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Putting the move in Occupy movement

With eye on Oakland, officials seek a peaceful end to Occupy camps.

October 27, 2011|By Kate Linthicum, Lee Romney and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times

Porter decried the repeated use of tear gas and flash grenades, saying it was lone actors — "one moron" at a time — who broke the peaceful protests to lob a bottle at police in riot gear.

Tasha Casini, 22, said police shot her in the thigh with a rubber bullet during the raid. She said she and other demonstrators tried to retake the plaza after the "second or third order to disperse," and that she had tried to help a demonstrator who had been knocked unconscious by a projectile fired by police.

The police crackdown inspired Leandra Johnson, a 36-year-old mother of five from El Sobrante, to take to the street Wednesday with a sign that said "We Have the Right to Peaceful Assembly."

"Last night is the reason I'm here today and it'll be the reason I'm here tomorrow," she said.

Oakland officials insist that they tried to work with the campers and got nowhere.

Across the bay in San Francisco, the occupy camps remain at Justin Herman Plaza South. But the city has threatened to arrest protesters who camp overnight, citing "evidence of excrement, urine, and vomit" in a park with some 300 protesters.

All told, there have been an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 arrests in dozens of American cities since the Occupy movement began.

In Atlanta's Woodruff Park early Wednesday, more than 50 people were arrested, including a state senator.

Tensions flared between Mayor Kasim Reed and the protesters in recent days after the mayor canceled a hip-hop concert because it lacked plans for security and crowd-control.

In San Diego, where protesters handed flowers to patrolling police, authorities say protesters can stay in a public plaza but their tents and other property must be removed because they are blocking the pedestrian right of way.

In Denver, where about 5 inches of snow fell overnight Tuesday, the cold has thinned the ranks of demonstrators. "It has been brutal," said Jason Roth, a spokesman for Occupy Denver.

Back in Los Angeles, even protesters like Everett said they don't know when the protests will end.

"Victory is different to different people," he said.

Los Angeles Times staff writers Geraldine Baum in New York, Tony Perry in San Diego, Maria L. LaGanga in San Francisco, Richard Simon in Washington and Michael Muskal and Stephen Ceasar in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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