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Occupy Los Angeles Protesters Ordered to Evict Encampment

Alex Stone/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Hundreds of police officers moved in on Occupy Los Angeles protesters camped out at a park near City Hall early Wednesday morning, ordering them to leave their encampment or face arrest.

The LAPD gave the order to dispense shortly after midnight.  Officers were seen wearing what looked like white HAZMAT suits, with gun belts on the outside and latex gloves, as they went in to clean up the camp and tear down tents.

Protesters who refused to leave were arrested with plastic handcuffs; some were even carried out.  As of 3:30 a.m. PT, 200 people had been arrested, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, "Once the park is cleared, it will be repaired and returned to all Angelenos to exercise their First Amendment rights."

In the meantime, Villaraigosa said "a First Amendment area will remain open on the Spring Street City Hall steps" while the park is closed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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