Trayvon Martin: Monday Night Protests

Protests and rallies continue in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, southeast of LAX. About 15o people have shut  down Crenshaw Blvd around Slauson, walking north along the busy artery. There is another protest/prayer vigil/rally at Leimert Park where about a more  people are gather.

8:15  Police are staying away form the crow for the most part, until the a few people rush a building and try to jump on stores’ iron security  gates and banging on parked cars, when the police then form a skirmish line.

8:21 A police helicopter is illuminating the group walking up Crenshaw pack to the park. They have taken the northbound lane, and police cars are blocking the streets to allow the walkers to pass.  The crowd is moving more slowly now, and the police are walking along.

8:24  Someone who was lying on the sidewalk is getting punched at Slauson and Crenshaw.  Others tried to break up it, and the crowd moved on. The LAPD airship is still overhead. (at 8:40 paramedics are on site to attend to the person)

8:36 A minvan is swarmed by about 15 protestors who have run ahead of the crowd. The woman driver gets out for a minute and the group jumps off the car, then once she is back in, jump back on, before continuing to march. The minivan drives off..

8:40: Lt Andy Neiman from LAPD says the group is out of control and the LAPD will make arrests (so far one has been made). No confirmed damaged, but reports of damaged vehicles and property. Primary focus is is to get crowd on sidewalk  and back to the park, and if necessary arrest those who are breaking the law. As they see individuals violating the law, teams will go in an extract the violators and arrest them. He says it unfortunate that a First Amendment event and what should be a solemn event being ruin by a few troublemakers. The LAPD doesn’t want this to become a confrontation.

When you start breaking the law the message gets lost and that’s what we are seeing now.

As a side note, LA’s newly elected mayor, Eric Garcetti, who was out of town on vacation, visiting friends In Philadephia before business meetings later this week in DC, has cut his trip short and is back in LA. Because really a vacation and out of town trip two weeks after election is so responsible.

8:50. Fireworks are being set off.  The marchers reached the park and rally and have kept marching, heading to Martin Lusther King Blv. They set off some fireworks. There are no skirmish lines. The police are letting them keep marching in th estreet, though the southbound lanes are open on Crenshaw.

8:54 The marches are at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall, trying to get into the WalMart. (Last night the marchers entered the W Hotel and did some damage). WalMart appears to be locked down, protestors threw some shopping carts at the doors, and security came out. The vandals ran off. (The marchers will walk for a period of time, then some  of group will run ahead, making it hard for the police to stage in front of them or maintain constant supervision).

8:59, And Stocker and Crenshaw, there is some smoke on the street. The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall is emptying of customers, and police are there. There may vandalism/theft at the mall. The LAPD is setting up a mobile field force and securing the mall.

9:08 Police formed a skirmish line at mall parking lot entrances blocking the further marchers from entering. The crowd is moving further north.

Now there is other news stuff. Blah blah blah. Charlie Brown sounds.

9:20 LAPD Chief Beck tweets:

9:23 The group is now returned to the park and shut down an intersection. Two LAPD airships are overhead, police trying to get in place. Cars are being swarmed. People from the Leimert Park rally are standing in the park watching the chaos, some trying to reason with crowds.

9:25. A group of seven or eight  is running, more follow. There is a fire in a trash can. The crowd slowly follows the runners.  A fire truck is heading to the trash can fire. The police have now set up a skirmish line south of the park, around 43rd to move the people back to the official rally. There is another skirmish line at the park, so the splinter group is between two sets of LAPD at either end of the block. They dash through a parking lot to dodge the police. The cops do not follow.  More from the prayer vigil rally at the park are coming out to speak with group in the street to invite them to join in.

9:37 LAPD is now on full tactical alert and massing at the Pollo Loco at Vernon and Crenshaw. A crowd is scampering into the park for the corner, running into the park. Lt. Neiman says he wants to get a message out to the community that people should text or call their kids if they are out on the streets and ask them to come home because a mob mentality is starting to take over. He hopes the community steps up so the police don’t have to. The majority of the crowd in the streets are younger.  A car stopped in the street and two guys got in; the car drove off. Was it their mom?

Riot police in the park.

Lt. Neiman says  at some point the LAPD will declare unlawful assembly and there may be arrests. There are children and juveniles in the crowd, and he would prefer not to make arrests.

9:52 LAPD declaring unlawful arrest as I type this. There are resources in place to make arrests. The crowd is being given a time frame to disperse, and the dispersal will be controlled so they don’t mob in another location. They are usually given 5-10 minutes to leave. Lt. Neiman is urging people to text and call their friends and family if they are out there and tell them to leave. Community members are coming into the crowd and telling them to go home.

