Occupy L.A. Cost Taxpayers Millions, City Documents Show
Lachlan Markay /
The Los Angeles offshoot of the “Occupy” protest movement cost the city of more than $4 million, according to records produced by the City Administrative Officer.
Documents obtained by the site MuckRock, embedded below, provide a detailed breakdown of the financial toll of the protests, which took place for about two months outside of Los Angeles City Hall.
According to the documents, the city more than doubled its normal operating costs in response to the protests. It was forced to pay $1.89 million in overtime to city officials and more than $835,000 in construction and repair costs.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa initially welcomed the protesters when they showed up in September 2011, thanking them for “awakening the country’s conscience.” But two months later, he ordered protesters to vacate two grassy areas outside of City Hall. When they refused, police evicted protesters from the area, arresting nearly 300 people in the process.
Los Angeles taxpayers aren’t the only ones who have taken a hit as a result of Occupy protests. New York City was forced to pay its police officers alone a staggering $17 million in overtime to manage the protests at Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy movement.
In Washington, D.C., protesters set up camp at McPhereson Square, which had recently been restored using $400,000 in federal stimulus money, to the ire of some members of the community. The National Park Service has said it will cost about $200,000 to re-sod the park.