Los Angeles News
Some Occupy LA protesters vow to stand ground past deadline
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The eviction deadline for Occupy Los Angeles protestors has arrived, but some demonstrators are vowing to stand their ground.
Citing public health and safety, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced all demonstrators must leave the City Hall lawn by 12:01 a.m. Monday.
"As I stated this past Friday, it is time for Occupy LA to move from focusing their efforts to hold a particular patch of parkland to spreading the message of economic justice and a restoration of balance to American society," Villaraigosa said in a statement Sunday. "That is why tonight, City Hall Park, where protesters and others have camped for nearly 60 days, will officially close."
Police Chief Charlie Beck said officers would not physically remove campers at 12:01 a.m., but would be able to enforce the law at that time.
Many protestors, however, said they're not going anywhere. Some even handed out signs advertising an "Eviction Block Party."
Hundreds rallied at City Hall park in anticipation of midnight.
"We're here because we care, you know, it's a good cause," said one protester.
Another demonstrator said she wouldn't mind moving to the sidewalk.
Sunday morning, protesters handed out their first-ever newspaper containing tips on how to resist the Monday eviction. Dozens held a teach-in on resistance tactics, including how to stay safe from rubber bullets and pepper spray.
Protesters said they're making plans to resist eviction, but would do so peacefully.
"We will always remain peaceful and non-violent. Second to that, we have legal action that we're taking. I can't exactly go into great detail about that at the moment, but there are people who are willing to get arrested and continue protesting in various other ways," said Occupy L.A. protestor Mario Jefferson.
Occupy leaders say they're learning from raids from other encampments.
"We've met a lot of people from a lot of different camps that have been raided that have come by subsequently and talked about some of the things that they've encountered," said another Occupy L.A. protester Clark Davis.
"I think it's quite clear that the tactics they've used elsewhere, they'll try to use here. We're going to remain peaceful. That's the foundation of this movement. There are people here that are not part of the movement that we're going to have a difficult time controlling," Davis added.
In an effort to keep peace, Villaraigosa said a free speech area will be provided for demonstrators as well as shelter beds for the homeless and special parking to help with the move.
The protesters and about 485 tents have been on the City Hall lawn for about two months.
protest, antonio villaraigosa, downtown, los angeles news
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