Occupy L.A. Protesters Arrested
Los Angeles police have arrested 10 protesters Thursday after they refused to leave a Bank of America branch in Downtown Los Angeles.
About 500 people from various groups, including Occupy L.A., marched in through the streets of Downtown to call attention of the gap between the rich and poor. The march eventually took over the interesection of 7th and Figueroa streets when a small group entered a Bank of America.
According to Police Cmdr. Blake Chow, the group sat down in the lobby and refused the managers requests to leave. Police were called to assist.
The crowd broke out in cheers as the arrestees were taken out of the branch and into police vans. The protests have been peaceful although civil disobedience was expected, according to Chow.
Katie Pickett, who works downtown, says her high-rise office building is locked down. She is stuck on one of the top floors.
"I have no idea what is going on and then a loud intercom that I have never heard before...said due to disturbances outside the building is going to be on lockdown and the elevators are being shut down and to make sure to bring our key cards to get from floor to floor," Pickett said.
Police formed containment lines in order to keep the crowd in order. However, some organizers of the march appeared to try and get demonstrators on the sidewalks.
Union members, students, activists and others joined the protest today headed by the ReFund California campaign, a group that is said to force banks to keep families in their homes.
Protesters have been camped out in front of City Hall since Saturday as a part of the Occupy Wall Street protest. They say they may continue the protest into the winter. Seven of the 15 Los Angeles City Council members support the peaceful protests by signing a resolution backing "peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by 'Occupy Los Angeles.'"