Police in riot gear and biohazard suits removed Black Friday Shoppers from their camp at a Los Angeles City shopping center on Wednesday, arresting nearly 300 people and fencing off the area.
On the East Coast, about 100 early-bird shoppers in Philadelphia swiftly and peacefully vacated their encampment overnight, but police later arrested 52 around the city on charges ranging from obstructing a highway to assaulting a police officer, officials said.
Streets within two blocks of the downtown shopping center were shut down because of the raid, which was characterized as “further enforcement” of a no-camping crackdown that began Monday.
There were tense moments. Late in the afternoon, a police officer was struck in the face by a thrown brick. A man was taken into custody in connection with the incident.
In McPherson Square, where shoppers once slept, ate hot meals and snuggled in friendly “cuddle puddles,” they can now stay overnight only if they stay awake, keeping only unfurnished tents for the purpose of a round-the-clock vigil, police said.
In Los Angeles, some 1,400 police officers brought in on buses surrounded the campsite after midnight and declared shoppers congregated on the lawn, sidewalks and streets around Best Buy to be an unlawful assembly, ordering them to disperse or face arrest in line with an eviction order from the mayor.
police began removing the tents from the park that had camping gear inside. Shoppers complained and accused the officers of taking down tents that were not in violation. At the outset of their search, police found only one compliant tent, and took down there rest.
"In some of the tents we found urine-soaked bedding materials, bottles of urine," noted Schlosser. "In some of the tents we found some dead rats. We also found some live rats, with some rat families."
Just kidding. Only people who wish to protest corporate greed are treated that way. Partake in it? Camp away!