Occupy Wall St.

Los Angeles offers protesters office space

Eve Troeh Nov 22, 2011

Kai Ryssdal: For those who’re wondering where Occupy Wall Street goes — physically — now that officials in a lot of cities seem to have had enough, Los Angeles has something a little different. Last night, the city made an offer to Occupy L.A. protesters: A little shelter in exchange for getting off the lawn out front of City Hall.

Marketplace’s Eve Troeh reports on how the bargain’s being received.

Eve Troeh: Hundreds of tents, tarps and giant works of art have covered City Hall lawn for seven weeks. Occupier Benjamin Torres says the city’s been fair to campers — the mayor even handed out ponchos on a rainy day. He says the city hopes to avoid the violent confrontations with police it’s seen in the past.

Benjamin Torres: They can’t really be as brass as they have in other cities. They know what the outcome will be.

Thus, a push for a third way. An Occupy L.A. delegation says city officials have offered protesters an office building, land for an urban farm and permanent housing for homeless members of the movement if the tent city folds up.

Torres says some Occupiers see this as a chance for the movement to mature. But not him.

Torres: I think we have housing here, and I think it’s a tease.

He says the point of Occupy is to be out in public. Elisabeth Jacobs at the Brookings Institution says it’ll be tough for L.A. to strike a deal with everyone.

Elisabeth Jacobs: It’s not clear to me from the government side how exactly you enforce the agreement.

Even if some Occupiers sign on and move to cubicles, others will likely stay and face down police.

In Los Angeles, I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

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