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Protestors Pitch Tents Outside Council Member O'Farrell's Office

Protesters pitched tents outside Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's office on Wednesday. They have been demanding the city make it easier for the homeless to live at places like Echo Park Lake. Sharon McNary/LAist
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Homeless advocates in Echo Park have moved their protest to the offices of council member Mitch O'Farrell, setting up tents on the street outside. They said they feel he's not been active enough in dealing with the issues of tent residents in Echo Park.

The demonstration follows a cleanup effort earlier this morning at a homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake, which went ahead without any clashes, despite the presence of the protesters.

For a few months the encampment at the north end of the lake has been turning political, making more demands of the city to enable the residents to live there more easily.

Two weeks ago, there had been a confrontation here between park personnel and some of the tent dwellers. When the city sanitation department posted notices a few days ago advising park residents of today's cleanup, a homeless advocacy group had urged its members to show up here. Those supporters brought their own tents, swelling the population.

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However, today’s protest was peaceful. A line of city maintenance vehicles showed up at about 8:30 a.m., together with a crew of about a dozen cleanup staff accompanied by a park ranger.

As they toured the campsite, picking up a small amount of trash, the park ranger chatted to some residents. Then they were done.

Activists had posted signs on some of the tents in an attempt to shame Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, because, they say, he responds to the demands of the people living in apartments and houses across the street, but will not come to the park himself.

This is a developing story.