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Occupy LA to be evicted from City Hall next week

November 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Occupy Los Angeles encampment around City Hall will be cleared sometime next week, a city official and a lawyer for demonstrators said Wednesday.

Attorney Jim Lafferty and Occupy LA organizer Mario Brito made the announcement after a meeting with officials they said included a deputy mayor and high-ranking police officials. Lafferty said the camp would be given 72 hours' notice.

Lafferty, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles, said the notice could come as early as Monday, meaning the eviction would occur no earlier than Wednesday.

Police vowed not to use violence, he said.

The LAPD also announced Wednesday that it has created a special text messaging system in an effort to communicate more efficiently with Occupy LA members.

Unlike other cities where Occupy encampments have been met with police action, Los Angeles officials initially endorsed the movement and allowed tents to sprout on City Halls lawns. More than 480 tents have since been erected.

But problems began to arise with sanitation issues, drug use and homeless people moving into the camp.

The city sought to negotiate an end to the seven-week-old encampment by offering 10,000 square feet of office space in a civic center mall and use of empty land that could be used to cultivate food if protesters packed up.

But after the proposal was made public at an Occupy LA general assembly, it generated outrage from some who saw it as a giveaway of public resources by a city struggling with financial problems, and the offer was rescinded.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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