When Occupy LA took up residence in the park around LA's City Hall in
2011 the building was surrounded by a well-maintanined lawn. Months of
camping at the site reduced it to a filthy, barren landscape where only the trees survived (and some of them had been damaged too).
The campers were removed by LAPD in late November. Fences went up and maintenance workers spent months repairing the damage. Thursday the fences around LA's City Hall will come down and visitors will get their first glimpse of the new $550,000 greenscape. KPCC public radio reports that total was supplemented by donations from "Scott's, Home Depot, a turf company, and the Metropolitan Water District."
Occupy LA has been relatively quiet since the camp was cleared but they are not gone.
Just last week the group tagged along with something called Art Walk by
recommending people chalk the sidewalk and walls in something they
called "Chalk Walk." The result was a melee/riot in which several
protesters and police were injured.
With the former home of the Occupy LA camp reopening this week, it's
natural to wonder if the group will once again choose to occupy it.
Rules about overnight
camping prevent anyone from setting up a tent or sleeping anywhere on
the refurbished site, but the same rules were in effect last year. As
Occupy demonstrated then, rules only matter if the authorities in charge
have the courage to enforce them. Last year it took Mayor Villaraigosa
three months to go from tacit support of the camp to full scale LAPD
raid. Will we see a repeat this year?