Independent blogger and Occupy LA participant Ruth Fowler has written an excellent report on the violent eviction of Occupy LA. Out of sight of most of the mainstream media, police chased down protesters and beat them with batons during the early morning eviction yesterday:
Approximately 300 of us walked down 1st towards Los Angeles, leaving 300 left standing by the cops. The police moved in after us, and kettled the 300 left behind. Seeing this, we ran, as a group, a couple of blocks to get away from them, losing people all along the way. Then suddenly a group of police emerged. We were blocked (kettled) in on Alameda between second and first. The police started running towards us - the group was now about 100 people by this point - and everyone ran into a parking lot to escape. The police ran after them and started beating protestors with batons repeatedly as they were running away trying to escape. I saw about ten police hit protestors. I did not get video footage nor photographs as I was running.
We need to get the word out on the continued, violent treatment by police of protesters and mainstream and independent reporters that attempt to cover all aspects of evictions.
LA police, under Democratic Mayor Villaraigosa, attempted to pool the media away from the eviction so as to control the message. We can't let Mayor Villaraigosa accomplish this. We are the media in this regard and it is vitally important that we not allow ourselves to become jaded or accepting of this level of police violence and repression, coordinated by unprincipled politicians of either party.
After the initial order to evict, the remaining people and reporters were "kettled" and boxed into a particular street area, serving as open targets for cops that chased some down to beat them with baton.
Ruth Fowler has some closing thoughts on the violent repression of the freedom of speech, assembly and the press:
Tonight was tactical, it was efficient - and it quite clearly violated our First Amendment Rights, not only by violating our right to petition for a redress of grievances, but by manipulating and censoring the media, so that they were unable to cover the violence and abuses being carried out by the LAPD on peaceful protestors not under the MSM's eye.
Tonight has radicalized many people, and highlighted the true nature of City Council, LAPD and Mayor Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa is an expert politician, who has no interest in our grievances, our demands and our movement. He, like so many Angelenos in the Film Industry, only cares about portraying the necessary image to advance his own agenda. When the cameras are turned off, he doesn't need to act anymore. And then the violence and abuse starts.
Here is a link to a Ustream video recorded by an independent journalist of the eviction. I know it says Occupy SF, but it is a recording of the eviction of Occupy LA. The journalist announces this into the video. It get's pretty interesting about 1:56:17:
J'TAO (PUNKBOYINSF) WAS PART
Submitted by invictus99 on Wed, 11/30/2011 - 2:47pm
J'Tao (PunkBoyInSF) was part fo the group that got charged by cops down towards San Pedro/Central and 1st. He's been in Oakland and in SF during raids and he was actually quite shaken by the police tactics that were in use. He stated several times that the cops declared unlawful assembly but the announcement was garbled and so no one knew where to exit even if they wanted to. The entire group started moving down 1st St towards Alaemda and the cops kept as he said "playing cat and mouse." They'd rush the crowd and send them into chaos running with nowhere to go. There was about 100 people caught up in that and they kept boxing them in and though the video was really dark, J'Tao said it sounded like the cops were beating on people by the screams he heard. It was pretty chilling to watch.
You can find his recordign here. It starts around 1:38. http://www.ustream.tv/...
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. -Howard Zinn
Police chasing down protesters and media in order to beat them with batons? This is not our America.