Occupy LA: “Oh No! We Won’t Go!” Mayor Says “11/28 at 12:01am Park Will Be Shut Down”

In their official statement below, Occupy Los Angeles has declared they will not leave City Hall. And they state:

All forms of weaponry used by multiple law enforcement officials – including, but not limited, to rubber bullets, pepper spray, verbal abuse, arrest, foam batons, tear gas, long-range acoustic devices and more – are not to be used on those exercising their First Amendment Rights to petition our government for redress of grievances.

At a press conference this afternoon broadcast live on ABC 7 (a truncated version here), Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said:

The Occupy encampments have changed the one-sided conversation, the movement has awakened the country’s conscience…After this initial success the movement is now at cross roads. It is time for Occupy LA to movement from this piece of parkland.

He cited public health, public safety and the security of encampment, emphasizing:

It is time to close the park and restore this to a public park.

Responding to a mic check reading of a portion of the statement below, Villaraigosa pointed out that he gave nine acres of city land in Watts as a community garden when the South Central Garden was shut down. He then announced that

at 12:01 Monday morning, November 28 the law would be enforced,

and that the police are prepared to make arrests, but that is not the intent, as the city is providing time and advance notice, as well as fifty beds for the homeless. Villaraigosa went on to say that workers from general services would be passing out bilingual fliers and that social workers are working with the Occupiers to fill the shelter beds for homeless, while nearby parking would be available for those who are moving. He said the city wants to

Honor the spirit of free expression and keep Spring Street steps open during the park rehab for free speech so participants of Occupy and all other Angelenos will have access to this vital free speech spot.

He praised Occupy, urging peace and and praising the social justice of Occupy hoping that the movement will create an environment so

all fellow residents can use their God given right to achieve.

Chief Beck then spoke:

Occupy protestors have been law abiding, respectful by and large for 56 days.

He said that the police had not enforced city laws regarding the park and now it was time to go, adding that it was not sustainable in terms of public safety and health

This doesn’t mean the Occupy message will end. The steps are available. It’s time to grow the message in different medium.

Beck says the order doesn’t mean the LAPD will necessarily physically remove people, but they will enforce the law. He said they are giving ample time for people to move their stuff, clear tents and take property off lawn. The homeless will get every opportunity to take advantage of fifty beds, followed by fifty more later in the week. He stated:

If we make arrests it will be the people who won’t go, not the people who haven’t had time to go.

Villaraigos spoke again, stating:

The goal is to make this as peaceably as possible and to honor the experience we have had here. We are going to this is a way that is respectful.

When asked by a reporter why the protesters had been allow to stay so long, Chief Beck responded:

This is a national movement which the City of Los Angeles wanted to accommodate. They have had fifty-six days to put forth messages in a public park, which by the way, no one else has been able to use.

Villaraigosa then said

This is a collective decision, a decision I made talking with the Chief, General Services and others…I take full responsibility.

A representative of the OLA Kids’ Camp expressed concern that it might take them longer to get all their toys, supplies and other items together, so they may not be able to get out at 12:01 am, that it might take them 72 hours, and that they didn’t want to be involved in any violence because there were children in the camp. Beck replied that he understood and if officers saw a reasonable amount of effort to move, things would be fine:

This has been a peaceful movement. That has been mutual, it is important that we show that the City of LA knows how to do this, and realizes importance of the First Amendment.

Beck refused to to rise to the bait of some reporters who wanted to know what exactly the police would do. Both officials were mic checked and portions of the GA statement read.

Here’s the full text of Occupy Los Angeles’ statement:

Assembly-authored City response

Written on 11/24/2011 by in Past, Proposal

MODIFIED, CONSENTED TO VERSION

Type: Public Statement

Proposed by: The Los Angeles General Assembly

History: passed with full consensus at GA on Wednesday 11/23/2011. The language, ideas and grievances contained herein were culled from the minutes of 2 special City Liaison Committee Meetings, 2 General Assemblies devoted to the issue, one meeting with the Demands & Objectives Committee, consultation with Media and PR, and widely circulated and amended by the online community of occupiers, and adapted into its current form by the General Assembly on 11/23/2011.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S RESPONSE TO THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Para Todos Todo, Para Nosotros Nada: For Everyone, Everything, For Us, Nothing

(This group-authored response to be read tonight at General Assembly by The Occupiers. If consented upon, this response is to be disseminated as a press release, and ‘mic-checked’, in person, by the Occupiers themselves, on Tuesday 29th November 2011 [wrongly read as Monday 28th November at GA] in the City Council Meeting of that date)

As a collective, Occupy Los Angeles would like to express their rejection of the City of Los Angeles’ alleged proposal that we leave City Hall by November 28th, 2011, in exchange for an apparently now rescinded offer of a 10,000 square foot building, farmland and 100 SRO beds for the homeless.

