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Occupy eyes Surf City

Members of protest movement request camping space at Monday's City Council meeting. Mayor isn't keen on it.

March 07, 2012|By Mona Shadia

Members from the Occupy Orange County movement told the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday that they're considering Surf City for their next stop.

Three Occupy members spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, saying they would like to work with the city and police to set up camp in Huntington Beach for the betterment of the city.

One of the three speakers was 20-year-old Huntington Beach resident Jacob Zerba, who said he's invested a lot of his time in Occupy.

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He asked the city to work with the movement, like other cities have, to allow residents to voice their concerns and bring about good changes.

"This is your chance to be on the side of history," he said, adding that the movement's goal is not to kick politicians out of office, but to establish a better world.

"What you can expect from us is cooperation, hard work and determination," Zerba said.

The speakers, however, did not state specific concerns pertaining to Huntington Beach and how they would like to see them addressed.

Mayor Don Hansen said there are better ways to interact with the government than camping out at City Hall.

"I guess I'm not sure what their total intentions are, but I don't think it's our desire to see City Hall turn into a campground," he said. "And there's lots of ways to interact with government. I have an open-door policy. You don't need to camp out in our front lawn to interact with us."

Huntington Beach resident Tami Piscotty sent an open email to Occupy volunteers urging them not to come to Huntington Beach.

"While I agree with many of your issues, I respectfully ask that you not come to Huntington Beach," she wrote. "Pictures and articles have been posted about the messes Occupy organizations leave for the city to clean up. Our public works and police services are better used for helping the people who live in Huntington Beach."

mona.shadia@latimes.com

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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