Farmers Market, Occupy LA at Odds

Beef comes down to choice real estate

The intense aromas coming from the City Hall Farmers Market Thursday were traveling in a different direction than normal.

The Occupy LA Movement took over the south lawn of L.A. City Hall. That's the same spot farmers' market vendors usually occupy on Thursdays.  More than 30 vendors were forced to set up across the street from their usual post.

Elana Besserman was not too pleased, scooping up her kettle corn at an nontraditional site. 

"I'm kind of worried that some of our customers won't know where to find us," said Besserman."I think it's unfortunate when it's hurting people who are not the one percent, such as myself and the other vendors here."

The Occupy LA protesters say they did work with vendors and moved some of their tents.  They say city officials never told them they would have to move to make room for the farmers' market.

"Ideologically, we refused to move because we made that our home," said protester Thihum Santos. "The way I look at it,  that space right over there is beautiful. The two can co-exist."

Besserman fears the farmers' market ambiance is being threatened. 

"People really don't want to come out when there is protest and people are yelling and screaming," she said.

Farmers' market customers have mixed views.

"The mayor had already given the farmers' market right to be there every Thursday, so they should not have allowed the tents to be there,' said Susan Valencore, a sympathetic shopper.

"I don't think it matters much whether it's on this side or that side," said Jeffrey Bortnoy, another customer.

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