Occupy LA sues over eviction

Dec. 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Occupy Los Angeles protesters filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the group's rights were violated in its November 2011 eviction.

The suit filed Thursday claims the Los Angeles Police Department used military tactics to forcibly remove hundreds of demonstrators from the 59-day encampment on the City Hall lawn, and the 300 resulting arrests were "unconstitutional and an unlawful violation of the plaintiffs' First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to assembly, association, freedom from unlawful seizure and liberty."

Although city government initially welcomed Occupy Los Angeles, the local branch of a national movement to establish tent cities to protest economic inequality, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided to evict the group out of fear children may have been living in the encampment, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"The basic rule of the First Amendment is that you can't change the rules halfway through the game," said Carol Sobel, an attorney for the protesters.

"The city began execution of their campaign of shock and awe ... attacking from all sides," the lawsuit states.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and injunctive and declaratory relief, the newspaper said.

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