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Occupy protesters take over Bank of America Plaza

November 17, 2011 |  3:21 pm

Bank of America
Protesters at Bank of America Plaza in the downtown financial district locked arms Thursday afternoon and refused to leave.

Authorities repeatedly warned the group to disperse, but they refused to move tents set up on a grassy area in the plaza. The group began its second march about noon at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment near City Hall Park and headed back toward the financial district.

Ten protesters, locked arm in arm, faced off against a barricade of police.

Nathan Lucero, 30, said he took time off work Thursday to come to protest.

"I sympathize with these guys, but I'm not in a situation where I can get arrested," Lucero said. "I have to pick up my kids at 5. I wish more people in my situation could come out and show support."

The arrests came after 23 other protesters were taken into custody Thursday morning after they erected tents in the middle of a downtown street.

PHOTOS: Day of protest

The second march was organized by the Service Employees International Union and included janitors, security officers, airport workers and other service workers, along with protesters from Occupy L.A.

SEIU organizer Mike Chavez said the march splintered shortly after it began. One faction continued along the planned route to the financial district, he said, while another, made up of mostly Occupy L.A. protesters, tried to take over a street near their camp at L.A. City Hall. Protesters squared off with police in riot gear on Broadway, but then moved on.

Police said a group of protesters was at 3rd and Hope streets, where they had locked arms around a concrete structure.


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-- Matt Stevens, Kate Linthicum and Richard Winton

Photo: Protesters lock arms and face off with police at the Bank of America Plaza. Credit: Matt Stevens / Los Angeles Times