Police in Los Angeles have backed off the downtown protest encampment after protesters surged into the streets to head off a threatened crackdown early Monday morning. The cops had pushed back a deadline for protesters to leave the downtown Los Angeles streets or face arrest from 4 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., PST. According to the Associated Press, they've arrested at least three people so far after declaring the gathering an unlawful assembly at 4:50 a.m. But after a standoff that turned briefly chaotic but remained mostly calm, police backed off the protesters and downtown streets have started to open. The Los Angeles Times reported that cops announced they wouldn't clear the park, but wanted protesters to get off the streets in time for the morning rush hour. Police had given protesters a midnight deadline to leave the park at City Hall, where they've been camped for about two months. The protesters defied the order and crowded into the downtown streets early Monday morning, and now police just want to get them back into the park. A live video feed of the protest showed demonstrators calmly facing off with a line of helmeted police holding batons, neither group moving. But eventually, protesters left the streets while police stood down from clearing the park. In Philadelphia, meanwhile, a deadline for protesters to clear out of a downtown plaza came and went on Sunday evening, with police taking no action to evict the encampment.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.