Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Occupy L.A. protesters were given a deadline of Monday to evacuate their encampment outside City Hall.
Occupy LA will be forced to vacate the land in front of City Hall by Monday, Nov. 28 at 12:01 a.m., Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday.
Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck officially issued an evacuation deadline of next Monday at a press conference at City Hall Friday.
"From the start we've said that a long-term encampment is not sustainable in City Hall Park," said Villaraigosa from the top of the City Hall steps as cars passed in the background and the occupiers looked on. "It is time to close the park and repair the grounds."
At the official announcement, Occupy LA members began to read the first paragraph of their own statement, submitted yesterday to City Hall. In it, members vow not to move from the park.
"What happened to the 72 hour notice?" shouted one protester.
"[The encampment] is no longer sustainable and must end," Police Chief Charlie Beck later added. "This does not mean that the message of Occupy LA must end. [...] They must expand their message in a different medium."
"To facilitate a peaceful and orderly departure" officers will walk the encampment this weekend handing out bilingual flyers about the closures, while social workers inform campers about what services are available to them. Fifty shelter beds will be made available for homeless Occupy members.
The Spring Street steps of City Hall will be kept open while the rest of the park is closed, since they have "traditionally been the place that Angelinos have gathered to exercise their right to free speech."