US & Canada

Occupy Los Angeles and Philadelphia raided by police

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPolice arrested a number of people as they moved in to clear the site

US police have raided Occupy Wall Street camps in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, arresting over 200 people and tearing up tent cities.

In Los Angeles, about 1,400 police officers took part in the late-night operation outside City Hall - two days after an eviction deadline had passed.

In Philadelphia, nearly all of the demonstrators left before the police started pulling down tents.

The evictions appeared to have been carried out without any major violence.

Over 150 protesters were arrested in Los Angeles, police told the BBC, while about 50 arrests were made in Philadelphia.

'Walk the walk'

Police in Los Angeles, some in riot gear, left the steps of City Hall just after midnight to begin breaking down the two-month-old camp.

Protesters who refused to leave were pulled out one by one and arrested by police.

One of the demonstrators was reportedly wrestled to the ground, with the crowd shouting: "Police brutality!"

Beanbag projectiles were used to remove the final three protesters, who were in a makeshift tree house, according to police commander Andrew Smith. No serious injuries were reported.

Image caption Occupy LA protesters stayed in the camp for two months

Some protesters sat in a circle on the lawn outside City Hall, their arms interlinked, saying they would rather be arrested than leave.

"It's easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk," Opamago Cascini was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

But by Wednesday morning much of the camp was deserted, with tents strewn over the grass.

Concrete barriers were put up temporarily around the park. By 05:10 local time (13:10 GMT) the park was clear of protesters, LAPD officer Cleon Joseph told AFP news agency.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said earlier he hoped to avoid the confrontations between police and demonstrators that have marred evictions in other cities.

Mayor Villaraigosa issued the eviction order, saying the camp was unsustainable because public health and safety could not be maintained.

In Philadelphia, police started breaking up the camp late at night after repeatedly warning the protesters to leave.

Most of the campers agreed to leave voluntarily, and dozens of them later staged a rally on a nearby street.

City officials earlier said the camp must be cleared to make room for a $50m (£32m) renovation project.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have staged rallies in a number of US cities since the movement against inequality began three months ago.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites