6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Occupy L.A.: Mayor Reiterates Eviction Order, But What's Next for the Movement?

Support Provided By

Hours before the scheduled end of Occupy L.A.'s encampment of City Hall Park, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement saying protesters would have enough time to clear the area.

"As Chief Beck has made clear, though the park will officially close tonight at 12:01 a.m., the department will allow campers ample time to remove their belongings peacefully and without disruption," he said.

The LAPD has not announced when it will move in to remove any remaining protesters, but a video posted to Occupy L.A.'s website seems to indicate that action would not be taken until sunrise at the earliest.

"Nothing is going to happen tonight," said an officer, identified as Captain Rodriguez by Neon Tommy. "As for when the department is going to start taking some action, I do not know that yet."

When questioned by a woman behind the camera about what defines "tonight," the officer responded, "Tonight is defined, without playing semantics, until tomorrow morning when the sun comes up."

An exact time could not be confirmed by Commander Andrew Smith, who in charge of the media relations. "We do not discuss our timetables or our tactics of our plan," he said. "Our goal is to get this done without arresting anybody or without using any force."

Occupy L.A. remains the largest encampment of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been bringing attention to a variety of economic inequality issues since September. Protests in other cities across the nation have been met with force by police, many that have beget images that went viral (usually with pepper spray).

Unlike those incidents, Los Angeles has steered clear of such controversy. "It is not just that L.A. is doing it right, but it's that other big cities are doing it wrong," explained Matt Szabo, a deputy mayor. He said the city's three-pronged approach--respect the First Amendment, protect public safety and use common sense--is simple, rational and sober.

The mood at the encampment tonight was cheerful, according to Lawrence Ziese, who will be leading a group of impartial legal observers during the eviction. "Everyone here is full of great spirit," he said, noting that a number of protesters plan on disobeying the eviction order to be peacefully arrested. He explained that next steps include growing, both as a movement and as individuals.

But specifics of what Occupy L.A. will do next is sketchy at best.

"It's completely up in the air," said Stephen Box, an active City Hall activist who has observed the movement since it sprang up 60 days ago. "I was quite enamored with the quick organization--everything from the library to the child care, etc.--at the same time I was kind of disappointed the movement didn't go after the process," which led to all things the movement is discontent with. "If you're not taking it out to the people of L.A. and not riling the four million... you're creating an alternative universe that exists in the shadow of city hall that does nothing to change the city of L.A. or the process."

Support Provided By
Read More
A nurse in blue personal protective gear administers the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to a woman in a red shirt.

How to Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment in Southern California

Booking an appointment for your free COVID-19 vaccine is complicated. To keep track of all the moving parts, LAist reached out to cities and counties in the greater Los Angeles area for specifics. Find your location below for your guide to booking vaccine appointments in Southern California.
A person in a red sweatshirt administers COVID-19 vaccine to a young Black man. Both are wearing face masks.

State Sets Aside Vaccines for Hard-Hit Areas, Speeds Reopening Efforts

Southern California counties and others across the state could be cleared to open more businesses and lift other restrictions sooner than anticipated under a plan announced today that will prioritize COVID-19 vaccines in communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
A health care worker prepares a dose of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during a mass vaccination for vendors at the Tanah Abang textile market in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 17, 2021.

Jakarta Will Fine People Who Refuse COVID-19 Vaccines. Will It Work?

The city of Jakarta has taken the rare step of announcing fines and welfare penalties for anyone who refuses to get a COVID-19 vaccine, raising fears of inequalities