Occupy L.A.: Police begin dismantling encampment
Columns of officers were seen swarming from several direction around City Hall and began to remove tents.
The massive deployment comes as police are facing down hundreds of chanting protesters at several intersections near City Hall. The protests have been peaceful and demonstrators were respecting the police lines.
"Those who want to be arrested will be. Those who don't, won't," Perez said in a brief interview. The LAPD has closed off an area from Temple Street on the north to 3rd Street on the south and from Alameda Street on the east to Broadway on the west.
An LAPD helicopter announced the start of the department's action, swooping low and incessantly circling the City Hall steps on which hundreds of protesters had gathered. It flooded the camp with light from its high-powered searchlight and the din from its propellers threatened to drown out a chant of "Occupy L.A., all day, all night!" by the protesters.
Someone then launched fireworks over the camp.
-- Andrew Blankstein, Kate Linthicum and Joel Rubin
Photo: Los Angeles Police Department officers move in as Occupy L.A. protesters are ordered out of their encampment near City Hall.
Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times