News / USA

Police Clear 'Occupy' Camps in LA, Philadelphia

Police arrest an Occupy Los Angeles protester at the encampment at city hall November 30, 2011.
Police arrest an Occupy Los Angeles protester at the encampment at city hall November 30, 2011.
Mike O'Sullivan

Los Angeles officials are praising the police operation that cleared hundreds of protesters from Los Angeles City Hall early Wednesday, without violence.  Most demonstrators agreed to leave the site peacefully, but nearly 300 who refused were arrested. Even with the breakup of the last major camp of the Occupy movement, demonstrators are promising to continue their protests.

Crews were cleaning up trash and removing tents, clothing and sleeping bags from the lawns of City Hall as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised police who evicted residents of the makeshift camp.  He said law enforcement officers showed restraint in their actions, shortly after midnight. “I hope that the L.A. activists will do the same. The movement’s message of restoring balance to American society is too important to be lost amid clashes and conflict," he said.

Villaraigosa called the action of more than 1,400 officers the Los Angeles police department’s "finest moment." “The activists’ fundamental rights were respected.  The result was a peaceful and orderly conclusion to the encampment at City Hall," he said.

The mayor and other city officials have said they sympathize with the demonstrators’ broad complaint that the top one percent of the U.S. population controls much of the country’s wealth.  But they say that after two months of occupation, the lawns of city hall needed to be cleared and that the protesters were given ample warning.

Although most people who watched the eviction said that it went smoothly, some protesters say they were thrown to the ground and treated roughly.  

In Philadelphia early Wednesday, at least 50 people were also arrested as police removed an encampment outside City Hall. Similar operations have taken place in other U.S. cities during the past month, sometimes with violent confrontations. On November 18, a protest on the campus of the University of California, Davis resulted in protesters being doused with pepper spray.

Demonstrators say their protests will continue. The Occupy movement has attracted supporters of many causes, from workers’ rights to immigration reform.

Protester Mario Brito says the group's removal from city hall is not the end.  “The eviction, it was only of tents, not of our ideas and definitely not of our movement," he said.

Smaller Occupy protests continue in other American cities, including San Francisco.

Related report by Elizabeth Lee:

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.