Occupy Los Angeles was raided last night by the LAPD. By the time of the General Assembly at 7:30pm everyone knew that the promised eviction of the encampment around Los Angeles City Hall was coming that night.. Even during the GA and after city cops circulated among the occupiers and their supporters, over a thousand people had responded to the call to come out and support the occupation. Many voiced their willingness to be arrested.
The protesters moved out into the streets around city hall, as they had done Sunday night, as the police blocked off the streets and formed a encirclement of city hall designed to keep move arriving protesters from joining those already there. Twitter and the [occupy la] listserv were alive with information about alternate routes still open to city hall, such as thorough little Tokyo, or an alley near Temple.
The encirclement of the protesters deepened as hundreds of cops in riot gear arrive on buses from their staging area at Dodger Stadium but the raid began in earnest in a move that surprised everyone. Hundred of cops in riot gear that must have been prepositioned , or moved in via the tunnels connecting city hall to neighboring buildings`, came storming out of city hall and down the steps.
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.
I just got out of jail a few hours ago. I was one of 300 people arrested Thursday in Occupy Wall St. protests across the United States. In Los Angeles, a total of 67 people were arrested from Occupy Los Angeles, SEIU and Good Jobs LA which combined forces for two back-to-back protests, both of which had as there centerpieces acts of civil disobedience that brought important sections of downtown to a complete standstill as the biggest occupation in the nation took to the streets.
The first was a march that started at 7:00am to the 4th St. bridge, that brought Figueroa Ave, which at 30 miles, is the longest street in LA, to a complete standstill in the middle of the morning rush hour. This also pretty much shutdown freeway access to downtown, Figueroa is that important. 23 protesters, mostly SEIU members, were arrested in a very orderly, non-violent fashion after the protesters set up tents in the street.
Contradicting the trend in New York, Boston, Washington, DC and other cities where the growing occupation movement has been met by official hostility and police violence, today, on the twelfth day of the people's encampment at Los Angeles city hall in opposition to the domination of the big banks and in support of Occupy Wall St., the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to promote responsible banking by the City of Los Angeles and in support of Occupy Los Angeles.
The resolution with the title "First Amendment Rights / Occupy Los Angeles / Responsible Banking Measure" was sponsored by Richard Alarcon and Bill Rosendahl and was seconded by five other councilpersons, virtually assuring it of passage.
The agenda item for this read as follows:
CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION (ALARCON - ROSENDAHL - ET AL.) relative to the City's position to support the First Amendment Rights carried out by “Occupy Los Angeles” and addressing concerns regarding the Responsible Banking measure.
Recommendation for Council action, SUBJECT TO THE CONCURRENCE OF THE MAYOR: ADOPT the accompanying RESOLUTION to SUPPORT the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by "Occupy Los Angeles" and URGE the City Departments responsible for completing the implementation plan associated with the Responsible Banking measure (Council file No. 09-0234) that was approved by the Council on March 5, 2010, which would address some of the concerns of the "Occupy Los Angeles" demonstrators by demanding accountability and results from the Banks we invest taxpayer dollars in, to bring the Responsible Banking measure for a final vote to the Council by October 28, 2011
After dozens of public comments by members of Occupy LA including me and other citizens, the endorsement of many City Counclpersons, and the haggling over the date for the final vote on the banking measure, the council passed the resolution by a vote of 11 to 0 with a couple members abstaining.