Five Arrested After Deadline Passes for Occupy LA

At least five protesters were arrested on Monday after a deadline to evict a City Hall park encampment in Los Angeles passed and protesters remained in the park.

The deadline was imposed by city officials and called for protesters to leave the park encampment by 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

The planned eviction attracted more supporters to the protest and an estimated 1,000 demonstrators blocked the streets surrounding City Hall. Monday's arrests were made for failure to disperse.

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Police officials announced that they had no plans to begin evicting people from the park following the deadline, but mainly wanted to clear the roads for morning commuters.

An officer told the crowds over a loudspeaker, “it is not our intent to clear the park at this time. It is only our intent to clear the street. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.”

By 4:50 a.m. police warned remaining protesters to evacuate the street within five minutes.

Bottles of water and other objects were hurled at police as they began to clean up the streets at 5 a.m.

The streets surrounding City Hall have since reopened but many protesters have expressed their gratitude that they managed to stay in the park for at least another day.

Ed Carrasco, a freelance journalist told The Guardian that at the park “there was a mixture of festive atmosphere and defiance.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement on Sunday shortly before midnight saying that police “will allow campers ample time to remove their belongings peacefully and without disruption.”

Villaraigosa did specify his hope that the closure of the park would happen in a “spirit of cooperation.”

Police have not yet indicated when they would move to evict the encampment.

“As we’ve said before, this isn’t sustainable long term, but for now our focus was just getting people off the street, which we did peacefully,” said Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the LAPD.

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