Occupy Los Angeles

B.G, Activist Occupy Los Angeles


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