3 actions with 72 arrests and No Violence Photoset 5 of 5 / Occupy Bank Of America Plaza Finale
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At seven o'clock in the morning thousands of people from the Occupy Los Angeles movement and associated groups converged on the 55 story Bank of America Plaza building in the skyscraper riddled area of the downtown financial district. The crowd was loud and impassioned, chanting "Banks got bailed out, We got sold out" or "This is what a police state looks like". There was every possible age and progressive political viewpoint represented by the inspired crowd.
There was heavy union participation in the first and second marches. Groups such as The Service Employees International Union and United Long Term Care Workers which is California's largest union were in full presence amongst others such as Good Jobs LA .
The police presence was the heaviest yet presented in the ongoing drama of Occupy Los Angeles. Tear gas weapons, rubber bullets and truncheons were displayed openly. The protest remained non violent throughout the days events and the weapons were not used. Occupiers cried "You are the 99 percent" to the LAPD officers with little visible reaction from the cops.
The protest marched to to Figueroa Street where they set up symbolic tents in the middle of the road and blocked the Fourth Street bridge. Twenty one people formed a human chain around the tents and were arrested for unlawful assembly. Two people were arrested for failing to comply with lawful orders.
The first protest dwindled after the arrests were made and the crowds retreated to the encampment at city hall which was in it's 47th day. Spontaneous speeches were made and plans were finalized for two more marches and actions.
The next march was a non-permitted union affair that went from the the civic center, down Grand street and back to the Bank of America plaza where they met up with a third, seemingly spontaneous and non permitted march issuing from the encampment. The protesters marched down Broadway in the street and on the sidewalk were they were eventually met by the LAPD in full riot gear. The police herded the people onto the sidewalk and then encircled them with truncheons drawn and tear gas canisters at the ready.It looked as though arrests were imminent ( in fact there were three made ) when Mario Brito a member of the general assembly at OLA and a veteran labor leader negotiated with the cops to stand back and let the protest move on. Chants of "You are the 99 %" rang through the air as the action proceeded to the Bank of America plaza again where they met up with the second march.
At this point members of the third march pulled out tents and set them up fervently , so a visual statement could be made before dark and before the police tore them down.The sprinklers came on making a muddy mess out of the lawn while the police moved in and cut off the campers from the main crowd.They left a last minute escape route from the tented area.
Protesters chose amongst themselves based on willingness and their value in other areas of Occupy LA who would be arrested for staying in the tented area. There were moments of intense reflection on faces of the soon to be arrestees as many of them contemplated their first arrest ever. In the end 47 people were taken in for trespassing. Brookfield Office Properties owns the occupied land and the properties of Zuccotti Park in New York where Occupy Wall St has bloomed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookfield_Properties
The property was designated as a public space by the California Redevelopment Agency.
The occupiers formed a human chain around the tents and the LAPD proceeded to arrest and process them. Most of the folks were released on bail that evening.
Some in the crowd lit candles and held a vigil as darkness fell. Eventually the people dispersed and a very orderly general assembly was held at the city hall encampment.
72 arrests were made and no violence occurred from any of the three marches.
At this time the 99 %/ Occupy movement continues on throughout the U.S and the globe.
Original: Occupy Los Angeles Ups The Ante on November 17th