After two months of camping out in front of the Los Angeles City Hall, anti-Wall Street demonstrators will be forced to leave on Monday, November 28th, according to Los Angeles city officials.
Mayor and Police Chief Hold Joint News Conference
The mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa announced at a news conference which was held with the Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck the end of the protestors’ prolonged vigil.
“We’re asking the participants in the Occupy LA encampment to pack their belongings and leave in an orderly manner,” said Villaraigosa.
“It is time to close the park and repair the grounds so that we can restore public access to the park,” he added.
The deadline for their self-directed orderly departure is 12:01am LA time on November 28, Villaraigosa said.
Largest and Longest of West Coast Occupations
The protest encampment is one of the largest and longest of the West Coast’s solidarity with the East Coast’s Occupy Wall Street movement, which began about two months ago. The movement is protesting what they see as economic inequality in the US and abuses of the US financial system.
The demonstration encampment began on October 1st in Los Angeles on the park which surrounds City Hall. The encampment has grown to about 400 tents and between 700 to 800 people, according to guesses conducted by city officials and the protestors’ organizers.
Mayor Patient and Fair
Mayor Villaraigosa has until now treated the protestors with restraint, and even sympathy; at one point distributing rain ponchos to the campers during a bit of rain.
In response to the mayor’s announcement that the occupiers must leave by November 28th at 12:01am, the news conference was interrupted by a protestor reading a statement which had been prepared and voted on by the collective assembly of the group. The statement said, “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 responded politely to the representative of the protestors, thanked him for his thoughts, but was firm about the deadline.