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Occupy protesters leave City Hall park as LAPD closes area

July 19, 2012 | 11:02 pm

Occupy protester at L.A. City Hall Park
A handful of Occupy L.A. protesters peacefully left the City Hall park late Thursday as police closed off the area for the night.

The protesters said they wanted to let people know the movement was still alive but did not want to confront Los Angeles Police Department officers who at 10:30 p.m.  locked the entryway of the chain-link fence surrounding the park.

Earlier Thursday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and city officials attended a ceremony to reopen the park, which underwent a $1-million face lift after the area was occupied by protesters who pitched tents in October as part of a nationwide protest against income inequality.

PHOTOS: City Hall park comes back to life

As the ceremony was underway, a dozen Occupy protesters, who had been barred from entering by police, stood unhappily on the other side of the fence.

"We're discussing how ironic it is that the reopening of this public park is closed to the public," one of the protesters said.

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— Robert J. Lopez at City Hall

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: A protester who declined to give his name at City Hall park. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles Times

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