Los Angeles police declared an unlawful assembly and eventually a riot after ordered hundreds of activists to disperse Wednesday night in Echo Park. Antifa claimed to be in attendance at the park, as were anti-police organizations.
A citywide tactical alert was issued at 10:50pm as activists protested the city clearing a massive homeless encampment from the park and close the area to perform more than $500,000 in repairs. The planned work will include repairing damaged lighting and plumbing, removal of hazardous waste from the encampment and public safety improvements.
Campers were offered hotel rooms or housing and given vouchers for housing before the clearing began, yet activists persisted with the protests and some laid down on the ground in front of the police.
Officers in riot gear closed then marched down Park Street towards Glendale Blvd. Activists threw smoke bombs at police. Protesters came prepared for battle with protective gear and makeshift weaponry and incendiary devices to repel the police.
LAPD declared two unlawful assemblies and issued dispersal orders after officers were assaulted with bottles, rocks, smoke bombs and other explosive devices. Protestors claimed to be there to advocate for the homeless but many seemed more interested in protesting against the police. City workers began erecting a fence around the park as the clearing proceeded.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Fox 11 that he's "been very, very impressed'' by the number of park residents who have been placed into housing. Garcetti claimed that even though there are over 120 tents left in the park, only 19 people were still living there as of last weekend, and that there is a safe hotel room available for every single person in the park.
This is a developing story.