via Mary Slosson, Chicago Tribune
Hundreds of anti-Wall Street protesters who have been camped in front of Los Angeles’ City Hall for nearly two months will be evicted on Monday, city officials said on Friday.
“We’re asking the participants in the Occupy LA encampment to pack their belongings and leave in an orderly manner,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a news conference with Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
“It is time to close the park and repair the grounds so that we can restore public access to the park,” he said.
Protesters need to pack up their tents and dismantle their encampment by 12:01 a.m. local time on November 28, Villaraigosa said.
The Los Angeles encampment is among the oldest and largest on the West Coast aligned with the two-month-old Occupy Wall Street demonstrations protesting economic inequality in the country and excesses of the U.S. financial system.
Staking its place since October 1 on the grounds surrounding City Hall, the compound has grown to roughly 400 tents and 700 to 800 people, according to estimates by organizers and municipal officials.
Compared to other major cities, Los Angeles has been relatively accommodating to its Occupy group. Mayor Villaraigosa at one point provided rain ponchos to campers during inclement weather.
A protester from the encampment interrupted the news conference to read a statement he said had been voted on by the group’s collective assembly, saying “Occupy Los Angeles would like to express their rejection of the City of Los Angeles’ proposal that we leave City Hall by November 28, 2011.”
Villaraigosa thanked the protester for his thoughts, but was firm about the eviction deadline.
“It took a couple of hours to put up those tents,” he said. “It only takes a couple of hours to take them down.”
I read that the clean up cost the city 1 mil. It’s the tax payers who will end up paying for everything.