Protesters will be given 72 hours to pack up, the LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus reports, although it's unclear whether they'll be moving somewhere else. Whatever happens, they won't occupy an office building near City Hall - that ridiculous offer was either retracted by city officials or turned down by the protesters (or perhaps both). From the Weekly:
Mario Brito and Jim Lafferty, two members of Occupy's City Liaison team, addressed the group a short time ago. They said they walked out of today's meeting at City Hall because they believed that the mayor's staff is not negotiating in good faith. Others with the Occupy movement, however, continued to negotiate. The message from the mayor's staff was that there is a firm deadline in place for the "closure" of the City Hall park, and it's next week. Brito and Lafferty said they intended to rally support from SEIU and from clergy members. But they are also trying to prepare the group for mass arrests.
All this is quite predictable. Occupy L.A. is not an entity - it's a rag-tag group of people who have aligned themselves through a naive, one-dimensional view of banking and the wealthy, but whose agendas and motivations are all over the map. Negotiating with this kind of non-group is pretty much impossible. As I suggested yesterday, protesting is a right, it's not an entitlement. The hope, of course, is that the decampment goes well next week. And good on the City Hall folks, led by Mayor Villaraigosa, for finally deciding that enough is enough.
Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo told The Associated Press that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, after consulting with police, decided the encampment on City Hall lawns will be closed at some point next week, then cleaned and restored. "The encampment as it exists is unsustainable," Szabo said.