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Timetable of Confrontation

August 16, 2000|From Times Staff Reports

Rage Against the Machine, a Los Angeles rock band, took the stage Monday evening at the designated protest area near Staples Center. After its concert ended and a second band played, trouble erupted. A timetable, with approximate times, of key events:

* 5 p.m. Crowd of about 600 has formed around the stage. It's made up mostly of Rage fans, not protesters.

* 6:15 p.m. Marchers begin to arrive in the protest area.

* 6:45 p.m. The band takes the stage; lead singer Zack de le Rocha criticizes Democrats and Republicans, talks briefly about the crowd's right to protest. Group opens with "Fools on Parade." Among other songs: "Testify," 'Guerrilla Radio," "Killing in the Name."

* 7 p.m. The crowd pushes forward as the band keeps playing. Police helicopters hover overhead and officers gather nearby.

* 7 p.m. About this time, away from view of most concert-goers, a black-shirted anarchist climbs the fence separating Staples from the protest area. Police fire pepper spray at him; protesters throw bottles at police. The scene is calmed down as concert continues.

* 7:23 p.m. Rage leaves the stage; band members quickly leave the backstage area.

* 7:30 p.m. Police confiscate 15-foot-tall puppets left unattended; later police give up puppets.

* 7:35 p.m. After short break, another band, Ozomatli, begins its show.

* 7:40 p.m. About 25 to 35 anarchists mass at south end of protest zone and begin throwing rocks, bottles and pieces of concrete over south fence at police in riot gear. Police then use pepper spray on people along the fence.

* 7:45 p.m. Anarchists continue throwing bottles, rocks and signs from behind mass of reporters and cameramen. Richard Montoya, the concert emcee from the Culture Clash comedy group, asks people to stop throwing things.

* 7:52 p.m. One anarchist climbs to top of south fence, and flies small black flag.

* 8 p.m. Another anarchist joins him atop fence with another black flag.

* 8:07 p.m. With Ozomatli playing, police shut down the lights on stage, though not the loudspeaker system.

* 8:10 p.m. LAPD Cmdr. Gary Brennan identifies himself over speaker system, declares an illegal assembly, and directs people to leave.

* 8:15 p.m. Most of the several thousand concert-goers have begun filing out. But a core of 800 to 1,000 people remains near the stage and along the south fence.

* 8:20 p.m. LAPD directs its officers to "move in."

* 8:24 p.m. Police at Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street begin using their batons on people filing out there. Not all the concert fans have left, and several are pushed over or struck by rubber pellets in the process. Many of these people run west along Olympic Boulevard. They are chased by police firing rubber pellets and beanbags.

* 8:28 p.m. Officers on horses sweep north. A crowd of about 400 is caught between pellet-firing police on Olympic Boulevard and the mounted police heading north. After a two-minute standoff the crowd is directed west on Olympic. But before people can move, police fire more rubber bullets at the crowd.

* 8:40 p.m. Crowd walks west along Olympic with police in pursuit.

* 9 p.m. Police follow crowds under Harbor Freeway. Most of the crowd scatters or runs away. About 100 protesters amass and block the street.

* 9:10 p.m. Police move forward again, pushing crowd of about 100 back to Bixel Street, then back again.

* 10 p.m. The last remnants of protesters are pushed back to Olympic and Union Avenue. They scatter.

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