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City Prepares to Evict Occupy LA Site, But Protesters May Not Go Peacefully

Photo of a park hours sign posted yesterday by @gburge via Twitpic
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City officials and law enforcement seem to be in prep mode for delivering the expected eviction notice to the Occupy LA protesters who have lived on the City Hall lawn since October 1. Signs posted in City Hall Park yesterday by officers from the city's General Services Police Department indicate that the park's hours are 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

On Wednesday night, the LAPD established a text message alert system dedicated to Occupy LA. Interested subscribers can text OLA999 to 888-777 to receive the LAPD alerts. Thursday afternoon, an alert was sent out: "LAPD-CENTRAL: To OLA, LAPD has no plan to Evict OLA demonstrators tonight (11/24). Signs being posted in preparation for next week."

In response, Occupy LA protesters are urging the public to act by contacting the mayor's office and the LAPD to express opposition to the pending eviction.

Details about the planned eviction still remain unclear, at least to the participants. Per notes taken during discussions between city representatives and Occupy LA members, Matt Szabo, spokesperson for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, stated: "The mayor WILL CLOSE THE PARK NEXT WEEK."

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More notes from that meeting include Szabo saying the following:

We’ll continue to be as open and honest as we can possibly be Difficulty: we wanted to move this forward in a productive way… the issue of whether or not the park is open or closed is NOT A NEGOTIATION

The city has a right to close the park

Some would argue there is a responsibility to enforce the closing

All the issues we’ve been discussing are still on the table, but the closing of the park WILL HAPPEN

The villain in the impending dismantling of the camp seems to be Villaraigosa. In an article titled "LA's Unpopular Mayor is Trying to Evict #OccupyLA," on Crooks & Liars, Tina Dupuy writes:
Here's the thing: Occupy LA and City Hall are a few blocks from Skid Row - where tens of thousands of people have been sleeping in tents for decades on the streets. And somehow the mayor - a Democrat - whose managed to do little (and little right) is going to split hairs and try to kick out protesters angry about extreme wealth inequality? This is what you call Tony's golden touch and it's about to meet Occupy. This will go well.

Though participants in the encampment have been cautioned to cooperate with officers who are expected to implement the eviction, many Occupy protesters say they will remain unwilling to leave. In a memo posted Thursday morning as a "counter offer" to the City's offer of office space and farmland for the protesters to use, Occupy LA said: "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."

There are murmurings among the Occupy LA participants and supporters that they will not go peacefully.