Occupy L.A.: Protesters set up barriers to block police
Occupy L.A. protesters were bracing for their imminent eviction from the City Hall lawn on Tuesday night.
Some activists placed trash and recycling bins to block the main entrance to the lawn, saying they saw the barrier as some level of protection against the expected eviction.
Los Angeles police have not said when they will evict the protesters, and as of 9 p.m., there were no police visible in or around the lawn.
But several people reported seeing large numbers of police cars driving into Dodger Stadium, where officers were apparently gathering.
At a meeting of demonstrators Tuesday evening, organizers said that it was "very probable" that some kind of raid will occur Tuesday. They did not reveal the source of the information.
An excited man ran through the camp screaming "the cops are coming from the northeast side! The cops are coming!" His Paul Revere-like sprint set the camp ablaze with nervous talking.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he decided that it was time to evict Occupy L.A. protesters from the City Hall lawn after learning that there were children staying there.
Given the smattering of assaults and other incidents reported at the camp, “the chaos out there could produce something awful,” he said in an interview with The Times.
The mayor, a former union organizer and president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck jointly made the decision to allow overnight camping on the lawn in hopes of charting a “different path” with protesters. That was, he said, in part because he respects many of their views.
Many at the tent city -- which grew to include its own library, multitude of committees and even a schedule of yoga classes -- were drawn by outrage at economic policies that they say favor the rich. But many also pledge allegiance to a variety of other causes, including legalizing marijuana and ending the Federal Reserve.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Protesters at Occupy L.A. erect barriers in preparation for an anticipated police action on the encampment.
Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times