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Occupy LA complains of 'intimidation'

Dec. 1, 2011 at 10:33 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Organizers of Occupy LA say they plan future demonstrations, despite being forced out of the Los Angeles City Hall area.

More than 1,400 police officers entered the park around City Hall, arresting 292 protesters who refused to leave, shortly after midnight Wednesday. The police action ended the 60-day occupation of the park, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

Organizers said smaller encampments might spring up at other locations, including banks, the homes of bank executives, golf courses or country clubs, the report said.

In Boston Thursday, a judge granted Occupy Boston permission to camp out in Dewey Square for at least another two weeks. The ruling came after a hearing in which lawyers for protesters and the city argued about free speech rights and public safety issues, the Boston Herald reported.

"I fear for the lives and safety of every person on that property," Fire Marshal Bart Shea said.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntrye said she would rule on the matter no later than Dec. 15, the newspaper said.

In Los Angeles, the park near City Hall was blocked off with fencing and barriers and will remain closed until repairs are made to the park, officials said. Sanitation workers said they expected to haul away 30 tons of debris -- clothing, heaps of garbage and miscellaneous items such as books, CDs, luggage, boom boxes, chairs, cellphones and electric razors -- all left behind by the protesters.

In a statement issued Wednesday, protest leaders said: "We call upon all sisters and brothers of the occupy movement to speak out against the use of intimidation, force and political power to break up peaceful occupations and repress or criminalize the exercise of our First Amendment rights."

KTLA said 100 more protesters gathered in the area Wednesday, but were peaceful.

Occupy protests started on Wall Street, but have spread across the country. Demonstrators protest against what they call the double standard in the treatment of the wealthy and the 99 percent who aren't wealthy.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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