Early this morning, police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia raided the Occupy encampments, locking up anyone who refused to vacate the area. After arriving on the scene at about 12:30 a.m., the LAPD cleared the lawn of City Hall in about an hour. There was ample manpower, as roughly 1,400 officers were deployed as a security precaution. The encampment was the largest site still standing after Occupy Wall Street got the boot from Zuccotti Park two weeks ago. By the end of the raid, nearly 200 people were arrested.
After Mayor Michael Nutter gave protesters 48-hours to leave Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia police crept in close to 1 a.m. to remove anything or anyone in the area. During the eviction, a total of 52 people were arrested, but a police spokeswoman said that only 6 arrests happened near City Hall as police did their best to cleanse Dilworth Plaza. 44 other arrests happened after protesters clashed with police who demanded they get out of the street.
With Occupy LA and Occupy Philly now homeless, encampments only remain in a few cities such as San Francisco, Oklahoma City, Washington and North Carolina. Cities are justifying the removals with concern over health, public safety and potential economic growth. With the official beginning of winter just weeks away, the Occupy movements will continue to rage while preparing for the season to change.
In the meantime, check out these stark photos from the raids in Los Angeles and Philly.
Images courtesy of Lucy Nicholson (AP), Jason Redmond (AP), Dan Steinberg (AP), Joseph Kaczmarek and Bret Hartman (AP).