Oakland activists join Occupy L.A. group in downtown demonstration
August 9, 2012 | 1:27
A man arrested Thursday after demonstrators drew a large chalk mural at Pershing Square was among a contingent of activists from Oakland who arrived Wednesday to show solidarity with their counterparts in Los Angeles, fellow protesters said.
The Oakland group reportedly came to join up with Occupy L.A. activists, who clashed with police during last month's Art Walk after drawing political messages in chalk on downtown streets.
The first Art Walk since that melee, which left four officers injured and 17 people in handcuffs, is scheduled Thursday night.
The Oakland demonstrators started work on their mural Thursday morning. Along with two cartoon animals, they wrote the words: "Chalkupy" and "I Love the First Amendment" on the pavement.
Los Angeles police Sgt. Frank Preciado said officers took three people into custody Thursday but made only the one arrest.
The man who was arrested had outstanding warrants for two misdemeanor crimes, Preciado said, including a vandalism charge in Oakland. The other two have not been arrested but are under investigation for vandalism, he said. After reviewing evidence, Preciado said police may or may not recommend that City Atty. Carmen Trutanich press charges against them.
The officers’ actions baffled Amos Sandifer, 48, who stood in the shade roughly 30 feet from the sidewalk drawing.
“This is kids’ stuff. It’s chalk!” said Sandifer, clad in a tank top and eating Flaming Hot Cheetos. “I could see it if it was spray paint.”
Sander, who described himself as a former baker from Chicago, said he watched as police put two people in a squad car and drove away.
Preciado said police will be stationed throughout the day and night at Pershing Square, the base of operations for Occupy since protesters were cleared off of the City Hall lawn last winter.