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City Councilmen Tour Occupy L.A.'s City Hall Camp, Say Protesters Can Stay As Long as They Want

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Photo by Gary Rides Bikes via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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Since most of L.A.'s top officials have to head in and out of City Hall to get their work done, what they think of the current "occupation" of the area by protesters is surely worth noting.

It took one of the Council's regular meeting speakers, John Walsh (L.A. Now generous calls him "a well-known political gadfly" to goad the Councilmembers to not only acknowledge the Occupy L.A. participants, but to go outside and tour their "tent city" and talk to the protesters.

Walsh walked with Councilmen Bill Rosendahl, Eric Garcetti, Ed Reyes and Dennis Zine through the protest area, where participants have set up a makeshift camp. The sentiment among the elected officials was that talking to them was the right thing to do, and some, including Rosendahl and Garcetti, said they supported the protesters.

In fact, Rosendahl and Garcetti stuck around to speak to the crowd--which necessitated approval from the group, which is run like an organized political body. No one objected, and the two men offered "fiery speeches," per L.A. Now, adding:

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When Garcetti shouted, “This is your City Hall!” the crowd repeated, "This is our City Hall!" “Stay as long as you need," Garcetti told them. "We’re here to support you.”

The Occupy L.A. protesters have previously indicated they plan to stay camped out until December.

Check out some images from the Councilmen's visit via photojournalist Ted Soqui's blog.