9:59 Crowd is moving.  Sort of. They moved a block. LAPD skirmish lines are in place. Still just one arrest, though that may change. Groups of ones and twos can pass by the police and head home. It looks like about 75 people left.

10:02 About 5 people started running away from the main group, dashing across Crenshaw, while  other groups are slowly walking on the sidewalks, presumably to their homes. No official report on damages yet. At the mall, police are declaring unlawful assembly, and people are leaving. Police are marching with green guns (rubber bullets). They may start to surround the crowd if the crowd doesn’t disperse.

10:06 I can hear the dispersal orders under the news reports. The area has pretty much cleared out, but there are still clots of people on corners. A group is at 11th Ave and Vernon, which is more residential, but officers are a block away, and the airship is overhead. The crowd is just standing in the corner, crossing back and forth through the intersection.

10:10 Crowd is running on 11th Ave. Garcetti tweets

10:12 Police squaring off with a few protestors. Now rerun of a portion of Zimmerman jury member’s interview with Anderson Cooper.

10:14 Many police at Pollo Loco, but no confirmed arrests made yet. More local news, large fire in Riverside County, over 1000 acres, threatening an animal rescue, and possibly Ronald McDonald Children’s Camp. And the major freeway closure could be over soon–the connector between the north 2 and north 5 was damaged in a major fire, clogging local streets with detoured drivers. It may be partially open by tomorrow morning. Add one to two hours to your commute.

10:24  KCAL helicopter shows arrests being made, about a dozen people arrested at 11th Ave and Vernon, more at 8th and Vernon. Other people just ran.

10:28 more taken into custody. LAPD airship has spotted group hiding in alley. The arrests group is being taken into paddy wagon for processing at the Pollo Loco which is now the local command center (only in LA!). The arrestees  may not go to jail, though, per the KCAL reporter (I suppose it depends on age, if they have warrants, etc). LAPD is working through neighborhood to pick up stragglers.

Oh no, sports news…zzzzz.

11:00 Switched to KABC. Things have calmed down, Crenshaw Blvd is open. KABC is running tape and  things look more violent than KCAL’s footage did, including shots of protestors throwing things at cop cars.  KABC reporting KCAL’s news crew and van were attacked (weirdly KCAL said nothing about that) and were attended to by ambulances.

Over to KCBS, KCAL’s sister station, hoping to learn more about news crew:

11:08 Mayor is speaking. 350 officers, 13 arrests. Mayor is at Pollo Loco command post praising the peaceful demonstrators for honoring Trayvon and the Martin family. The city will allow peaceful protests that respect the community and the rights of all people. The Martin family didn’t ask people to take little kids scooters, break windows and commit other acts of violence. He thanks those community members who peacefully assembled and will continue to support First Amendment rights. He concludes:

We are a great city, a better city than the one we saw tonight.

Next up Police Chief Beck. He says  First Amendment rights are supported, but not acts of violence. Tonight the rights of the many were abused by the few. LAPD wants to facilitate First Amendment rights to speak up peacefully, but  cannot allow people to infringe on the rights of the community.  There are important voices that need to be heard. Asks parents not to send your children to protest in and around Crenshaw. LAPD wants to keep everybody safe. He also said they were going to be more of a presence and will take a tougher stance tomorrow.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas  recalls the Rodney King riots 21 years ago when he was the district’s council member. He says non-violence is the best way to communicate how to address injustice, saying we should honor tradition of Martin Luther King. He asks  that everyone please obey the police. Violence does not further the cause. There will be a day of dialogue in the city.

City councilman/former LA  police chief Bernard Parks commends the police department. We should be thinking of Trayvon’s family. Urges parents to tell their children to obey the law, they cannot  jump on cars, beat on people, disobey the police. He starts to talk about how he saw two riots in this area in his life (Watts and Rodney King), at which point the fade him down the newscaster begins to summarize what we have just seen, emphasizing that parents should talk tot their kids and that the police will be less lenient tomorrow.

I watched for two hours and will say the LAPD was very mellow, no rubber bullets, no bean bags. I hope though that the ALCU and legal observers are there tomorrow, and that troublemakers are not.

That’s all.





Trayvon Martin Verdict: So Far, Peaceful Protests in L.A.

Update: By 1am, when the Hollywood crowd had moved south to Sunset and Cahuenga, close to the Cinerama Dome, the LAPD gave the order to disperse. Most did, however the police eventually fired beanbags at the lingeres and severla arrests were made, one for assualt on a police officer. More protests are planned today.

Los Angeles is on citywide tactical alert tonight, Sunday. One protestor arrested in Hollywood, a woman.

