Occupy LA deadline comes, but many say they won’t go
The protesters whose tents line the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall made it clear that they received the eviction notice issued by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Whether they’ll heed it is much less certain.
With hours left before the Monday at 12:01 a.m. deadline the mayor and the police chief gave for Occupy LA, very few of the occupiers were packing, and many were instead making plans for what to do when they stay.
Some handed out signs Saturday mocked up to look like the city’s notices to vacate, advertising a Monday morning “eviction block party.”
Dozens attended a teach-in on resistance tactics, including how to stay safe in the face of rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and pepper spray.
Police gave few specifics about what tactics they would use if protesters ignored the deadline. Chief Charlie Beck said at Friday’s news conference that officers would definitely not be sweeping through the camp and arresting everyone just after midnight.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published Sunday, Beck said that despite the lack of confrontations in the camp’s two-month run, he’s realistic about what might happen.
“I have no illusions that everybody is going to leave,” Beck said. “We anticipate that we will have to make arrests.”
But he added, “We certainly will not be the first ones to apply force.”