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Occupy L.A.: Arrest deadline extended to 4:30 a.m.

An LAPD commander said Monday the deadline for arresting Occupy L.A. protesters still on the streets has been postponed until  4:30 a.m.

If people are arrested, Cmdr. Andy Smith said it is because they want to be arrested.

"We definitely need to get morning traffic in," he said, adding that warnings would begin momentarily.

PHOTOS: Occupy L.A. eviction

Smith said earlier he hoped protesters would choose to leave and was attempting to convey that message to the campers.

"Hopefully we can do it the easy way and not the hard way," he said.

People milled around First Street and some laid down in the street. No arrests had yet been made, Smith said.

The police department has been on tactical alert since a midnight deadline for protesters to clear the park came and went.

But despite a faceoff on the streets surrounding City Hall and LAPD headquarters during the early morning hours, the close-the-camp effort has remained relatively peaceful.

As the morning wore on, police officials were working to get the word out to protesters that arrests were imminent, unless they returned to the park or left the site altogether.

FULL COVERAGE: Occupy protests around the nation

City councilman urges Occupy L.A. to move indoors, into politics

Occupy L.A. campers play, pray as city’s midnight deadline looms

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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