Occupy Los Angeles believes that as part of a global movement advocating direct, participatory democracy, and challenging economic and social injustices, our position is such that we cannot, in all good faith, accept further material benefit from City Hall at the taxpayer’s expense without seriously compromising our beliefs, our desire for global change, and our commitment to our inherent human rights to free speech and assembly protected in this country by First Amendment Rights. The 1 percent should be paying for any services used by the Occupy Movement, not taxpayers.

In the spirit of inclusivity and transparency which is so dear to our movement, Occupy Los Angeles extends an invitation to Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council to attend our General Assemblies at the City Hall Occupation if he wishes to discuss these and other matters in a direct, democratic and horizontal way. Mayor Villaraigosa must speak out against the violent actions towards our brothers and sisters, declare the actions of other cities to be unjust, and stand before us equally at a General Assembly. Occupy Los Angeles believes that until this happens, we should have no more closed-door discussions regarding our continuing occupation of City Hall.

The City Council – in line with government in general – is an authority which is more accountable to developers and corporations than the public. The very act of the Los Angeles City Council requesting the physical removal of Los Angeles Occupiers without redressing the grievances which were specifically referenced in the inclusion of our adopted ‘Declaration of the Occupation of New York City’, and in the City Council’s ’1st Amendment Rights / Occupy Los Angeles / Responsible Banking Resolution’ — is in effect supporting the removal of all Occupations from public space by any means. We cannot negotiate with such an institution without undermining our sister occupations across the globe who are suffering from oppressive force and attacks upon their inherent human rights to free speech and assembly, protected in this country under the First Amendment. We refer here to episodes in Oakland, Boston, New York, Portland, UC Davis and San Francisco, to name but a few. We refer to those further afield, in Tahrir Square in Egypt, in Madrid, Greece, London and more. Teargas, pepper spray, beatings, jail, suppression and intimidation have been used as a coercive method of silencing our movement and our desire for global change.

We reject outright the City’s attempts to lure us out of City Hall and into negotiations by offering us nebulous, non-transparent and unconfirmed offers which fail to even begin to address our local grievances. We will continue to occupy this space, in solidarity with our global movement, until the forces of the few are forced to capitulate to the power of the people.

When the following grievances have been addressed – grievances which we have agreed upon as a movement through our General Assembly as advancing our cause and providing for the people of Los Angeles – we as a movement will be happy to initiate dialogue with the Mayor and Los Angeles City Council. An office space of 10,000 square feet would not have addressed these grievances. While the grievances listed below are localized, we believe that they promote the underlying foundations and principles of our movement, which include, but are not limited to: providing for basic, fundamental and inalienable human rights such as shelter, food, healthcare, freedom of choice, sexual orientation, gender equality and education — and the right most paramount to a free and democratic society — the right to self-govern. Detailed demands which encompass our greater world view will be released at a later date by our Demands and Objectives Committee through the General Assembly.

GRIEVANCES NOT ADDRESSED

  1. A moratorium on all foreclosures in the City of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles to divest from all major banks, and money to be removed from politics.

  1. A citywide effort undertaken to solve the homelessness problem which has led to 18,000 homeless people sleeping on Skid Row every night. Rehabilitation and housing must be provided for all homeless people.

  1. South Central Farm to be returned to the same LA community from which it was taken, and all other vacant and distressed land be open for the community use, and money to the tune of 1 million dollars – taken from Skid Row and given to a multi-million dollar NFL firm – to be returned to Skid Row.

  2. Los Angeles to be declared a sanctuary city for the undocumented, deportations to be discontinued and cooperation with immigration authorities be ended – including the turning in of arrestees’ names to immigration authorities.

