Nearly 200 ‘Occupy LA’ Protesters Refuse To Leave City Hall
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Several “Occupy LA” protesters, who ignored a Monday deadline to move from the lawn of City Hall, say they are committed to their effort and have no plans to leave.
The LAPD, however, says it remains committed to getting the demonstrators to clear out.
Protesters contend Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck violated their civil rights by ordering the encampment to be dismantled by 12:01 a.m. Monday.
Attorneys for the protesters say the south lawn of City Hall is a traditional public forum for First Amendment activity.
“The City Hall lawn, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, is one of the most sacred places for the exercise of the right to assemble and protest,” said National Lawyers Guild President James Lafferty, who is named as a plaintiff in the federal court filing.
According to the court papers, the city engaged in “arbitrary and capricious action” by first “approving the Occupy L.A. camp for 56 days before suddenly revoking permission.”
Several hundred tents have been moved, but nearly 200 protesters – many of whom have expressed a willingness to be arrested – refuse to leave.
Beck says if police do feel they need to go into the park to peacefully get protesters to move, they will do so when it’s safest.