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Occupy L.A.: Some protesters prepare for tear gas, others leave

November 30, 2011 | 12:31 am

Click here to see more photos.Some Occupy L.A. protesters were preparing for tear gas while others were leaving the area in front of City Hall early Wednesday.

Police were creating a perimeter at 1st and Main streets, while the crowd chanted: "We are peaceful." Officers have deployed across Main Street, blocking it off.

Earlier, protesters had placed an orange bucket in the intersection.

Occupy L.A.: Photos | 360° photos | Video | Live webcam

"If they fire tear gas, put [the canister] in the bucket," a protester said into a bullhorn. "But not with your bare hands!"

"The best way to protect the camp is to stand our ground here on the street," another said.

At 1st and Broadway, some urged their fellow protesters to stay nonviolent.

Others, however, were antagonizing police.

FULL COVERAGE: Occupy protests

"It's just a job! Remember that! You're … people!" shouted one protester at a line of Los Angeles officers in riot gear.

Joe Gonzalez has been at Occupy L.A. for a month and a half, kicking in a tent, making friends, having a few trysts, rolling in the free stuff handed out and, unfortunately, falling back on some bad habits.

But now, he's packing up. The party's over. "I don't want to go to jail," said Gonzalez, 43, of Sylmar. "I don't want anything on my record."

Gonzalez said he's a meth addict, attempting to recover with God's help. The drugs at the camp -- meth, crack, weed, pills -- have tempted him, he said.

"The point of being out here," he said, is "to party and to have no disturbances by police, and have your tent up day and night without having to take it down."

He was certainly packing more than he came with, including 15 more tents. He planned to go up a few blocks and rent them out as private spaces to get high, making a few bucks for a few minutes.

"Life is good, you know," he said.


LAPD traps hundreds of protesters in camp

Confrontation occurs on Broadway at 1st Street

Some protesters prepare for tear gas, others leave

--- Jason Song, Ricardo Lopez, Rick Rojas, Joel Rubin, and Alejandro Lazo

Photo: Police officers enter the Occupy L.A. encampment at City Hall.

Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times