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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Occupy L.A. Eviction Plan In The Works

Paresh Dave, Jerome Campell |
November 15, 2011 | 1:46 p.m. PST

Editor and Staff Reporter

Both LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reiterated Tuesday that Occupy L.A.'s tent city cannot indefinitely remain propped up in front of City Hall.

An LAPD spokeswoman told Neon Tommy that though no formal sit-down was scheduled between Beck and Occupy members, LAPD representatives remain in continuous discussions with members in the encampment. The parties have been unsuccessful thus far in finding a new spot for the tents to rest.

“At this time, police officers are trying to start a discussion with protestors, but no future formal meetings have been made at this time,” the spokeswoman said.

City officials have also not made any further attempts to engage with protestors. Eric Robles of the L.A. Department of General Services, said protestors made no formal request for a permit to convene on the south lawn of city hall. Traditionally, the city would take action through the city attorney or city council members, but the city has not made a formal effort to address this concern, Robles said.

“If you’re on the city’s property outside of public hours without a permit, then you will probably be asked to leave,” Robles said

The shutdown or move in Los Angeles is expected to be far more peaceful than actions taken to close Occupy camps elsewhere in the country.

"We are following how other cities across the nation are dealing with the various Occupy protests, recognizing that each city has unique challenges and circumstances," said Peter Sanders, a spokesman for the mayor. "In L.A. we continue an ongoing dialogue with the protesters, including a previously scheduled meeting today between LAPD and the Occupy LA protesters."

Sanders said LAPD and the city's general services department have been monitoring the situation for health and public safety issues.

Several L.A. city councilmembers did not respond to requests for comment.

Beck told the L.A. Times that “we need to find either a different location or a different medium for them to use" because the City Hall lawn is "a piece of dirt, it’s not sustainable ecologically and it’s only going to get worse and worse."

Restoring the lawn to its original condition could cost about $120,000.

The L.A. Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for maintaining and enforcing city laws on the lawn. Representatives of the department confirmed its responsibility for the south lawn of City Hall but declined to comment on what procedures the department will take to remove protestors.

In recent days, L.A. County Health officials have issued several violations at the camp, asking campers, among other things, to dispose of wastewaster into drains rather than dumping it on the grass. The Occupy L.A. movement started in the beginning of October.

The L.A. group has shown no signs of slowing down, already planning events as far in the future as December and May.



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