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City of Los Angeles officials are beginning to stress about Occupy Los Angeles and express concern about the damage the protest is causing to city property. They hope to find an alternate location so the movement can continue.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Los Angeles city council member Bill Rosendahl in raising concerns about the protesters’ lengthy occupation of the Los Angeles City Hall.
At a public event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein observed it was difficult to discern the movement’s goals. She said, I don’t think people, for example, can sleep in a square for weeks on end. You have to have some order to it. The Times also quoted the senator, who said the Occupy Wall Street protesters do not have the right to “occupy forever.”
At this time, Senator Barbara Boxer has issued no statement.
In a separate interview with the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Villaraigosa thinks that the encampment “cannot continue indefinitely.”
I respect the protesters’ right to peacefully assemble and express their views. City officials have been in a continuous and open dialogue with the organizers of Occupy L.A. However, the protesters must respect city laws and regulations, and while they have been allowed to camp on City Hall lawns, that cannot continue indefinitely.
In his Wednesday interview, the mayor also said county health inspectors recently visited the encampment and expressed concerns over the camp’s cleanliness of the camp. The demonstration is damaging the city’s lawn and trees. The lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren’t working, our trees are without water.
Rosendahl expressed also expressed his concern for the health of the lawn and the trees outside City Hall. The city council member told ABC 7 on Tuesday, the trees are in the process of being impacted. The grass is being impacted. Other activities that we need to do on the lawns are being put on the back burner.
The mayor instructed city officials to begin drafting restrictions limiting when people are allowed at City Hall. That could lay the groundwork for the city to force protesters to abandon the Occupy LA tent city surrounding City Hall where they’ve been camped for nearly a month.
There is no word as to whether city officials will consider moving the Occupy LA movement to the Los Angeles financial district.
In an interview Wednesday, the mayor said county health inspectors recently visited the encampment and expressed concerns over the cleanliness of the camp. In addition, the demonstration is damaging the city’s lawn and trees.
Police have adopted a largely hands-off policy with the protest—they made only a handful of arrests mostly disorderly conduct type offenses.
On Thursday morning at 3:00 a.m., the police paid a visit to the camp after receive calls about a violent threat. LAPD spokesperson, Richard French told the Huffington Post that Two people in the encampment were having a confrontation of some kind. One of them had a knife. The person [with the knife ] was taken into custody, as was his weapon..
According to a Firedog Lake article, President Obama didn’t even drive by when he was visiting Los Angeles, though some Occupiers put up their tents along his route. The Secret Service wanted them to move, but the Los Angeles police said they could stay.
It was not clear how the city council would change the current law barring people from camping in city parks after 10:30 p.m. The LAPD has not yet enforced the law and allow approximately 350 protesters to camp in the park across the street from city hall overnight.
In response to Mayor Villaraigosa’s and other California officials’ comments, Occupy Los Angeles PR & Media Relations issued the following statement:
We have enjoyed a very good relationship with the City of Los Angeles, whose council two 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.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said police should impose the park law.
To protect the public health and safety of all residents, the LAPD and General Services Police can and should enforce the law in a fair, consistent, and even-handed manner. The law addresses conduct. Enforcement may not be based on the content of any political or personal opinion or message
Local Fox News affiliate interviewed LA City Council Member, Dennis Zine (Rep.), said Occupy LA demonstrators have a right to protest, but adds they’ve made their point about wealthy and lack of social program funding. He says that demonstrators should be targeting the federal government, not the local government, because it’s the feds that control the banking industry and Wall Street.
Zine adds the Occupy LA folks have been very good about being orderly and policing themselves. He said he expects no confrontations like the ones in Oakland or New York. The council member also stated the city council is willing to negotiate rather than have the LAPD use force.
The City of Los Angeles and the LAPD demonstrate good will in negotiations with Occupy Wall Street participants. As yet, discussions are civil. All parties are working together to arrive at an amicable solution.
Mad Mike’s America thanks the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Los Angeles Fox News Affiliate.
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