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.
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 email@example.com
LAPD: 1-877-275-5273 email firstname.lastname@example.org