The Occupy the Bridge March on 11/17/11


Richard Kontas / HooliganUndergr

More than 1,000 protesters took to the streets in downtown LA last Thursday, culminating in sitdown at 4th and Figeroa.

Richard Kontas

More than 1,000 people took to the streets of Downtown Los Angeles Thursday morning to march and demonstrate in protest, highlighting the need for good jobs, taxing the 1%, and rebuilding L.A.

The “Occupy the Bridge” event was organized by, Occupy LA, and the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 99 and others. It started at West 3rd and South Hope Streets approx. 8 a.m. and wound through the Bunker Hill/Financial District area concluding under the 4th Street bridge at S. Figueroa Street about 9 a.m.

OCCUPY THE BRIDGE MARCH: Protesters  turned out to march on Nov. 17 ending with a rally under the 4th Street bridge in downtown Los Angeles. Despite the large number of marchers and a massive LAPD turnout  things went smoothly and the only arrests were the 23 volunteers that stayed by their tents at the conclusion of the event.
Slideshow credit: Richard Kontas

Once there they set up tents in the middle of the street and formed a locked arm circle of protesters around them, with a rally proceeding until the LAPD’s order to disburse.

By approx. 10:30 a.m. (over an hour after the permits expired) the police announced that everyone would have 5 minutes to leave the street, as they were now deemed “an unlawful assembly.”

MARCH CONCLUDES WITH ARRESTS: The video depicts what happened at the end of the rally. The LAPD announced the protesters would have to disburse or face arrest. After the permit to march expired  the LAPD moved in and arrested the 23 that refused to leave the street. Video credit: Richard Kontas

After two more warnings the LAPD moved in with military like precision, creating a boxed off area with only the 20+ protesters and the tents still in the roadway.

Then while an LAPD Video Unit taped everything, they handcuffed everybody one-by-one and led the protesters to waiting vans (including an 81 year old who was part of the group). By 11:15 a.m. the remaining crowd had left the area.

Unlike many other “Occupy” protests taking place all around the country this event had no violence, pepper spray used or police assaults on the protesters. This was due in part to the fact that the organizers met with the LAPD before hand and alerted them to the overall details and also that a small group would be willing to be arrested and jailed for failure to disburse.

Compared to other Occupy demonstrations this event was almost anti-climactic in its conclusion.