  3. All forms of weaponry used by multiple law enforcement officials – including, but not limited, to rubber bullets, pepper spray, verbal abuse, arrest, foam batons, tear gas, long-range acoustic devices and more – are not to be used on those exercising their First Amendment Rights to petition our government for redress of grievances. We do not accept interference with freedom of the press and the public to document police actions in public spaces. We will not tolerate brutality.

  4. We assert our right to an open plaza on the South Side of City Hall for people to peacefully assemble, voice grievances, speak freely, hold our General Assembly and come to the people’s consensus 24 hours a day if needed.

  5. The City of Los Angeles to pressure the State to start a convention, as provided for in the Constitution, to remove corporate personhood and money from politics at a national level.

  6. The City of Los Angeles to begin a dialogue at the State and Federal level on the issues of student debt and tuition hikes.

  7. No cutbacks in city services or attacks on the wages, work conditions and pensions of city employees.

  8. A world class transit system which addresses our debilitating traffic problem and restores the quality of life in Los Angeles.

We conclude, as a General Assembly, by hereby renaming City Hall Park -

SOLIDARITY PARK

—————————————————————————-

Mayor’s statement here.

17 Responses to "Occupy LA: “Oh No! We Won’t Go!” Mayor Says “11/28 at 12:01am Park Will Be Shut Down”"
ghostof911 | Saturday November 26, 2011 10:33 am 1

Important fact to keep in mind about the coordinated, nationwide crackdowns of Occupy.

DHS is answerable up a chain of command: first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow congressmen and women’s wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly, above King, to the president…


lindytindy | Saturday November 26, 2011 01:35 pm 2

OK, well, occupy Rodeo Drive, Malibu, Westlake shopping center, the mayor’s home, Beverly Hills, etc.
Take it to the 1%. Go OWS!


joe_common89102 | Saturday November 26, 2011 01:44 pm 3

Wealthy people who benefit or profit at the expense of others don’t like to be reminded of the real cost of their riches. They prefer that such visual messages not be a focus because such attention is in itself a demand for satisfaction. Wealthy people cannot and do not want to provide that. They prefer to sweep such matters under the carpet or brand such things as rubbish or brand them as enemies worthy of destruction. And the count on the people they pay to do that job for them. In their minds, the world is much improved because their lives are improved and their rationale for those who suffer for their gains is that those people weren’t good enough, fast enough, competitive enough, or some other non-sense. But many wealthy people also rely on their own stupidy to make such claims and believe them. With such blinding perception, they won’t quite realize the consequences and reality of 99:1 and the French Revolution.


eCAHNomics | Saturday November 26, 2011 01:53 pm 4

It is time for Occupy LA to movement from this piece of parkland.

to movement? WTF does that mean.


eCAHNomics | Saturday November 26, 2011 01:55 pm 5
In response to lindytindy @ 2

Wear bible costumes (sheets with hole for head, rope tie around waist; walk around Rodeo or VG home in small groups doing the human mic reading of MMLJ Xmas story. Huge deployment of cops to stop the small groups of NT readers will do the rest in tying up shopping, etc.


BethinOR | Saturday November 26, 2011 02:20 pm 6

Meet with us in Open Forum.

Cease & Desist using weapons against nonviolent citizens.

Divest from banks and investment houses known to have failed in their due diligence resulting in dependence on taxpayer bailouts to prevent bankruptcy. (Fiduciary responsibility of the City and all gov’t on behalf of taxpayers and employees)

Invest in public infrastructure/transportation creating jobs and long term improved quality of life in LA.

OFFICIALLY TALK ABOUT issues of education costs on behalf of the people of the city and state; CA support for a Constitutional Convention.

Prefer City funding for government budgets, fair labor standards, and full employment over cuts demanded through false and anti-socially-targeted austerity measures promoted by any political parties or habits of gov’t.

Prove LA support and compliance with 1st, 4th, 9th, and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution through its ordinances and codes, assuring that all “persons” are protected by the laws as are citizens.

Yep, pretty radical stuff.


Shoto | Saturday November 26, 2011 02:23 pm 7

Chief Beck responded: This is a national movement which the City of Los Angeles wanted to accommodate. They have had fifty-six days to put forth messages in a public park, which by the way, no one else has been able to use.

