Reporting Jon Baird
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The lawn outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles may be trampled, but protesters said Wednesday they refuse to let the same happen to their constitutional rights after the crackdown against the ‘Occupy’ movement in Northern California.
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports patience is beginning to wear thin with the nearly two-month-old movement that has swept across dozens of U.S. cities.
Over 300 tents remain erected around the north and south sides of City Hall, where protesters are starting to feel the political pressure after tear gas was fired at their fellow demonstrators in Oakland on Tuesday.
But one protester dismissed any comparison with the “occupiers” up north.
“It’s a different environment, we have a communication with our police officers,” said one man. “They seem to be of a high-minded breed where they can kind of get the fact that this is public space.”
And while there have yet to be any major clashes between officers and protesters here in L.A., some city officials are worried that may soon change.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — who previously issued rain ponchos to the demonstrators during a recent rain storm — said the city has to balance the rights of free speech with public health and public safety.
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl also believes the protesters have said their peace and should consider moving — a suggestion at least one protester quickly shot down.
“We have not made our point because nothing’s changed yet,” she said.