Occupy L.A.: Police declare unlawful assembly on streets
The LAPD early Monday declared an unlawful assembly on the streets surrounding City Hall and ordered Occupy L.A. protesters to immediately disperse or face arrest.
Police officers carrying batons, plastic handcuffs and non-lethal weapons lined up on 1st Street directly outside LAPD headquarters in anticipation of possible arrests of protesters who were standing in the streets.
"It is not our intent to clear the park at this time," an officer said over a loudspeaker. "It is only our intent to clear the street. Thank you in advance for your cooperation."
The dispersal order came nearly four hours after the midnight Sunday deadline for protesters to clear the lawn at City Hall, where Occupy L.A. protesters have camped out for two months.
Police were on scene since before midnight, urging protesters to stay off the streets and warning them that arrests would be imminent. They first gave a 4 a.m. deadline to arrest protesters who were in the street, then pushed the time to 4:30 a.m.
No arrests have yet been made.
"Right now, we have no plans to go into the encampment," LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz and Rick Rojas at City Hall
Photo: With a line of LAPD officers behind them, Occupy L.A. demonstrators sit in the middle of the street near Los Angeles City Hall early Monday morning. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times