Yes, it’s a national movement. However, fifty-six days cannot even be considered a warmup in this struggle. Did the civil rights movement take fifty-six days? Did the Vietnam war stop in fifty-six days?

To be truly effective, this movement must be looked at in terms of months and years, not days and weeks. It must take many and varied forms, and it must continue to grow. Fifty-six days ain’t even a blip on the radar, patronizing remarks to the contrary notwithstanding.


BethinOR | Saturday November 26, 2011 02:29 pm 8

Has a single City put any of the current OWS grievances on their agendas to date?

I do not understand why the Cities prefer hostility and suppression over processing of grievances, petitions, complaints, and communications. That is very expensive and undemocratic as a policy and governing process.

It is as though Cities claim their abuses, bad fiduciary management, and social neglect to be sacrosanct over good governance. It seems to me that if they can consider such limited and disruptive responses, then surely they could expand their options to include solutions.

A homeless shelter is not permanent housing. If laws, ordinances, or neglectful decisions render people homeless, impoverished, without basic services, and disenfranchised, or entangled in bad business practices for the community, then those laws, ordinances, and codes must surely be changed OR remedies adopted and required on behalf of affected citizens as part of the standard process.


rich2506 | Saturday November 26, 2011 02:32 pm 9

Just came from the Occupy Philly meeting and there is a consensus to resist being shut down and driven out. General notion appears to be along the lines of everyone sitting down and linking arms.


Kitt | Saturday November 26, 2011 02:57 pm 10
In response to rich2506 @ 9

General notion appears to be along the lines of everyone sitting down and linking arms.

You’ll have plenty of support. The last time some occupiers used that method of resistance to being forceably removed they made national and even worldwide news. As tough as it was for them to hold strong, they came out the winners. Winners not only for themselves, but winners for us all who care about this Movement and want it to build strength.

In reply to the city:

They have had fifty-six days to put forth messages in a public park, which by the way, no one else has been able to use.

The number of days, 56, is arbitrary and meaningless. Is there some magic number that the world has to “put forth messages,” and then it’s time to go back to being the meek trampled on by the powerful?

Who is the “no one else” who has not been able to use the public park? Have the people who are actively participating in the Occupation, either on a 24 hour basis or on an ‘as can’ basis, been enforcing a no use zone for all others who would like to use or enter the public park?

The


manys | Saturday November 26, 2011 03:02 pm 11

It’s so interesting how merely getting the public’s attention (“awakened the country’s conscience”) is such an upper limit. Never mind that nothing has changed and the fixes are still in.


JohnJ | Saturday November 26, 2011 03:10 pm 12
In response to Shoto @ 7

“Now your mom and did have been very patient (56 days), it is time for you children to wash up and get ready for bed. Oh how precocious these kids are today this movement is!!”

Makes me want to do a Hulk Hogan to John Stossel, “is this fake?”


GeorgeJohnston | Saturday November 26, 2011 03:15 pm 13

It is time to close the park and restore this to a public park.

Isn’t that sort of like destroying the village in order to save it?


Phoenix Woman | Saturday November 26, 2011 03:20 pm 14
In response to manys @ 11

That’s why keeping the movement alive is so important. The fixes weren’t put in overnight and they won’t be removed overnight.


jest | Saturday November 26, 2011 04:07 pm 15

Looks like the LAPD is going to get another chance to be infamous!

It’d going to be interesting how they react to this, given their less than noble past.


mikesacola | Saturday November 26, 2011 04:14 pm 16

An article today from Naomi Wolf explaining the $$$ extremism behind the coordinated get-tough campaign against OWS.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29822.htm


BethinOR | Saturday November 26, 2011 04:31 pm 17
In response to manys @ 11

Turf protection even when the “turf” is Public and they’re invited to the party. Pathetic and compromised thinking.

The law and order types are comfortable following rules even when the rules are merely habits, misunderstood, or bad. People get nervous about any unexpected disruption and are afraid to take creative initiative. It’s why they’ll happily use force to stop the disruption. Rather than look at and fix the problems, they’ll try to fix the blame for the disruption.

This paucity of leadership is what happens when we elect officials who aren’t leaders but look good on tv or sound good in sound-bytes.


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