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Last night Keith Olbermann talked to Los Angeles National Lawyers Guild Executive Director Jim Lafferty about what I diaried yesterday after my second visit to the camp announcing that the NLA has filed a Temporary Restraining Order to block the eviction of Occupy LA from Solidarity Park (Formerly City Hall Park).

From what I can tell, they haven't yet had a response from a judge on the TRO.  Hopefully Mayor Villaraigosa won't ignore the court the way that Mayor Bloomberg did when the NLG Injunction was initially granted the night of Occupy Wall Street's eviction.

As I understand it, Lafferty has admitted at least several times during OLA GA that campers at Solidarity Park are effectively in violation of State Camping restrictions within State Parks which City Hall Park is. "Some very smart attorney's ahve been working on this and there's no way around the camping law" he's said.  The primary reason that the City hadn't come down on OLA from the start is because Lafferty personally negotiated with Police Chief Charlie Beck to have them hold off.

At least for a while.

Update: Here's the GA where Jim discussed these issues after announcing the details of the offer from the City at about 4:48 mark - which I dairied in detail here:

Less than a week after this offer was put in writing, the City decided to close the park.

In their application for a TRO the NLG is arguing that the City Council has subsequently given their support to OLA with a unanimous vote, and only the City Council can rescind that.  Uh, ok... That's a thought.

Let me add this, the City is claiming that they're closing the park for "Sanitation and Safey" concerns.  Yet when I was there last monday I documented that the Park is perfectly safe, they have their own "Peacekeepers" who handle and can conduct citizen's arrests of anyone who present a problem or a danger.  

Peacekeepers such as U.S Marine Sgt Seligman (Ret).

They have Port-O-Poties.

And they clean the park themselves, each and every day.

That includes picking up trash, and sweeping the sidewalk until it's nearly spotless. See?

The only argument the City has, other than the camping law, enforcement of which Beck has already voluntarily waved, is the fact that the grass is dead.

But then again, in their negotiations with the City, Occupy LA originally offered to re-sod the lawn.  So there's that to consider.

On the issue of "What Has Occupy Done For Anyone Lately?" there is the second story that Keith addresses in this clip with Matt Taibbi.  A federal judge has rejected the proposed settlement between the SEC and Citigroup for their role in selling toxic mortgages to their investors and then short-selling against them.  If this were the old Dragnet show, that would be considered a plain ole' Bunco Scam.

It's Fraud.  Selling somebody a piece of crap that you know is a piece of crap but instead tell them it's golden, then turn around and try to make money off the fact that it's crap.  If Citigroup is going to pay a fine, they should pay a fine Equal to Every Dime they made off this Scheme - Plus Penalties.  

And they should have to admit exactly what they did. The judge rejected the settlement, the first rejection of it's kind as Taibbi notes, because they didn't even document and admit what wrong-doing had occurred.

How many people could have even Imagined such a ruling prior to Occupy hammering home this issue? It's not like the Tea Party was saying or doing a Damn Thing about Wall Street and Bank abuses.

Even if they do get a bit bogged down with preserving their Camping Rights which IMO is largely irrelevant to the goals and reason for the movement, they are still pushing the Overton Window in the right direction.



Originally posted to Vyan on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I love the NLG (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, evergreen2

    They are all we have between the people and the abuse of power of the entrenched elite. their only weapon is the Constitution. they deserve all the support we can offer.

    In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress. John Adams

    by blue armadillo on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:34:14 AM PST

  •  Kind of a mistake to concede the violation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, erush1345

    of the law.   Lawyering rule #1:  don't admit that your client is breaking the law.

    Does anyone have the text of the council vote?  Generalized statements of support probably won't be enough--will likely need an explicit or unambiguous waiver of enforcement of park usage restrictions.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:43:33 AM PST

    •  Here's my question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345, Geekesque, VClib

      if it's state camping restrictions, I don't see how the city council can override that anyway.  Unless the state law allows local governments that authority?

    •  /Agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, johnny wurster

      A resolution of "support" is not the same thing as the City Council directing the Chief of Police, an appointee who serves at the whim of the Council if I recall LA's structure correctly, to refrain from enforcement of its municipal code as it relates to the use of the park by Occupy.  An easy thing to draft, if it hasn't been already, but nowhere near as easy to get passed.

