Activists come to defense of homeless living at Echo Park Lake after reported clean-up notice

ECHO PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles park rangers were reportedly planning to remove homeless people living at Echo Park Lake Monday morning, sparking anger from community members and homeless advocates.

People living in the park say they received a notice on their tents telling them to remove all personal property by 7 a.m. and that the clean-up would continue through Friday. That raised a lot of questions and concerns for many like Davon Brown.

Brown has been living in a tent in the park for the last three months and said he feels safer than living in a shelter.

"Not every homeless person is a drug addict. Some people (are) out here actually trying. Not everybody has parents to help us with tuition. You know, I came out to go to school," Brown said.

Dozens of community activists arrived at the park early Monday morning hoping to protect the homeless from being removed, though nobody showed all morning. Several more protested outside Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's office.

Some community organizers like Jed Parriot believe the city should be more accommodating and shouldn't just sweep them out of sight.

"Shelters are not the solution. Permanent housing is the solution... We need to be really telling these property owners and homeowners sorry, you're going to have to tough this out," Parriott said. "I'm sorry that you don't like that you have to see this, that you have to see poverty. You're going to have to see it right now until we get permanent housing for everybody. Sorry."

A spokesperson for O'Farrell said they were not aware of this reportedly planned clean-up and released the following statement, which reads in part: "The Councilmember did not direct nor was our office aware of any action taking place - planned or otherwise - at Echo Park Lake."
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