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Lesson of Occupy LA: Protests are expensive

Occupy LA

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The Los Angeles City Council's decision to allow Occupy LA to remain on the lawn of City Hall ultimately cost $4.7 million.

The City of Los Angeles continues to wrestle with the financial implications of its decision to allow Occupy L.A. protesters to camp out on the City Hall lawn for two months last fall.

Today it was the City Council Budget and Finance Committee's turn to examine the $4.7 million it cost to accommodate and then evict the protesters. The cost estimate was recently revealed in a a report from the City Administrative Officer.

“It’s expensive to have a protest,” the CAO’s Tyler Munhall told members of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Occupy L.A. remained on the lawn around City Hall until the LAPD cleared out the encampment last November. Insurance and donations covered about $400,000 of the tab. Councilman Mitch Englander urged his colleagues to remember the report when similar costly situations come up.