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Timeline sought for closing Occupy L.A. camp, LAPD's Beck says

November 15, 2011 | 11:35 am

A man who calls himself "San Diego" warms his hands  moments after a rainstorm Nov. 4 at the Occupy L.A. encampment near City Hall.

On the heels of New York City officials’ decision to clear Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that protesters and officials are working on a timeline for closing down the camp.

He declined to discuss specifics but told The Times he hopes the Occupy L.A. encampment will be dismantled without the confrontations seen in Oakland, New York and elsewhere.

Members of the Occupy L.A. camp -- which has commandeered the City Hall lawn for weeks --  police, and city officials are scheduled to meet Tuesday for the latest in a series of negotiations, Beck said.  “I expect it will be a long one,” he said.

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In stark contrast to the forcible eviction and mass arrest of protesters in New York, Oakland and other cities, Los Angeles police and elected officials have taken a markedly less aggressive stance with the occupiers.

Beck, however, said in a brief interview Tuesday morning that the tent city surrounding City Hall is not sustainable. The ongoing talks between the sides are focused on finding some compromise that would see the protesters voluntarily break down the camp.

“That’s a piece of dirt, it’s not sustainable ecologically and it’s only going to get worse and worse,” Beck said, referring to the lawn that largely has been destroyed.  “We need to find either a different location or a different medium for them to use.”


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Photo: A man who calls himself "San Diego" warms his hands  moments after a rainstorm Nov. 4 at the Occupy L.A. encampment near City Hall. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times