The deadline for Occupy Los Angeles to vacate the lawn in front of city hall has come and gone and, as of the time of this broadcast, their tent city is still standing.
The LAPD had imposed a deadline of midnight last night for the occupiers to clear out, but as the crowd swelled to an estimated 1,000 people, police chose not to clear the encampment.
Early this morning police arrested a few protesters who refused to leave the intersection of Main and First streets, but most occupiers obeyed the order to disperse and, according to KPCC’s Frank Stoltze, headed back to camp to get some sleep.
These latest displays of civil disobedience come just days after the city made an offer of alternate spaces for the protesters to occupy as well as additional housing for the homeless occupiers. The deal sparked controversy within – and without – the Occupy movement. Some occupiers felt that a small contingent had broken ranks and went behind the General Assembly’s back to negotiate with the city.
The deal was turned down and now a group of Occupy protesters, along with the National Lawyers Guild, have filed suit against the city to keep the police from tearing down the camp.
But, will the police move in before Occupy gets its day in court? Where do the protests go from here? Will they relocate to another site, with the city’s blessing? And what do the police do now? What did they hope to accomplish by letting the deadline slide?
Frank Stoltze, KPCC Reporter. He’s downtown at the Occupy Encampment
Ron McCarthy, Independent Consultant and Police Trainer; Former Assistant Commander for LAPD SWAT, Former Head of Training for International Association of Chiefs of Police
Mike Hillman, Retired Deputy Chief, LAPD, Former Asst Sheriff for Orange County Sheriff’s Department; Consultant with Kroll Security
Daniel Dominguez, activist with OccupyLA; freelance writer
Ms. PJ Davenport, activist with OccupyLA; freelance television and multi-media producer