A storm is brewing at the Occupy LA encampment in downtown Los Angeles - and we are hearing about it all on Twitter.
Many thought Monday would be the day Occupiers bid farewell to their City Hall encampment, as an enforced closure was announced by Mayor Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck on Friday. And yet, only 4 arrests later on Monday, the camp stood strong and the LAPD decided not to force eviction.. just yet. The LA Times reports "in the three days after the announcement, about 50% of the tents have been taken down, and many of the women and children that had been sleeping at the camp were gone." And yet most Occupiers have remained at City Hall throughout Tuesday. Some are even up in trees, where it's harder for LAPD to bring them down.
Tonight however, Twitter is buzzing with Occupiers rallying the troops and passing around time-sensitive information about the supposed-raid:
@ OccupyLA : NBC Source says LAPD Booking Station being set up at Dodger Stadium. City Buses being assembled. Arrests planned. Please Keep it Peaceful.
@ OccupyLA : Please be aware that once streets are blocked (very soon) by #LAPD you will not access Solidarity Park. Come now, if you are coming! ~pj
Joan Donovan, an organizer with Occupy LA told HuffPost that earlier today, "cops were counting tents, basically doing a census. We have a few people living in trees right now," she said. "I'm sure that's a safety concern they will want to take care of." In regards to what is anticipated for this evening, Donovan said: "We're fairly certain that the cops are coming in tonight. They are massing buses at Dodger Stadium...We had a guy bike over there to double confirm."
Prepping protestors for an LAPD raid this evening, one Twitter user wrote:
Technology has played a large role in the Occupy Wall Street protests - most noticeably in instances of shocking police aggression or brutality. One Twitter user wrote:
@ OccupyLANews : Make sure if you shoot media of this raid and if you get arrested give your media - sim card or other cards..tapes to a friend. LAPD keeps.
There appears to have been a 45-minute delay on Twitter search for #olaraid and #OccupyLA - which Occupiers are asking to get fixed immediately.
Other Twitter users offer support to the now 200+ reported protestors at the Occupy LA camp:
@ Lunakitten : @OccupyLA I know lots of people who can't be there but support you. Be safe, and strong. We love you for being there.
PJ Davenport, an Occupy LA activist and organizer, tells The Huffington Post from the encampment that there is "media across the street, and they have been given a line they can't cross." Davenport estimates 250 people are down there right now:
"It's tentative. There's a lot of nerves in the air. Many people are sad. Some people are confused by the fact that there's an injunction to stop this eviction and the LAPD is not going to allow the judge to hear the injunction. We hope that when the LAPD and the Occupiers come face to face tonight, they'll see the humanity in each other."
Davenport tells us that there is talk of a raid at 8:30pm PST.
Jason Cherkis contributed reporting to this piece.Latest Updates On HuffPost's Live Blog:
Via HuffPost Miami:
When an Occupy Miami member offered evicted protestors vacant apartments in a building he owns in Downtown Miami's Overtown neighborhood, it seemed like the perfect solution: the 'Peace City' space would provide headquarters for the movement and shelter a small faction of the group's most vulnerable members. But it hasn't gone well. Other tenants say the building has become a cesspool of drug use and violence while non-resident Occupy Miami members are trying to distance themselves from the 'radicals' -- all while the two factions are wrestling for control over Occupy Miami's social media sites and future plans.
The feud between the Overtown occupiers and more mainstream members has only gotten worse. The two factions are now battling for control of Occupy Miami's social media sites. The movement's main Twitter account recently announced it had been "hijacked by a small, non-consensus group of radical members." The Occupy Miami Facebook page was also temporarily hacked by someone inside Peace City. Meanwhile, the Overtown occupation is slowly driving away more moderate members.
"This is a black eye on the Occupy movement," says Shannon Reaze, an Overtown community organizer and Occupy Miami supporter who is now helping tenants move out of Paz's building. "The violence and drugs going on here are way outside of what I thought Occupy stood for. This place is destabilized."
...The supposedly hard-core activists here spend their days drinking and getting high. And as Peace City devolves into lawlessness, the most committed occupiers are leaving. Local landowners and politicians want the place shut down, while cops are suspicious. Yet as long as Paz wants the protesters around, nothing short of a demolition order can keep them out.
Via HuffPost DC:
WASHINGTON -- Occupy DC has a new lawsuit involving tents on its hands. But it doesn't involve temporary structures in McPherson Square.
Two protesters arrested during a February action outside Merrill Lynch's offices on 15th Street NW near McPherson Square have filed suit against the Metropolitan Police Department, Legal Times reports. (Read the complaint here.)
