Things could get ugly tonight. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has set a deadline for the Occupy Protesters. Villaraigosa said that he will be closing City Hall park tonight at 12:01 and removing the Occupy Los Angeles camp. Villaraigosa says that he is asking protesters to vacate the area so that City Hall Park can be cleaned and restored.
Villaraigosa didn’t say how he would remove the Occupy protesters, but did say that “the goal is to do this as peacefully as possible.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that the mayor praised the protesters during his speech today, but said that it was time to move on from the park. Villaraigosa said:
“In seven short weeks, you have awakened the country’s conscience… You have given voice to those who have not been heard.” Now you have to decide if you are “spreading the message of economic equality” or defending “a particular patch of earth.”
Here’s the video of Villaraigosa addressing the Occupy LA protest.
The Occupy LA protesters released an official statement to the city of LA today, saying that they were not leaving the park until their grievances were addressed.
The statement reads:
“We will continue to occupy this space, in solidarity with our global movement, until the forces of the few are forced to capitulate to the power of the people.”
The statement ends with the suggestion that the city changes the name of “City Hall Park” to “Solidarity Park.”
Do you think the Occupy LA protesters will be peaceably removed tonight? Will there be violence in LA?