Occupy L.A. Seeking Federal Court Injunction to Stop Eviction

Chris Godley

Protesters have refused to leave their campsite at City Hall despite an evacuation mandate from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

After ignoring the midnight eviction deadline issued by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for Occupy protestors to vacate their City Hall campground Monday, Occupy protesters are seeking a federal court injunction to block their removal. 

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The complaint, which was filed Monday and posted on the Los Angeles Times website, states that protesters are asking the court to address "an unconstitutional deprivation of access to a traditional public forum, the south lawn of City Hall, for First Amendment activity."

The document says that enforcement of the city's "anti-camping" measure is left up to the "whim of the police" as sole determinants. 

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"Even on Skid Row, just blocks from City Hall and around the corner from the Central LAPD station, each year families camp on the sidewalk for days to get free school supplies distributed by the Fred Jordan Mission," say the protesters. "Each of these 'camping' events is highly publicized in the media, takes place in highly-trafficked areas and could not possibly be an unnoticed and unintentional exception to enforcement of the municipal code."

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The documents also cite the recent Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 premiere as an example of non-inforced camping, saying "This month, more than 1,000 people camped out to glimpse the stars at the premiere of the most recent Twilight film, forcing the closure of Chick Hearn Drive."

Four people were arrested in L.A. early Monday morning for failure to disperse after the mayor's 12:01 a.m. deadline passed. Occupy protesters have been camped on the site for nearly two months.