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Mayor Villaraigosa & Police Chief Charlie Beck announced today at a afternoon press conference that the LAPD would forcefully throw Occupy Los Angeles off of the park areas surrounding Los Angeles City Hall Monday, November 28th at 12:01am. This move is being made although there have been no major incidents to marred the record of 56 consecutive days of peaceful protests at City Hall since the encampment first started on October 1st.

It is being done in spite of the vote by City Council in October to:

ADOPT the accompanying RESOLUTION to SUPPORT the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by "Occupy Los Angeles"

At the time City Council President Eric Garcetti told the campers on the city hall front lawn "Stay as long as you need, we're here to support you," Now it would seem that the city's tune has changed.

To it's credit both the City of LA and the LAPD have taken a decidedly different approach to the occupy movement compared with other major cities, including New York, Chicago, Oakland and Portland where the movement was faced with eviction and police violence almost from the beginning of those encampments. Until now, the City of Los Angeles has allowed the encampment at city hall to establish itself and to grow with a minimum of police and city interference.

This approach had undoubtedly worked well for all involved. This negotiated peace between the City and Occupy Los Angeles has no doubt resulted in much lower policing costs than those seen by other cities. Police violence is very expensive, keeping people out of parks is very expensive. Whereas the LAPD has had to task very few extra officers to Occupy LA except for when we have held marches, rallies or other special activities. I am afraid that this will now change.

For our part, it has allowed Occupy LA to grow to be the largest occupy encampment in the United States with over 400 tents pitched on the green spaces around city hall. The stability of the occupation has allowed it to develop organization in depth, a strong committee and affinity group structure that is the result of more that 50 consecutive General Assemblies at the same location, as well as physical institutions on site like the Library, Media tent, bike repair shop, print shop and People's University.

In this winter of our discontent., I believe the survival of the Occupy Los Angeles encampment at City Hall is vital for the whole occupation movement nationwide  While many of the encampments are being shutdown by police, many others will see their survival threaten by winter in coming months. So far, Occupy LA has avoided both of these frustrations. Already many occupiers from Wall St. are talking about flying west for the winter, some have already arrived. We get activist visitors from all over the world at Occupy LA and under the current, peaceful conditions, Occupy LA is the ideal base camp for many of the institutions that glue the occupy movement together. The role of Occupy LA in helping the entire occupy movement survive the winter and turn the next season into an American Spring can not be underestimated.

But now there is a nationwide reactionary movement among big city mayors to shut down the occupy encampments. Oakland's Mayor Quan spoken of a conference call of eighteen big city majors on this very subject. This indicates some level of national co-ordination. Now it would appear that Los Angeles is being pressured to join this reactionary movement. We need you to supply the counter pressure.

Please contact the Los Angeles City elected representatives and tell them not to shut down the Occupy Los Angeles encampment at city hall.

Tell them to continue their support and cooperation with Occupy Los Angeles.

Tell them we will not go quietly into that good night.

Tell them them, if they think they have budget deficients now, tell them that if they evict Occupy Los Angeles, they will have hell to pay.

In Solidarity,

Clay Claiborne

Emails of the Mayor & Council Members:

Here is some more contact info you can use:

Mayor's Office: (213)978-0600 or (213)978-0721 fax- (213)978-0655 @villaraigosa on twitter
City Hall: (213)473-3231  email
LAPD: 1-877-275-5273 email

Originally posted to Anonymous Dkos on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 09:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  AJE had a great story on this latest move. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, koNko

    Mayor Villaraigosa's sentiment's were pointedly summarized accordingly:

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who had previously expressed sympathy for the Occupy movement, told the protesters on Saturday that they had "awakened the country's conscience", but said that the trampled grass outside City Hall, the site of their two-month demonstration, needed to be restored.

    So this is what it comes down to: when reappropriating public space for the purpose of a public airing of grievances clashes with a need to make sure the grass is nice and pristine, politicians would sooner choose to keep up appearances over preserving democracy.

    Or, as a camper was quoted in response to Villaraigosa's decision:

    [Opamago] Casciani said: "What I got from it is: `I value grass more than the people'."

    "The philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." -- Karl Marx

    by felldestroyed on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 05:01:16 AM PST

  •  The diarist advised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Tell them them, if they think they have budget deficients now, tell them that if they evict Occupy Los Angeles, they will have hell to pay."  Yes, make a threat.  Always the way to win sympathy for a cause.

  •  The Occupy Movement Has a Serious Problem... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The vast majority of the Occupy Movement members are not residents of the city they are Occupying.

    Cities like Los Angeles were friendly at first, hoping it would be short lived.  After 50+ days, the city realized that hundreds of people who do not reside in Los Angeles were using up local citizens resources and not contributing in anyway to the wellbeing of the Los Angeles citizens.

    If OWS was a truly local movement, they would get more sympathy from the elected leaders.  Elected leaders are just that, elected.  And, they cater to them that "brung" them.  Since OWS has very few members that vote for the Mayor or City Councilmen, they will not lose any votes by the eviction.  Who do you think that the Mayor will listen the most to?  OWS members that do not vote in Los Angeles or "local" residents and businessmen that donate to their camaigns and vote?

    This is the same all over the country.  This is why evictions continue.  And, OWS will fade away very quickly.  Have you noticed how the number of OWS Diaries has dropped here on DKos?  Just llike in the rest of the country, OWS is dying here too.

  •  I hope they will reconsider (0+ / 0-)

    LA has been, strangely, an oasis of reason, all things considered.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 09:18:38 AM PST

  •  Reading about the "Occupy" movement worldwide (0+ / 0-)

    noticing that it has been ongoing for more than a year in some places, there has been some adaptation and spreading of the message beyond a single camp in a single city.

    The Guardian (uk) has reported the influence of the indignados in Spain or the frustrated ones with the electoral politicians that resulted in 11 million "spoiled" or "No preference ballots, as well as a drop of 4.5 million in the Socialist take which resulted in the centre Right Party taking over. The overwhelming winner was none of the above or smaller parties because of the ongoing economic crisis that simply continues to worsen.

    Spain has a strong anti foreclosure movement with many bank properties being occupied and returned to use in the community despite the wishes of the bank to simply wait things out.

    This is reminiscent of Argentina's crisis where a default and lack of credit lead to many workplaces closing and the response was many self started coops and worker's occupations to get the companies moving and working again despite the failures in banking and management.

    The city administration should look at creative ways to work with the energy and passion of the Occupy movement to adress the crippling of services and the lack of any major initiatives to restart and expand the real economy in the communities and neighborhoods.  Attacking the Occupy doesn't help matters, it will deepen frustration and mistrust and help create the time when a major city will become ungovernable.

    What will be the problems of an LA with say, 3 more years of decline and dropping property values and even more layoffs, year after year, public and private?

    The Mayor will wish his problems, including with Occupy was simply grass blades being bent.  He will have a huge expansion of troubles and no goodwill or trust to  ask for help that he cannot provide out of city resources even now.

    If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

    by BeeDeeS on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 09:36:39 PM PST

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