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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Officials Offer Protesters to De-Occupy LA

Occupiers could leave City Hall if they agree to terms laid out by city officials.

Protesters congregate in front of City Hall on Day 53 of Occupy LA.
Protesters congregate in front of City Hall on Day 53 of Occupy LA.
De-Occupy LA? It could happen if protesters agree to conditions laid out by city officials, almost two months after the movement began.

"Occupy LA was offered relocation gifts from City Hall," a tweet from the Occupy LA Twitter account read.  "Amongst them: a building & land to farm."

The details of the conditions were revealed on Monday during a General Assembly meeting by Jim Lafferty from the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles. 

"Here's what the city said it will do," Lafferty told the General Assembly.  "It will give those of us who want to use it a 10,000 square foot building.  It will give one or more pieces of land to those who wish to farm it.  It will open up additional beds for the homeless.  It will open up Single Residency Occupied, SRO residences."

The office will be in the Civic Center Mall, in the old Dutton Bookstore.  City officials are offering Occupiers the office space on a $1/year lease.  However, they will have to wait at least a year and a half for SRO residences if they take the deal.

One of the Occupiers, identified only as William in the meeting minutes, addressed the significance of the homeless in the Occupy movement.

"The homeless in this city participating is the heart of this movement. This movement is what is going on in this country, and what is going on is a result of me being homeless," he said. "If we take this bribe will it segregate the homeless from this movement because the homeless have a time limit to get back."

Addressing whether or not Occupiers are violating any laws, Lafferty listed several.

"I will state the laws we are violating:  state law against camping in a public park, the fire laws that requires tents to be further apart then they are, the public johns to be cleaner than they are, it is illegal to use [pot] and other drugs here, it is illegal to have fires here, it is illegal to let other children smoke drugs here. Don't shoot the messenger. "

"One of the things that has set us apart from other cities is that we will continue to dialogue directly to Occupiers," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told Occupiers on Monday.  "There is no plan to evict people on Thanksgiving Weekend.  At this juncture, we have no cause."



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