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No arrests yet at ‘respectful’ Occupy L.A. protests, police say

October 18, 2011 |  8:21 am

Occupy LA
Unlike its counterparts in other major cities, the 17-day Occupy Los Angeles movement that has taken over the lawn around L.A. City Hall hasn't led to any arrests, police said.

Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Blake Chow said the group has been both "cooperative" and "respectful."

The group, now entering its 18th day at City Hall, sees its clean record as a badge of honor.

"L.A. is one of the most important" movements, said protester Paul Lael, 23. "We haven't had any arrests, so it lends more credibility to our cause."

Arrests have occurred in the last couple of weeks –- including at a Bank of America protest downtown -- but Chow said those arrested were not involved with the group.

"Overall it's been a very low-key event," Chow said.

On Sunday, an Occupy Long Beach event resulted in two arrests and a couple of citations after demonstrators clashed with police trying to usher them out of a public park after its closing time.

Some arguments have broken out among the hungry and thirsty protesters in the Occupy L.A. camp, but Lael said they've been defused internally.

Occupy L.A. participants have organized themselves into committees and "when we see a need, we fill it," Paul Murufas, a member of the movement's finance committee, said.

"We could use some more security. Some people can get a bit unruly."


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Photo: A few thousand people took part in an Occupy L.A. march that started at Pershing Square on Saturday afternoon and ended at City Hall. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times