Occupy L.A.: Mayor Villaraigosa surveys former City Hall campsite
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined LAPD Chief Charlie Beck at the park at City Hall early Wednesday to observe officers as they continued to arrest the few Occupy L.A. protesters that remained after a police sweep of the campsite.
By 3 a.m., only a few dozen protesters remained on the south lawn of the park area around City Hall. They were seated on the ground with their arms linked together in a giant circle.
At least one protester remained in a tree near the plaza. Police were using a cherry picker to remove him.
Protester Cheryl Aichele, one of those sitting in the middle of the plaza, said that when police first entered the camp, some rushed from nearby streets, while others poured out of City Hall.
"They were like storm troopers," she said. "They encircled us."
She said that as police slowly worked to remove people from the tightly wound ring of protesters, she told officers about the support the demonstration had initially won from city officials.
In October, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution in support of the demonstration and Council President Eric Garcetti told protesters they could "stay as long as you need."
-- Kate Linthicum and Andrew Blankstein at L.A. City Hall
Photo: Police officers and protesters near the Occupy L.A. encampment. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times