Occupy L.A. protesters say they have no plans to leave City Hall
After Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa commented that the Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall "cannot continue indefinitely," protesters issued a statement saying they plan to do just that.
"As for a time stamp on our departure, there is none," the protesters wrote. "Regarding the perceived lack of focus: Our actions are governed by a democratic process and we go through process to gain consensus.
"This can sometimes be lengthy, but we are determined that, as representatives of the 99%, all voices are heard and considered."
The statement invited elected officials to attend the protesters' nightly general assembly meetings at the encampment.
Los Angeles city officials initially welcomed the protesters with statements of goodwill, but the patience of some has frayed as the camp-out has continued for nearly a month.
The mayor said Wednesday he was concerned about health hazards at the encampment and about the fate of the trees on the City Hall lawn, which have gone unwatered, and the grass, which is dead.
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said Wednesday that police should impose the park law that prohibits camping after 10:30 p.m.
A spokeswoman for the mayor said he has instructed city officials to begin drafting a plan to identify another location for the demonstration.
The protesters said in their statement, "We sincerely hope that a positive working relationship between city officials and the LAPD continues."
But they said they have no plans to leave.
-- Abby Sewell
Photo: A pedestrian walks past a banner Wednesday at the Occupy L.A. encampment. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images