Peaceful marchers shut down the 10 Freeway for about half an hour, from 6pm to 6:30pm. About 50-100 protestors  walked onto the freeway, the east/west artery  also known as the Santa Monica Freeway. Police stopped traffic and the freeway marchers dispersed before the police could broadcast an order. That march moved back onto Crenshaw Blvd. and splintered into smaller marches. Some bottles were thrown, but no arrests made.

At 9pm, a march north on La Brea Blvd. included walkers and slow moving cars, about 100 people and maybe 30 vehicles, stopped traffic at La Brea and Beverly. La Brea is a major north/south street which runs from near Los Angeles International Airport, acting as a divide for the the Fairfax District and Hancock Park. Further north it is the eastern border of West Hollywood (WeHo is a city separate from LA; it uses the sheriffs as law enforcement) and the western border of Hollywood (which is part of LA proper). Cops in riot gear showed up at at La Brea and Beverly and the crowd moved further north towards Hollywood.

By 10pm, the march had reached Hollywood Blvd, shutting that street down from La Brea east to Highland (that would be in front of the Chinese Theater and the Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland, where the Oscars  happen; across the street are the El Capitan Theater and Jimmy Kimmel’s studio).

Protesters blocked the intersection at Hollywood and Highland by 10:30pm, while tourists snapped photos. The Hollywood Bowl, just up Highland, with more people on foot and in cars, is about to let out at 11pm.  Police were getting ready to broadcast

get on on the sidewalk and get moving.

Commander Andy Smith who handled Occupy LA (and did a pretty decent job) said that he didn’t want to interfere with First Amendment rights, but that safety was a priority as well as adhering to legal protest laws.

California Highway Patrol are also blocking the freeway entrances and exits along the 10 in the areas around Leimert Park, an historic black district which is really messing up traffic (we already have two major freeways, the 5 and 2  closed for a few miles because of a tanker fire and fuel spill Saturday in the northbound  interchange tunnel).

While a news report on KCLA 9 said protesters wanted to march to Beverly Hills, a five mile walk that would take them through West Hollywood and the sheriffs (and during the LA riots, the Beverly Hills Police set up armed barricades at all intersections leading into that city), protestors were moving east, the opposite direction, toward my direction.  If they get here, I’ll be dressed and ready, but as my housemate pointed out, it’s getting late, and this is L.A. (which is why I took photos of my TV!)

protestors on the 10 Freeway

Protest locations. The La Brea and Wilshire protests moved north to Hollywood Blvd.

La Brea and Beverly, about 2 miles south of La Brea and Hollywood.

Police cars, protestors and tourists on Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood and Highland, 10:15 pm


Police line at Hollywood and Highland.

The one arrest.

Protestors moving east at 11:08pm.

Occupy Back to Chalk Sidewalks at Los Angeles Art Walk

Occupy has vowed to return to Art Walk tonight, Thursday the 9th, and “Chalkupy” the sidewalks, as well as staging

an open community art and music space in Pershing Square with a community potluck and a “Really Really Free” Market.

Occupiers also plans to have a portion of the evening dedicated to the victims of LAPD violence at last month’s event including those arrested for chalking, those injured by police projectiles and other law enforcement weaponries, small businesses and artists who had to shut down early, and residents and patrons who the LAPD kept from entering or existing buildings until early the next morning.

In advance of tonight’s Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, members of Occupy were arrested earlier today for chalking Pershing Square. The three arrested Chalkupiers were bused in from Occupy Oakland. Two were released, and one remained in jail on an outstanding warrant.

The Los Angeles Police Department–which came down hard on  Occupy last month for chalking the sidewalks, streets and crosswalks–is taking a firm stance on sidewalk chalking, as is the city. Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Horace Frank, of the Central Division, told the Los Angeles Times that his officers plan to enforce the anti-chalking law if they see it being broken:

It’s a violation of the law, it’s vandalism, and we’re going to make an arrest,” he said, adding that he has received frequent emails from downtown property owners complaining about damage from chalk.

“My BlackBerry is burning up with pictures of businesses being vandalized.”

Meanwhile, though the city has declined to press charges on the majority of those arrested for chalking–which seems like a huge waste of everyone’s time and a form of intimidation–no permits will be issued for  chalking:

Richard Schave, a founding member of the Art Walk non-profit, asked the city if it would be possible to create a “safe space” for the group to protest, after LAPD clashed with protesters at last month’s “Chalk Walk.” The city said that it could approve a permit for protesters to congregate at Pershing Square, but not if the event included chalking, which it does not consider lawful.

