Occupy LA Steels for Showdown With Cops

Tense standoff as 12:01am evacuation deadline passes
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2011 2:10 AM CST
This Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 photo shows an eviction notice sign posted at the Occupy LA encampment on the grounds of Los Angeles City Hall. The mayor and police chief have given protesters a deadline...   (AP Photo/Andrew Dalton)
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(Newser) – Time has run out for Occupy LA protesters, who were ordered to pack up their 500 tents and leave by one minute past midnight this morning, reports AP. But the deadline has passed, and most protesters show no signs of moving. Some have been teaching resistance tactics and how to keep safe from rubber bullets and tear gas. "Their plan is to resist the closure of this encampment and if that means getting arrested so be it," said one of the protesters. "I think they just want to make the police tear it down rather than tear it down themselves."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a former labor organizer, has expressed sympathy with the protesters, but says it is time for the encampment to be shut down. He assured protesters last night that they would have "ample time" to pack up before police move in, reports the Los Angeles Times. Police Commander Andrew Smith said officers hope to remove the protesters "as gently as we possibly can." But Police Chief Charlie Beck expects some arrests at some point. "I have no illusions that everybody is going to leave," he said.

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