Wikimedia Commons / Danlev / Dan Leveille (CC-BY-SA)
He’s here, he’s ... the mayor of Los Angeles, get used to it: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa rides high at the Pride Parade in Los Angeles last June.
It’s not like Los Angeles’ slickster Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would have missed out on that multicity conference call that Oakland’s Jean Quan squeaked about to the press. So it’s not surprising that on Friday, as he visited the Occupy L.A. encampment to pay tribute to the spirit of the movement, he followed the predictable script that his counterparts around the country have used in telling the tent-dwelling protesters they would soon have to decamp because of—you guessed it—health concerns. —KA
AP via Google News:
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave a lengthy tribute to Occupy LA protesters on Friday before telling them they must leave their encampment on the lawn of City Hall by 12:01 a.m. Monday, citing public health and safety concerns.
Villaraigosa, who has expressed sympathy for the protest’s aims from its beginning seven weeks ago, announced the ouster at an afternoon news conference with police Chief Charlie Beck. He said the movement that has spread in two months from New York to numerous other U.S. cities has “awakened the country’s conscience” — but also trampled grass at City Hall that must be restored.
“The movement is at a crossroads,” the mayor said. “It is time for Occupy LA to move from holding a particular patch of park land to spreading the message of economic justice and signing more people up for the push to restore the balance to American society.”
The camp of about 485 tents was unsustainable because public health and safety could not be maintained, and the park had to be cleared, cleaned and restored for the public’s access, he said.