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Officials want Occupy LA protesters off lawn

October 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Protesters have been camped outside Los Angeles City Hall for two weeks, and some local leaders say it's time for them to move out.

Occupy Los Angeles protesters against corporate greed have pitched tents on the north and south lawns.

Hundreds have joined the group since it set up camp with the city's blessing. But some city officials said with damage to the lawn, among other problems, it is time for Occupy L.A. to go.

"They've made their statement. I agree with their statement, but it is time to move on. 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," said Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

In Oakland, where nearly 200 Occupy protesters had taken up residence, police moved in, claiming the encampment had become a health hazard. Police in riot gear arrested 85 protesters on Tuesday. Officials said no one was hurt and the cleanup has begun.

Some Los Angeles protesters said despite concerns about damaged grass and run-ins with police at similar encampments across the country, they plan to stand their ground on the lawn of City Hall.

"If you want to talk about the grass, this grass is not sustainable as it is, so we are saving money on water," said protester Richard Florence.

"I am going to stand my ground here because there are some changes that need to be taking place, and we are tired that we're just being giving the run around," said protester Carlos Marroquin.

City officials said they would like to meet with protesters to talk about a time table for them to peacefully leave the lawn.

"I frankly think if we can be civil about it, they should get the message that it's time to move on from our lawn at City Hall. It is everybody's lawn, not just those with their tents right now," said Rosendahl.


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