Occupy LA: Police dismantle LA, Philadelphia camps. Is Occupy Boston next?
Occupy LA protestors were arrested Wednesday, and their camp dismantled. Occupy Philadelphia was also peacefully shut down. Will Occupy Boston follow LA and Philly?
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Police Commander Andrew Smith said about 200 people were arrested, mostly hold-outs who defied orders to clear the area. Several were removed from trees.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Best signs of Occupy Wall Street protests
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Police Lieutenant Andy Neiman said before the operation that some protesters had been reported to be storing human waste at the site for unknown reasons. He later said police entering the camp encountered "a horrible stench." The grounds were strewn with collapsed tents, trash and other debris.
Police said the eviction operation involved more than 1,000 officers.
Fireworks were set off as the crowd grew steadily more raucous before police arrived. Many protesters chanted, "Move your feet, Occupy the street!"
Protester Anthony Candelaria, 21, a Los Angeles college student among the crowd gathered at City Hall, said before the raid began that he planned to "hold the fort down until they drag us out by our feet."
Shortly after the eviction began, Villaraigosa issued a statement saying the city was taking a "measured approach to enforcing the park closure."
"We have wanted to give people every opportunity to leave peacefully," he said. Visiting the site with Police Chief Charlie Beck near the end of the raid, the mayor praised officers for their "professional and restrained" conduct.
In San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee offered anti-Wall Street activists occupying a park in the city's financial district an alternate location for their camp. The group met Tuesday night to discuss the proposed Mission District site and the mayor's list of conditions for using it. The offer included land for pitching tents and a building with restrooms.
Los Angeles Protesters had started moving onto the City Hall park on October 1 and within weeks the encampment had grown to include 500 tents and 700 to 800 full-time residents.
Their number diminished sharply after Villaraigosa announced last week that he wanted protesters to vacate the grounds by Monday or be forcibly removed.
After the eviction deadline passed, the status of the camp had remained in limbo. Attorneys for Occupy LA asked a federal judge for a court order barring police from shutting it down, arguing city officials had violated their civil rights by ordering the camp dismantled. The judge has made no ruling.
The mayor has promised to find a shelter for homeless people who had taken up residence at City Hall and were estimated to account for at least a third of the camp.
(Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Jackie Frank and Bill Trott)