LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Occupy LA protesters camped outside Los Angeles City Hall are being told they must strike their tents by 12:01 a.m. Monday, the mayor said.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement late Friday praising the goals of the protest movement that has swept the country and inspired demonstrations in other countries, the Los Angeles Times reported. But he said the camp must be closed down for safety reasons.
"Occupy LA has brought needed attention to the growing disparities in our country and I look forward to its ongoing efforts to build an economy that works for everyone," Villaraigosa said. "As we continue to respect the exercise of everyone's First Amendment rights in our civic center and throughout Los Angeles, City Hall Park is temporarily closing out of concern for the public safety implications of a long-term encampment."
The camp was set up Oct. 1 and has grown to include amenities like a meditation tent and library. The camp is run by committees.
Villaraigosa said he hopes to avoid the kind of confrontation that has occurred in Oakland, Calif., and other cities where officials have tried to clear out Occupy camps.