Around 1400 police officers stormed the "Occupy Los Angeles" encampment Wednesday morning, pulling down tents and arresting at least 200 people, two days after a deadline passed for the protesters to clear out.

Attorneys for Occupy L.A. protesters had filed court papers Monday asking a federal judge to prevent police from clearing the City Hall camp.

LAPD chief Charlie Beck told reporters at a brief 3:30am local time news conference that he had "never been prouder" of his police force. He was joined in praising the operation by mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. More details on the raid would be made available at a 9.30am news conference at City Hall on Wednesday.

Police officers flooded out of Los Angeles City Hall just after midnight and started dismantling the two-month-old camp, reported. Officers in helmets and wielding batons surrounded the camp from the streets.

Defiant campers who were chanting slogans as the officers entered the park, booed when an unlawful assembly was declared, which paved the way for officers to begin arresting those who did not leave.

LAPD Makes Arrests at Occupy LA Camp:

Officers immediately took down a tattooed man with a camera on City Hall steps and wrestled him to the ground as someone yelled "police brutality."

Police then arrested at least a dozen more protesters.

The La Placita Olvera Church opened its doors to the evicted protesters and members of the clergy were also escorted to talk to the protesters, where they reportedly encouraged them to leave peacefully, according to the LA Times.

Earlier more than 1,000 officers were taken to the encampment aboard 30 buses from a staging area outside Dodger Stadium, reported.

The officers were briefed on the potential for violence and the possibility that demonstrators could throw everything from concrete and gravel to human feces.

Hundreds of protesters chanted, "The people united will never be defeated," as officers first surrounded the camp.

Before police arrived in large numbers, protesters were upbeat, setting off fireworks as helicopters hovered above. Someone blew "The Star Spangled Banner" on a horn while another protester in a Santa Claus hat danced in the street.

Campers said they planned to defend the camp and hold their ground. They barricaded entrances to the park with trash cans.

Earlier, Gia Trimble, a member of the movement's media team, said a lot of people committed to the cause would stay and risk arrest. "This is a monumental night for Los Angeles," Trimble said. "We're going to do what we can to protect the camp."

Members of the National Lawyers guild had legal observers on hand for any possible eviction.

"Occupy Los Angeles" started Oct. 1, two weeks after the protest movement began in New York with "Occupy Wall Street,"  but nine days before the Occupy Oakland protest started in front of City Hall.

The "Occupy" protests -- voicing opposition to the influence of money in US politics and decrying what protesters perceive to be the injustices of the financial system -- began in New York's Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, and have spread to other cities throughout the US and the world.

"Occupy Wall Street" protesters were evicted from Zuccotti Park on Nov. 15.

Police Arrest Up to 50 During 'Occupy Philly' Eviction

Meanwhile, Philadelphia police arrested up to 50 people as they evicted "Occupy Philly" protesters from their camp in Dilworth Plaza in the city's center early Wednesday.

Just after 1:00am, police issued a warning over a bullhorn to "leave immediately and you will not be arrested," the Philadelphia Daily News reported. Officers then began pulling down tents at around 1:20am.

Philadelphia Police told that up to 50 protesters were arrested since the start of the raid.

Free public transport was being offered to those leaving the camp, but a live webstream showed activists beginning to march through nearby streets chanting, "The people united will never be defeated."

Addressing the media about 2:00am, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the eviction went according to plan.

"I was hoping they would move on on their own [but] that's just the way it is," Ramsey said. "We didn't create the situation we just have to deal with it."

Uniformed officers began arriving at the plaza shortly after midnight after police issued a media release advising that the streets around City Hall would be closed in preparation for the eviction.

"@Phillypolice is asking #occupyphilly to leave Dilworth Plaza safely and peacefully," the Philadelphia Police Department tweeted.

About 20 minutes later the department tweeted, "@Phillypolice thanks #occupyphilly for their cooperation. We're here to protect constitutional rights and ensure public safety."

Mayor Michael Nutter last week set a deadline of 5:00pm Sunday for "Occupy" participants to move from Dilworth Plaza to Thomas Paine Plaza across the street, but said they would not be allowed to camp overnight at the new site.

The deadline passed without incident Sunday and without protesters being forcibly removed.

The city previously issued a notice from Nutter's office on Nov. 16 ordering "Occupy" participants to "remove all of your personal belongings immediately" due to an imminent $50 million construction project in the plaza.

Follow us on
Like us at