The daytime protest marchers wandered around looking for a freeway onramp to enter but the Highway Patrol was having none of that. Marchers were high-fiving cops and it was all peaceful. Then the night time protest starts later. And the night time cops come out. Although the protesters are mostly peaceful, the fringies tag along and look for mayhem opportunities. The cops are ready.
For "law and order" imagery, the cops surround a few hundred peaceful demonstrators on four sides and order them to disperse or they will be arrested. They cannot disperse, shades of Tien An men. So the cops arrest nonviolent protestors (meaning an easy time getting the numbers). The cops get a good image "arresting" 200, the film crews get footage of some knuckleheads elsewhere breaking windows, and everyone on both sides gets their worst fears confirmed by the media.
(I have a nephew who has been arrested for protesting in LA, and the charges are routinely dropped if nonviolent. Nothing will happen to the 200 arrested.)
It is all literally street theatre.
Nothing has changed.
Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.