By Brad Friedman on 11/29/2011, 9:01pm PT  

3:31am PT: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck give a very brief statement to media. Villaraigosa lauds Beck, saying that he's never seen such a well handled resolution. "This is a man who understands that Constitutional policing is the only way to go," said the Mayor.

For his part, Beck explained that "60 days ago we started a relationship with Occupy LA demonstrators," which allowed some 1400 officers tonight to use "an absolute minimal use of force" to clear the park.

Commander Andy Smith answers questions after the Mayor and the Chief leave, says that while dogs are still going through things, he is aware of no weapons or drugs found in the park. He lauds the demonstrators for "A fantastic job as far as the folks in there being non-violent." He said no pepper spray, tear gas or batons had to be used as hundreds of demonstrators were cleared from the park.

And yes, there are reportedly still four more demonstrators --- and one dog --- up in the trees...holding the Occupation... :-)

Here is the full audio of the brief, 2 minute statement by Villaraigosa and Beck, as taken from OakFoSho's live video stream --- apologies for the very poor sound quality, thanks to the helicopters above the park...

Hopefully, here endeth our report for tonight. Read below from the bottom up --- as well as see our twitter feed --- if you'd like to relive it all as we did all night tonight...

3:21am PT: Not done after all. Citizen journalist Spencer Mills, better known as live streamer "OakFoSho," has been given permission to cover Mayor Villaraigo and Chief Beck's statement in front of city hall. Minutes away. See OakFoSho's stream below.

By the way, OakFoSho and OccupyFreedomLA are both scheduled to be our guests tomorrow on KPFK at 3:30pm PT on 90.7FM in Los Angeles and streaming live on KPFK.org. [UPDATE: That interview --- both audio and live video stream(s), naturally --- now here.]

3:00am PT: Okay, we're going to have to call it a night. We've got 6 live streams that are all still rolling as of this hour at OccupyLA, all embedded below. Hooray for the citizen journalists! "Little Brother" rules! Very few arrests over all, almost all of them peaceful. Lesson for the night: when the police are non-violent, so are the demonstrators. Police in Oakland, NYC, San Diego, Portland, Seattle and all the other cities where cops used over-aggressive violent tactics, should take a lesson from the peaceful behavior of the LAPD. What are the chances we'd ever write that phrase? LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, no doubt, deserves a lot of the credit here. If it had to be done --- and it didn't --- it seems he did it the right way, according to all reports at this hour. Almost all of the cops seen on video were similarly courteous whenever they were met with citizen journalists asking them questions. Thank you.
And thanks to those demonstrators in LA and elsewhere fighting like hell to make this country as great as it should be, can be, and may some day be again...thanks to them.

1:45am PT: There is one live stream camera still inside the center of the park where the holdouts are sitting, linking arms, preparing to be arrested. They're chanting "We are unstoppable, a better world is possible." --- The battery on the camera, however, is running out. If you go quickly, you can watch it here. [UPDATE: The last streaming video we know of inside the park goes down.]

1:27am PT: To their credit, LAPD have not used tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and, other than helmets, have worn no visible body armor --- unlike Oakland, NYC, UCDavis, etc. etc. All accounts say that the entire affair has been very peaceful so far and very few arrests have happened. An LAPD officer explains on the live stream that the LAPD officers in white haz-mat suits are there to help demonstrators pack up their belongings. (Don't know if they expect a tip or not...but it's very courteous of them, eh?)

1:00am PT: All non-pool reporters are being forced and/or escorted from the park. Demonstrators who have chosen to stay and be arrested, including clergy and a great grandmother, are staying behind...along with the reporters who have been selected by LAPD to be allowed to stay.

12:45pm PT: Crowd now chanting "Remember MacArthur Park! Remember MacArthur Park!", a reference to the LAPD's 2007 May Day Melee where they fired rubber bullets and caused a riot among peaceful immigration protesters. (We covered that as it happened to.) In 2009 the LAPD settled with victims, including journalists, for $13 million.

12:36am PT: LAPD announces: "This is the L.A. Police Dept. You have 10 minutes to decide if you want to leave. If u do not you will be subject to arrest!"

MIC CHECK by protesters in response, with each line repeated: "People of LA do not yield their sovereignty to the people that serve them. The people of CA do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. That's you. We are the people of CA. You are the agencies that serve us. We will not yield our sovereignty to the agencies that serves us."

Now someone is doing a Mic Check reading the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

12:26pm PT: Crowd chanting "Guns down, guns down" to police. Livestreamer "OakFoShow" (watch his live stream below) shouts at cop to take his finger off the trigger of his gun, as it's in violation of procedure. Thanks him when he does. Crowd then chants "Peaceful protest! Peaceful protest!" and then "The people united will never be defeated!"

LAPD instructs people who do not wish to be arrested to clear the park. Many choosing to sit down and be arrested, including at least one grandmother and one great-grandmother, according to "OakFoShow".

12:20am PT: Arrests being made. Some officers in white plastic jumpsuit. Biohazard suits? Unclear. Earlier an NBCLA reporter tweeted that he was given gloves by LAPD and warned about biohazards. That'll scare those pool reporters, eh?

12:16am PT Hundreds of LAPD now streaming down steps of City Hall, entering park, tearing down tents. Clearing it quickly, making arrests...

11:46pm PT: Streets being blocked off, but still no direct moves by LAPD to arrest anybody. Lots of media, independent and corporate on hand. --- Regarding reports that corporate media outlets have made some sort of 9-person press pool agreement with LAPD, this from LA Weekly tonight:

Embedded media won't even be able to use their cellphones during the raid. Officer Karen Rayner at LAPD media relations says, "I think I heard somebody say they weren't allowed to use their cellphones or Tweet or anything like that." And KNX news radio confirms to the LA Weekly that their reporter at the scene has been "embargoed" from leaking information until the eviction is over. Scary stuff.

Fox11, however, just said, during their live coverage, that there is no such agreement with LAPD limiting anything.

11:14pm PT: Cops wearing helmets, but not visible body armor, lined up around perimeter of park, many with tear gas and rubber bullet weapons. "OakFoSho" taping and naming their names on the live stream video below...

10:03pm PT: Added CBS-2 helicopter shot live stream video to streams below...

9:59pm PT: TV news helicopter coverage shows police heading to City Hall, streets being shut down...

9:15pm PT: LAPD reportedly boarding buses at Dodger Stadium to head toward City Hall...

* * *

As of 8:30pm PT, tensions are very high at the OccupyLA encampment outside Los Angeles City Hall, as an eviction (and arrests) by the LAPD is believed imminent this evening. Reports via live stream video coverage and Twitter are that police are staging and preparing an area for booking at Dodger Stadium. (Tweets by @EricSpiegelman being quoted on Reuters live coverage page, seem to confirm that. See Spiegelman's tweets here, here, here, & here.)

The following leaflet was said to have been distributed at City Hall Park (renamed "Solidarity Park" by the demonstrators) earlier this evening...

Given the notice above --- and the LAPD's, so far, courteous treatment of demonstrators (see our Monday morning report following the city's "official" closure of the park at 12:01am Sunday night) --- it seems that any arrests, if they occur, would take place only after 10:30pm. But we'll see...

Most of our up-to-the-minute updates will be on Twitter tonight right here: @TheBradBlog

A number of live streaming video feeds by citizen journalists (and even one from Reuters!) on the scene are embedded below if you'd like to follow along at home...

OakFoSho's stream...

CrossXBones' stream...

OccupyFreedomLA's stream...

PunkBoyinSF's stream...

Reuters' (Yes, Reuters!) stream...

CBS-2 News helicopter stream...