New city signs at Occupy L.A. draw mixed reactions from protesters
Signs warning against staying overnight at Los Angeles City Hall drew mixed reactions from Occupy L.A. protesters and others camped outside the downtown landmark, with some saying they feared eviction and others insisting they were determined to stay unless forced out.
"It’s created fear and panic through the entire community," said Melissa Balin, who said she has been living at the 1.7-acre park since the start of the protest nearly two months ago.
Another woman, however, said she was unconcerned, noting that protesters had never sought permission when they erected tents on the site.
"This is an occupation," said the woman, who gave her name as Zeeva International, as she photographed police officers putting up signs on the north side of City Hall.
Officers with the city’s General Services Police Department erected several signs Thursday afternoon warning that the park’s hours are from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. City officials have said they want Occupy L.A. to leave City Hall grounds by next week.
"These are existing rules governing the parks," LAPD Deputy Chief Jose Perez Jr. said Thursday. "This is an educational campaign. Contrary to reports in the social media, the park is not being closed tonight and we are not going into the park tonight to remove people."
Within an hour, one of the signs inside the park had been defaced with what appeared to be paint.
--Jack Leonard and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Park hours have been posted outside L.A. City Hall, reminding Occupy protesters of existing city codes. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times