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Occupy L.A. campers damaging City Hall grounds, park director says

The Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall

Occupy L.A. is causing damage to the park outside City Hall where protesters have staked a claim by erecting a tent village, the city's director of parks said in a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Occupy L.A. damage to City Hall Park "Some individuals have compromised the park's irrigation system by disabling sprinkler heads, and vandalizing the various irrigation valves located throughout the park," wrote Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager for the city's Recreation and Parks Department.

Mukri said that the protesters gathered on the massive lawn have created several unsafe conditions and have "monopolized" the park grounds, thus limiting access for other users.

PHOTOS: Occupy protests

In his letter, Mukri also expressed concern that the encampment had damaged the grounds, including landscaped areas and trees. 

A spokesman for the mayor's office declined to comment on the letter except to say the city had already incurred some $120,000 in expenses due to the protesters.

360° Panorama: Occupy L.A. encampment

Over the last few weeks, Villaraigosa has said the Occupy L.A. encampment "cannot continue indefinitely" because of health and safety concerns.

The mayor asked city officials to try to find another location for the demonstration, but it remains unclear if protesters would be willing to move.

ALSO:

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FULL COVERAGE: Occupy protests around the nation

-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: The Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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