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Occupy L.A. protesters return to downtown streets

December 3, 2011 | 10:01 pm

Occupy Los Angeles protesters returned to the streets Saturday in a large march that included many of the same demonstrators who were arrested during a police sweep of their camp outside City Hall last week.

At least one person was arrested during Saturday’s heavily policed march in downtown L.A., apparently for failing to follow police orders to stay on the sidewalk. Other protesters identified him as Anthony Lascano.

Lascano was one of nearly 300 demonstrators who were arrested in early Wednesday’s eviction, an elaborate police action that involved some 1,400 officers.

To protest Lascano's second arrest, which demonstrators said was unnecessary, the crowd marched past the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department and to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, where many Occupy arrestees had been detained. A line of police officers in riot gear blocked the doors.

Police Department spokesman Cleon Joseph confirmed that there had been an arrest at the protest but said he did not have more details.

Demonstrators complained that Lascano was "tackled" by police. A video posted by one marcher shows only part of the arrest.

About 100 Los Angeles police officers and private security guards trailed the protesters as they marched Saturday, according to news reports. Police have maintained a large presence at Occupy protests downtown in the days since the eviction, especially during demonstrators’ nightly general assembly meetings on the west steps of City Hall.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who ordered the encampment closed because of health and safety concerns and because of damage to the lawn, instructed city crews to keep the west steps open while the lawn is rehabilitated so that the protesters — and anyone else — have a place to gather.

-- Kate Linthicum