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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs