From: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com> Subject: FC: Los Angeles police move in on protesters, break up concert Sender: owner-politech at politechbot.com Reply-To: declan at well.com X-URL: Politech is at http://www.politechbot.com/
About half an hour ago Los Angeles police moved in on an activist-concert that was taking place just outside the Democratic convention. Using horses and motorcycles, a massive group of police successfully broke up the crowd of thousands.
The excuse was that protesters were setting (small) campfires on pavement in the designated protest area without permission, but the real reason seems to be that President Clinton was about to finish his speech inside the Staples Center. Delegates would then presumably want to walk to their nearby hotels without hassles.
According to a preliminary report from an LAPD spokesman, police used beanbag rounds, pepper powder in paintball rounds, and "stinger" rounds that are essentially plastic pellets that skip along the ground. Foam rounds in metal canisters and flash-bang grenades were also apparently used.
Photo of one of the nonlethal guns used: http://www.mccullagh.org/image/950-12/dem-protests-5.html
Another nonlethal gun, with (apparently) foam bullets in metal canisters: http://www.mccullagh.org/image/950-12/dem-protests-7.html
I also have some photos from a march and police preparations earlier: http://www.mccullagh.org/theme/dem-protests-00.html
I'll be here in LA through late Friday.