The plaintiffs, Samuel Dukore and Kelly Canavan, were part of a "targeted occupation" of Merrill Lynch on Feb. 13 where protesters were raising awareness about Merrill Lynch's reportedly close ties with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Issa, for his part, claims that the reports of these close ties are "wildly inaccurate."
Full story here.
OWS reports via its website:
After the brutal attack on the attempted re-occupation of Liberty Square by NYPD on the 6-month anniversary of #OWS, a number of Occupiers have relocated their base of occupation to Union Square in midtown Manhattan, a point of convergence for several #OWS protests over the past 6 months.
According to reports on the ground, several dozen people slept in the park after the illegal and violent raid on Liberty Square. Over 70 people remain, now on Day 3. Although tents and tables are still banned, Occupiers have brought blankets and sleeping gear. Many are calling it ¨the new Occupation.¨ In addition to holding General Assemblies, Union Square Occupiers are providing vital jail support for those arrested on #M17 as they are released from NYPD custody. So far, the NYPD has made no attempt to remove Occupiers or prevent them from sleeping in the park.
Occupy Long Beach is defending the mother's home. For more information, click here.
Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street activist once profiled in Rolling Stone, suffered a seizure Saturday night during protest action near Zuccotti Park. Many on-scene reported Ms. McMillan had trouble breathing after she was tackled and handcuffed by law enforcement.
A video uploaded to Youtube late Saturday night purports to show the attack. Two women can be heard commenting, “There’s Cecily,” then there is confusion as the police clearly perform a violent take-down on someone in the crowd.
According to Jeff Sharlet’s November, 2011 article about the Occupy Movement, this may be Ms. McMillan’s second violent encounter with police.
To read the full story, go here.
Cops caught on video about 10 seconds in taking down the woman who had the apparent seizure:
Watch video from inside Zuccotti Park as police moved in late last night:
- Show quoted text -
The paper reports from last night's chaos at Zuccotti Park:
At one point, a woman who appeared to be suffering from seizures flopped on the ground in handcuffs as bystanders shouted for the police to remove the cuffs and provide medical attention. For several minutes the woman lay on the ground as onlookers made increasingly agonized demands until an ambulance arrived and the woman was placed inside.
By 12:20 a.m., a line of officers pushed against some of the remaining protesters, forcing them south on Broadway, at times swinging batons and shoving people to the ground.
Kobi Skolnick, 30, said that officers pushed him in several directions and that as he tried to walk away, he was struck from behind in the neck. “One of the police ran and hit me with a baton,” he said.
To read the full story, go here.
|@ Greg_Palast : Our photographer ZD Roberts beaten @OWS Zucotti Park by cops. Thrown to ground, hair grabbd, hit with clubs while yelling, I'M PRESS PRESS!|
|@ macfathom : Doubling east on Barclay, and now the ragged front of the march is at City Hall. #OWS|
|@ LuddoftheFuture : girl in the street having a seizure and the cops have her in handcuffs. can this get any worse (live at http://t.co/4pLyy3gP)|
Activists cry out for paramedics. The woman is limp on the ground. "Come on you violent bastards where's the paramedics?"
|@ jeffrae : March is heading north up broadway #ows #occupywallstreet|
|@ macfathom : Dozens of arrests, many cuffed and sitting on broadway waiting for their ride to jail. #OWS|
|@ RDevro : Police are barricading the park. It's cleared. I witnessed countless violent arrests. No way to estimate numbers.|
Cops pulling apart human chains. There are shouts for mic checks. Now, chants start forming. "The NYPD are sweeping through," says Tim on the live stream.
|@ ANIMALNewYork : NYPD just made an announcement that Brookfield has to "clean the park" and Liberty Plaza is officially "closed."|
|@ OccupyWallStNYC : Bagpipers just started marching into the park bringing the party mood with them, NYPD arrested one of them, and things got real heated. #OWS|
|@ JackieHRye : NYPD just "destroyed" the tent in Zuccotti Park, Occupiers call for its re-building. Marching band also going through the park. #OWS|
|@ RDevro : The tent in the middle of the park continues to fill with people planning to stay the night. Lots of energy here.|
Activists ask for more room as the tent is growing, expanding.
"It looks like a floating tent." -- as Tim on his live stream.
|@ OccupyWallStNYC : .@justawall is leading us in a song! "Hit the road, banks! And don't ya come back no more no more no more no more!" #OWS|
Activists have assembled make-shift, cardboard sleeping areas inside Zuccotti Park. The cardboard is joined by a large green tarp.