Will Occupy LA Protesters Square Off With Police In Violent Showdown?

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — After the city of Oakland tried to force Occupy Oakland protesters off city property, rioting broke out. Dozens were hurt, including an Iraq war veteran who is now in critical condition.

With Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, an early supporter of the movement, saying it’s time for the protesters to pack it up and move elsewhere — anywhere but city property — the question has to be asked…with Los Angeles face similar rioting?

Serene Branson, reporting for KCAL9 and CBS2, went out Wednesday in search of answers.

For their part, Occupy LA organizers said they’re not going anywhere. And Branson reports, the normally placid crowd is on high alert. She reported “tensions ran high.”

Said one protester, “They can try to shut us down until the cows come home. We’re just going to come back stronger.”

The mayor says he wants to work with the protesters but says they cannot camp out at City Hall forever.

In a statement, Mayor Villaraigosa said, “The lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren’t working…our trees are without water. The protestors must respect city laws and regulations, and while they have been allowed to camp on City Hall lawns, that cannot continue indefinitely.”

For the organizers, the City Hall lawn isn’t the point. Many of the protesters told Branson, variations of the same theme. “We’ve had enough and we are tired of what is being done from the top down.”

The mayor and City Council might be losing patience. But as one protester put it to Branson, “we won’t be daunted. We’re just going to keep coming back and coming back…like Chinese water torture.”

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