UPDATE, DEC. 1, 1:44 A.M.: The discussion at last night's Occupy Santa Ana General Assembly revolved around the recent arrest of four Santa Ana activists currently in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department. The quartet was taken in early Wednesday morning when police descended on the Occupy Los Angeles camp. Several members of the Santa Ana group made the trek to L.A. to stand in solidarity with the group who had been protesting banking greed since the start of October.
Though 24-year-old activist Allyson Crosby managed to telephonically contact her boyfriend and arrestee Massimo Marini
, it remains unclear when he and the others will be released. "The facility isn't giving them any information," Crosby said. She added that attorneys with the National Lawyers Guild
representing Los Angeles protesters have yet to be given access to their clients. Our sister publication LA Weekly
is reporting 290 of those arrested Wednesday are being saddled with $5000 bail
Other topics of discussion at last night's meeting included police use of force, which Occupiers with first hand experience said were inconsistent with mainstream media accounts.
Yesterday, The Orange County Register quoted Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith
who said there were only "two minor use(s) of force." One reportedly occurred at a tree in front of city hall where a protester was holed up and required a beanbag gun to be brought down.
But 45-year-old Ray Ramirez, who witnessed the raid from inside the police barricades, reported seeing an officer use a handgun to shoot a man in the leg. Ramirez said he believed the gun was loaded with rubber bullets but that the wounded man fell to the ground where he was left slumped over by officers.
Another Occupier who didn't want to be identified corroborated the incident, but said, "I heard a crack and I saw the guy drop. I don't know where the shot came from."
Others on hand for the riot also reported seeing cars marked with Department of Homeland Security logos in addition to bus loads of Los Angeles Police officers in riot gear.
When asked if she was worried for her boyfriend's safety while he's locked up, Crosby expressed resignation saying Marini knew he was going to be arrested.
"Civil disobedience is a big part of social change. Being prepared and being strategic is an integral part of how we accomplish our social agenda. I knew it was something he was committed to."
ORIGINAL POST, November 30, 12:53 P.M.:
Of the nearly 300 activists arrested during last night's raid on Occupy Los Angeles, a handful were from Occupy Santa Ana.
45-year-old Ray Ramirez, who was in Downtown LA during the early morning hours when throngs of police emerged from City Hall to dismantle the camp, said four Santa Ana Occupiers were arrested for failing to disperse from an unlawful assembly.
The names he gave were Edith Gonzalez, Jedediah Poole, Massimo Marini and Nicholas Dorsey. LAPD spokesman Richard French was unable to confirm whether these four were in the system, though he said the bail for all arrestees, which currently number 292, was being set at $5,000.
Ramirez said Santa Ana activists are now working to contact family members of the four jail birds to arrange for bail.
He described last night's protest as chaotic and took exception to media reports stating there was little violence. "I saw an individual occupier shot with a handgun," said Ramirez who added that he believed the gun was loaded with rubber bullets. "I heard the pop and I thought, 'That's not a firecracker.'" Ramirez said the man who was shot immediately fell to the ground and bled profusely from his leg.
At this point Ramirez attempted to leave the area but said police were directing people down one street, where they would be met with more officers telling people to go back the way they came.
"They weren't letting people out," said Ramirez, who added one officer finally told them of a small staircase in a nearby park where people could exit.