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Charges filed against immigration protesters

September 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Criminal charges have been filed against 33 people involved in three separate immigration protests that caused street blockages and traffic disruptions, the L.A. City Attorney's office announced.In the first incident, on May 6, 2010, eight women and six men participated in a protest against the new Arizona immigration law outside the Federal Building on Alameda Street in downtown Los Angeles.

They were arrested when they blocked traffic by lying in the street with their hands tied together in a locking device.

Officers used a saw to separate the demonstrators, causing what prosecutors described as a massive traffic jam that blocked traffic for about three hours.

On May 22, 2010, CHP officers arrested nine immigration protesters in front of the Westwoos Federal Building. The suspects sat in the street locking their hands together, refusing to move and obey officers' commands to disperse. Officers were forced to divert traffic in the area, leading to a major traffic tie-up.

The third incident occurred on July 29, 2010, at Wilshire and Highland. Protesters sat in the middle of the intersection and put their hands in a locking device. They told officers they wanted to be arrested. LAPD officers sawed through the devices and physically carried the demonstrators to police vehicles.

The suspects face several charges including remaining at an unlawful assembly, resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer, and blocking the sidewalk or street.

The most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of six months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.


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