Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office will reportedly give Los Angeles occupiers a 72-hour window to close the City Hall lawn encampment as early as Monday.
Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo told Occupy L.A. representatives during an early afternoon meeting that the city would officially declare the 1.2-acre park surrounding City Hall closed sometime next week, according to National Lawyers Guild attorney Jim Lafferty.
The pending eviction confirmed on the same day police launched a text-message system targeting occupiers.
"They simply have to text, or key the word OLA999 to triple 8, triple 7. Then they can receive messages from the LAPD," according to Lt. Andy Neiman, LAPD spokesman.
“We have been told that the city would like us to leave the lawn,” said occupier Julia Wallace during a 3 p.m. press conference Wednesday. “We call on the community at large, working class people, organized labor, those who support the occupation and other people who are concerned about the Occupy movement to join with us and defend the occupation in LA and worldwide.”
The news of the eviction comes after city officials were said to have pulled back on an offer that if accepted, gave protesters a downtown office space in exchange for their removal of encampments.
The offer was rescinded after it was made public during a general assembly meeting at the encampment.
“The general assembly is the only body that speaks for Occupy Los Angeles and can decide collectively how we will negotiate with the city of Los Angeles,” one occupier said during the press conference.
Members speaking at the conference said the movement remains nonviolent and is still willing to negotiate with city officials through the general assembly.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.