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After extending olive branch, Los Angeles posts eviction notice on Occupy LA camp

After supporting Occupy Wall Street with City Council proclamations and invitations to stay indefinitely, Los Angeles prepares to evict the 485-tent Occupy LA encampment that has spent seven weeks on the City Hall lawn.

A Los Angeles police officer looks at tents set up outside Los Angeles City Hall. Occupy LA, a 485-tent camp surrounding City Hall downtown, has marched to a different beat in its drum circle. Protesters, police and city officials early on established a relationship based on dialogue instead of dictate. As camps in other cities degenerated into unrest and led to mass arrests, Occupy LA has remained largely a peaceful bastion with city leaders determined that Los Angeles would emerge from the shadow of Rodney King once and for all.

Jae C. Hong/AP

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Arguably the most peaceful and orderly large Occupy Wall Street encampment – a nearly 500-tent occupation on two flanks of Los Angeles City Hall – is scheduled to be evicted at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

While police in cities from Oakland to New York City have clashed, sometimes violently, with the grassroots economic justice movement that sprang up near-spontaneously in October, Los Angeles has until now extended an olive branch. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a former community organizer, has proclaimed that the movement has "awakened the country's conscience."

But even after City Council president Eric Garcetti originally told protesters to "stay as long as you need to," the city has now withdrawn that invitation, citing destruction to the City Hall lawn as one reason to evict protesters.

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"The movement is at a crossroads," Mr. Villaraigosa said on Friday. "It is time for Occupy LA to move from holding a particular patch of park land to spreading the message of economic justice and signing more people up for the push to restore the balance to American society."


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