Despite showing support early on for the protesters occupying their lawn, the people who run L.A. City Hall have decided the occupation “cannot continue indefinitely.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa complained to the Los Angeles Times, “The lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren’t working … our trees are without water.”
Some of the occupiers have nowhere else to go. One of them told the L.A. Times that “it will be violent” if police attempt to clear the park.
This week we were treated to a horror show in Oakland when police there fired tear gas and what appeared to be concussion grenades of some kind into the crowd of occupiers.
The Times reports that officials are looking for an alternative location for the encampment (maybe somewhere in the Mojave Desert?).
As we reported on this site, the L.A. City Council voted unanimously two weeks ago to support the protesters. Apparently the honeymoon is over.
Maybe this will help Occupy L.A. address that “identity problem,” as local observer Kevin Roderick put it, caused by the fact that protesters in L.A. had been so warmly received by the object of their encampment.
Below is a statement in response from OccupyLosAngeles.org. —PZS
In response to Mayor Villaraigosa’s and other CA officials comments made earlier today regarding Occupy LA:
We have enjoyed a very good relationship with the City of Los Angeles, whose council 2 weeks ago announced their support for Occupy LA. As recently as this morning, Councilman Rosendahl reconfirmed his support of the occupiers. We sincerely hope that a positive working relationship between city officials and the LAPD continues. We appreciate Mayor Villaraigosa’s statement of respect and Senator Feinstein for acknowledging our first amendment rights. As for a time stamp on our departure, there is none. Regarding the perceived lack of focus: Our actions are governed by a democratic process and we go through process to gain consensus. This can sometimes be lengthy, but we are determined that, as representatives of the 99%, all voices are heard and considered. All city and state officials, as well as interested general public, are openly invited to these General Assembly meetings held nightly. We are resolved to continue our peaceful occupation.
Occupiers across America are bravely and against great odds and obstacles exercising the right to have their voices heard in a public forum, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around this nation and around the globe.
~PR & Media Relations
Truthdig / Peter Z. Scheer
Unlike other occupations around the country where sanitation has been used as an excuse to harass protesters, Occupy L.A. has been provided with bathroom facilities (shown here) and trash bins. Still, city officials are now citing concerns for public health and safety in threatening to evict the occupiers.