Occupy L.A. protesters vow to move ‘beyond City Hall’
Organizers of the protest, along with community, labor and religious supporters, are planning a morning meeting to discuss the next steps for expanding the movement and keeping pressure on banks and corporations.
"You cannot evict an idea," Mike Garcia, president of SEIU United Service Workers West, said in a statement. "You cannot evict a movement. Now is the time to expand Occupy L.A. beyond City Hall."
Their renewed efforts come after seven weeks of encampment at City Hall, during which the group launched frequent marches to the financial district.
Overnight, more than 1,400 police swooped in to clear out the encampment. Police arrived in force and within minutes had encircled the park. Most protesters chose to leave on their own, but others remained behind.
Police arrested more than 200 people in the largely peaceful operation.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa toured the park early Wednesday and praised Police Chief Charlie Beck and his officers.
"I said that here in L.A. we'd chart a different path, and we did," Villaraigosa said.
The mayor credited Beck's community-policing approach, noting that the chief and his officers had established a relationship with the Occupy protesters at the beginning of the encampment.
-- Rong-Gong Lin II
Photo: LAPD officers wearing protective suits enter the Occupy L.A. encampment at City Hall in Los Angeles. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times