      If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

      by shanikka on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:53:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  LAPD board is appointed by mayor and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, VClib

        confirmed by the council.  So it doesn't sound like the City Council can set policy on anything by itself, and certainly can't "waive" laws duly enacted by the city.

        •  Not Really (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The LAPD Police Commission's Board has NO legislative authority whatsoever, i.e. meaning that it cannot establish the law of the City and County of LA.  The LAPD board can and does set administrative policy for the day to day operations of law enforcement, but it too does so only at the pleasure of the legal body that appoints IT - which you agree is the City Council.  (The Mayor naming someone is meaningless if the entire Council doesn't "confirm it", you know.  If they refuse to confirm his choices, the Mayor has no independent power to seat the Board.)  The only legislative body is the City Council.  It, therefore, is the only body that can direct the Police Chief, its appointee.  (Even though he, too, is named by the Mayor subject to Council confirmation.)

          If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

          by shanikka on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:12:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How could the council direct the Board (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to do anything, any more than the Congress could direct the EPA to take a specific enforcement measure?  The systems are structurally identical: President appoints head, Congress confirms, but that doesn't mean the EPA is directed in any meaningful sense by Congreess (to the contrary, following INS v Chadha we know they can't direct agencies to take specific courses of action).

            Absent some pretty oddball derivation by LA from regular governance structures, the council should have zero say over the decision making of the police board.

            •  Umm (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Because the Council appoints the Board?  Please do look into the differences between a legislative body that makes law and a policy-making commission in California.  Those differences are not merely academic.

              I've been a public official (appointed) for almost 10 out of the last 32 years in California in my city.  So I am somewhat personally familiar with how cities operate in this state.  (I can't speak for any other state.)  But more importantly, I just checked the governance structure of LA to make sure that the reporting relationships are as I have described.  And it is as I reported.  The LAPD board sets administrative policy as it relates to the operations of the LAPD.  

              But that's not LAW.  

              Which is set by only one body in LA - the Los Angeles City Council.  If it wishes to dictate that the provisions of its own municipal code governing the park (assuming they are in fact municipal, and not state) not be enforced, it is the only body that has the legal power to do so.

              If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

              by shanikka on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:24:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  To the charter! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                re: appointment of board:

                The Mayor shall have the power and duty to...unless provided otherwise in the Charter, appoint chief administrative officers of City departments and appointed offices, and the members of the boards of commissioners created by the Charter, each subject to Council confirmation as provided in the Charter

                re: municipal code:
                Every ordinance passed by the Council shall, before it becomes effective, be signed by the City Clerk or other person authorized by the Council, and be presented to the Mayor for approval and signature

                IOW, the relationship between council and mayor is substantially identical to that between President and Congress.  It's standard separation of powers stuff.
                •  No Point in Arguing with You (0+ / 0-)

                  Since the text you quoted confirms exactly what I said.  You're just not quite understanding what you're reading and are trying to shoehorn a state law situation into a federal analogy.  

                  If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

                  by shanikka on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:59:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  You dont admit it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To the judge or opposing counsel, but you have to inform your client which is what he did.

  •  Not really the point. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, erush1345, elmo, VClib
    Let me add this, the City is claiming that they're closing the park for "Sanitation and Safey" concerns.  Yet when I was there last monday I documented that the Park is perfectly safe

    The Supreme Court in Clark v CCNY:
    it is evident from our cases that the validity of this regulation need not be judged solely by reference [p297] to the demonstration at hand. Heffron v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., 452 U.S. at 652-653. Absent the prohibition on sleeping, there would be other groups who would demand permission to deliver an asserted message by camping in Lafayette Park. Some of them would surely have as credible a claim in this regard as does CCNV, and the denial of permits to still others would present difficult problems for the Park Service. With the prohibition, however, as is evident in the case before us, at least some around-the-clock demonstrations lasting for days on end will not materialize, others will be limited in size and duration, and the purposes of the regulation will thus be materially served.

    IOW, maybe the OLA demonstration isn't unsafe, but the point is that future campers could be, and the Constitution doesn't require the state to send out sanitation inspectors everytime someone wants to camp out.

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