US police in Los Angeles detained several people after ‘Occupy’ protesters outside City Hall defied their eviction order.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in the street as the deadline to vacate the encampment passed on midnight Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Peaceful protest turned violent in the early hours of Monday morning, as police on loudspeakers declared an unlawful assembly on the streets surrounding City Hall and protesters were told to get out of the area within five minutes.
“We are not going anywhere, we are everywhere,” a message posted on the Occupy Los Angeles website said.
This is while some 1,000 people flooded the area to support demonstrators.
The protesters have also threatened to take their movement on tour, saying there are plenty of streets to take if authorities begin fencing the City Hall lawn.
The Los Angeles showdown follows police actions in other US cities, sometimes involving the use of pepper spray, tear gas and excessive force to evict protesters from their camp sites.
Los Angeles Occupiers have been protesting since October 1, 2011. The Occupy movement emerged after a group of demonstrators gathered in New York’s financial district on September 17 to protest the unjust distribution of wealth in the country and the excessive influence of big corporations on US policies.
Despite police harassment and mass arrests, the Occupy protests, which grew out of the OWS movement, have spread to many major US cities as well as to Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and other countries.