• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Mayor Villaraigosa sets move out date for Occupy LA

November 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa set a date for the Occupy LA protesters to begin to disperse from the grounds at City Hall.

In a press conference Friday, the mayor announced that demonstrators must begin to clear out at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28.

"From the start, we've said that a long term encampment is not sustainable at City Hall," the mayor said. "It is time to close the park and repair the grounds."

The mayor cited public health, public safety and the security of the encampment itself as reasons for the closure. The encampment has about 485 tents surrounding City Hall.

Police Chief Charlie Beck took the podium after the mayor, adding that officers would not physically remove the protesters at 12:01 a.m., but would be able to enforce the law at that time.

Villaraigosa said the process will include officers handing out flyers containing information about the park's closure and social workers informing the protesters about services available. The mayor said 50 shelter beds will be made available for homeless campers.

In addition, the mayor said parking will be available for campers to move their belongings.

Villaraigosa said he believed the move out would be peaceful.

"I'm proud of the fact that this has been a peaceful non-violent protest," he said. "It is peaceful because we've decided to do things differently in Los Angeles. We've not stared each other down across barricades and barbed wire."

Some protesters said they will not move.

"I wish he'd give us more time but we can't stop him from doing what he's doing," said protester Rocio Hernandez.


Load Comments