On the night of the raid, tensions ran high, as, once again, rumors spread. Except, on this night, they seemed to be more substantiated. Officers were seen entering City Hall with bags in their hands (riot gear) and people swore up and down their sources that said the raid would happen that night were credible.
Protestor’s numbers reached in to the thousands, as they had on Sun when Occupy Los Angeles became an illegal assembly (if still held at city hall).
The main rumor circulating the camp was that the LAPD would wait until the park’s curfew to move in—and it didn’t happen far after that. Sometime after 9:30PM, there were reports that LAPD was mobilizing at or near Dodger stadium. Perhaps, unbeknownst to many occupiers, KCAL 9 news had a feed showing an aerial shot of LAPD mobilizing. At approximately 11:00PM it was reported that Department of Homeland Security and MTA buses packed with officers were on their way. This was then confirmed via video (at least the MTA buses). The last word before the raid was that buses had arrived a block away. It was happening…
I walked toward 1st and Main—where many had gathered—and turned around. People started yelling, “The cops are here, they’re here!” I ran as fast as I could toward the middle of the park, where the “last tent standing” and the “arrestables” were sitting in a circle; arms locked. I turned around—we were surrounded. It had happened that fast.
Over the next few minutes I decided to test the LAPD a bit, or maybe, see how each officer reacted to my request of, “Am I free to go?” I spoke to at least 6 officers, and for every one officer that said I was free to leave, there was one to say I was NOT free to leave.
After roughly 12 minutes within the circle, I decided it was time to leave the inner circle since I did not trust the LAPD. That would be left up to photographers with insurance on their gear.
After a friend and I spoke with a sergeant (as the two last officers we spoke with told us we couldn’t leave—the adverse from previous conversations), he had officers let us through, and out of the inner circle. We then posted up in the second perimeter and waited. Not long after, officers walked through the park with bullhorns, sternly addressing protesters with, “This is the LAPD. This has been deemed an illegal assembly. You will have 8 minutes to disperse before arrests are made and possible police action is taken.” After roughly 4 minutes, I started walking to the outer perimeter of the park, where, almost immediately, all people in that area where pushed farther and farther toward the street. They stopped at the street, but within minutes, advanced their lines and pushed us back until everyone was either in the immediate circle within the park, or on the outer limits of the city hall block. There, on 1st, directly below Main, we stood before officers in full riot gear with batons poised.
This isn’t the end.
Please do view a video that demonstrates events that DID occur, that many people did not see or document.