Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ordered the shutdown of the Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall at 12:01 a.m. Monday, saying officials can no longer "maintain the public safety of a long-term encampment," according to a statement issued Friday.That move is sure to strain the relationship between city leaders and the protesters. And ironically it was just today that the Associated Press noted that the cooperation between the sides had been providing a national example of how to get along.
Occupy LA, a 485-tent camp surrounding City Hall, has marched to a different beat in its drum circle after protesters, police and city officials established a relationship based on dialogues instead of dictates.
As camps in other cities degenerated into unrest that led to mass arrests, Occupy LA has remained largely a peaceful commune. Police arrive on site only when called in to investigate petty crimes. Marches have resulted in only about five spontaneous arrests — the other 70 or so involved protesters who deliberately got arrested to make a political statement.