A candlelight vigil and march were held Monday evening at Echo Lake Park, days after more than 200 homeless people were removed and the park closed for a $500,000 repair and restoration project.
A sign at the fenced-off park targeted Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and read “This park is the people’s! NOT Mitch’s!”
Another sign read “Resign Mitch.”
Marchers placed candles outside O’Farrell’s district office in the 1700 block of Sunset Boulevard, near Lemoyne Street.
Advocates for the homeless have criticized O’Farrell and the city’s efforts to remove the park’s homeless encampment, saying it had grown into a safe haven for people with no other options. They also questioned what would happen to the homeless once their stays at the temporary hotel rooms ended.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority told City News Service Friday that 138 park residents were placed in Project Roomkey hotel rooms, 35 in Project Homekey sites and 11 in A Bridge Home shelters.
Many residents have complained about the trash and public safety issues in the park, saying they no longer felt safe visiting it.