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City prepares to evict Occupy LA protesters from City Hall

November 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The mayor's office says it will have an announcement Friday about the future of the Occupy Los Angeles encampment at City Hall.

Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo says the statement will give a timeline and date for the protestors to end the occupation. It's likely to come next week.

Hundreds of Occupy Los Angeles protesters have been camped on the City Hall lawn since Oct. 1. But the welcome mat will soon be rolled up by the city.

The city has been negotiating with protesters but Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says it's gone on too long, and it's time for the city to get the tents and protesters off the lawn.

"We're making every effort to make sure that the homeless are provided for, that people who don't have an alternative do, but for the rest, all we're saying is time is running out," said Villaraigosa.

Villaraigosa has said from the beginning that he respects their right to protest, but it has become a health and safety issue.

Villaraigosa served Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless at missions on downtown's Skid Row.

Meantime, the mayor's office and the Los Angeles Police Department worked on the final days and hours of the Occupy L.A. encampments. Villaraigosa won't say when the protesters will be given the ultimatum to strike their tents and move off the City Hall lawn.

"I think they do realize that it's not sustainable at City Hall," said Villaraigosa.

Some protesters on Thursday indicated they will not go peacefully if they are given orders to strike their camp and leave the City Hall lawn.

"These tents here are symbolic of the issues, the crisis, the humanitarian crises that the nation is facing," said Occupy L.A. participant Carlos Marroquin.

"We believe that there will be people here that will take a stand because that's why they came here in the first place," said Marroquin. "Because they feel since their voices are not being heard, they have no choice but to occupy."

So the clock is ticking, but nobody is saying what time they are going to be forced to move, just that there will be ample notice when they're told to get out.

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