LOS ANGELES - Members of Occupy L.A. sued the city and county of Los Angeles Thursday, alleging federal civil rights violations stemming from the massive overnight raid that cleared the encampment at City Hall of demonstrators.
According to the proposed class-action complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court, city and county officials violated the rights of about 300 "peaceable protesters and bystanders" in an"unlawful" action to end the two- month campsite in the early hours of Nov. 30, 2011.
Plaintiffs maintain that city officials, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, initially welcomed the demonstration, repeatedly meeting with Occupy representatives to discuss issues arising from the camp at the 1.7-acre City Hall Park.
However, after 59 days, the city executed a plan utilizing "an unprecedented show of force" and "shock and awe" tactics by Los Angeles police and sheriff's deputies to eject Occupy Los Angeles members from the lawn, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint details injuries allegedly suffered by protesters during and after the arrests of more than 200 people.
Attempts to reach representatives of the city and county after regular business hours were unsuccessful.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and injunctive and declaratory relief.
The city's response to last year's protests and two-month encampment at City Hall cost taxpayers at least $4.7 million, according to a report.
From early October to late November 2011, hundreds of demonstrators camped in tents at the park as part of the national Occupy Wall Street movement.
Protesters called for government and corporations to address what activists described as a growing disparity between the rich and poor.