Occupy LA Could Become Winter Home For Movement

Bad weather in some "Occupy" cities could send protesters west

By Stephanie Elam and Bill French
|  Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011  |  Updated 9:29 AM PDT
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Occupy Wall Street protesters got a dose of real winter a few weeks ago. But it's going to get worse, and some of them could end up in LA

Stephanie Elam and Scott Spiro

Occupy Wall Street protesters got a dose of real winter a few weeks ago. But it's going to get worse, and some of them could end up in LA

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Come winter, the Big Apple will be more than crisp. And some observers are wondering if the freezing, snowy weather could be enough to shut down Occupy Wall Street and move protesters west -- say 3,000 miles or so -- to downtown Los Angeles.

Darren Danks, who has taken on the role of Occupy LA media contact, doesn't think it will happen.

"What I mostly hear is a real dedicated hunker down," said Danks. "It's a group that is very dedicated to the degree that they're willing to put on their long johns and dig in."

USC's Neon Tommy publication speculates that LA Occupiers are gearing up for some potential company, and the local camp is being eyed as a potential winter nerve center for the entire U.S. movement.

"LA is going to blow up over the next few months and through the winter," OWS organizer David DeGraw reportedly told members of Occupy LA on Sunday.

"The winter is brutal. People in New York are talking about coming out here. We're going to keep pushing, but it's definitely going to slow [OWS] down. You are all going to have to step up. It's your turn to lead the leaderless," he said, according to Neon Tommy.

Protesters who heard about the report said it was news to them. But they welcomed the idea.

"I definitely think we'll be able to support it," said Elise Whitaker. "This is a movement which is growing, which is expanding. City Hall is already starting to get full but we have plans for expansion anyway."

For the folks who are already packed into the City Hall encampment, figuring out how to fit in the 200 or so tents from New York City could be a challenge. But it's one they say they would welcome.

"Every time somebody comes here from New York, it's almost like they have celebrity status to begin with," said Danks.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: Twitter: @NBCLA // Facebook: NBCLA

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