The President of Public Works, Andrea Alarcon, sent Schave a letter saying that the city considers chalking illegal activity:

“Unfortunately, a request for a permit to assemble in Pershing Square for the purposes of ‘chalking’ does not fit within the parameters of our permitting structure because the use of chalk to deface public or private property is not lawful.”

9:15 p.m: According to Channel 9 News, Chalkupy is going on at Pershing Square and no arrests have been made. While there is a police presence, it’s waaaay smaller than last month’s; and police say they are taking things on a case by case basis, with no arrests so far tonight. Meanwhile, some of the chalkers are heading to Art Walk.

Will update at next news report.


Photo: Twitpic @FreshJuiceParty

HT: LAist

Ryan Gosling Saves Journalist from Oncoming Cab, Thus Raising Awareness of Political Issues in US

There is a cringe-worthy cute-meet romance movie in this story, as well as some valid points about our celebrity-focused culture, and how it subsumes the the news cycle, pushing out important socio-political issues.

Political journalist Laura Penny is rather pragmatic about being saved from an oncoming New York taxi by a double-denim wearing guy who turned out to be actor/heartthrob Ryan Gosling. The Drive star reached out and grabbed her in the nick of time.

Penny–the author of Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism and Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent who has covered Occupy and writes for the Independent–is a contributing editor to The New Inquiry, and has contributed to The New Statesman, The Guardian, The Nation, and Jezebel. She described the incident on Twitter:

I  literally LITERALLY got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling….I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi…Identity of no-idea-if-actually-a-manarchist-but-definitely-a-decent-sort Ryan Gosling confirmed by girl next to me, who said ‘you lucky bitch’

Penny has received numerous media requests which she has turned down because

it’s getting silly now…I really think it’s a bit of a fuss over not very much

and writes in her piece for Gawker on the incident

I am grateful to every other kind New Yorker who has saved me from oncoming traffic in recent weeks, good citizens making the streets of this fine city that much safer for random British writers who can’t remember to look both ways….People do lovely, considerate things for other people all the time. I don’t believe that the fact that A-list celebrities occasionally act like human beings is in itself news — it might have been slightly newsworthy had Mr. Gosling simply floated by on a cloud of his own cultural significance whilst a young woman got smeared into the tarmac, but lucky for me, even the most chiseled-jawed of us are usually boringly dependable in times of minor peril.

Gosling may not be a manarchist, he is socially active. He volunteered in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of clean up efforts after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, has campaigned with PETA to encourage KFC and McDonalds to use more humane methods of slaughtering chickens.  The actor is also involved with African aid causes, and has traveled to Darfur, Uganda and Congo, as well as supporting  the Invisible Children charity.

And pulling Penny out of the way of a taxi isn’t Gosling’s first peripheral brush with Occupy. His upcoming film, Gangster Squad, about the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950s, displaced Occupy LA for several days last year when they shot scenes at Los Angeles City Hall.

To Penny–who explained via Twitter she couldn’t do any TV appearances to discuss her five-second encounter with Gosling because the Manic Panic hair dye she used had turned not only her hair but her hands and face fuschia–the real heroes in America

are risking everything to make sure that the United States doesn’t slide further into bigotry, inequality and violence whilst everyone is distracted by the everyday doings of celebrities.

Exactly. But it would have been a fabulous opportunity for her to open celebrity-crazed minds to

war on Iran and war on women’s bodies and [why] Rick Santorum is considered a serious presidential candidate.

And in case you were wondering, Gosling didn’t say

Hey girl

when he moved Penny out of the way of the cab. He said

Hey, watch out!

Punk Rock Rebels, Repressive Regimes Fight Back

Today is the 33rd anniversary of the Elk’s Lodge riot in downtown Los Angeles where the LAPD cracked the skulls of punk rockers at a multiband show near MacArthur Park. Officers in riot gear stormed the historic Elks Lodge where local bands X, the GoGos, the Plugz, the Alley Cats and the Zeros were headlining, swinging batons, terrorizing and arresting young citizens for being different.

Rock and roll has been the music of rebellion and social change since the 1950s, and each successive wave of youths have discovered its power (chords) and embraced its do-it-yourself aesthetic. Punk rock and technology, from cassette tapes to MP3 and file sharing have made music the most easily understood and easy to identify mode of rebellious self-expression. The music, lyrics, and yes, fashion have been and are still threatening to the powers that be: Los Angeles Police chief Daryl Gates viewed punk rock, especially the band Black Flag, as a major threat, regularly sending in riot cops for their shows and says Black Flag drummer Greg Cameron:

Gates would get Black Flag tour dates and phone ahead to the local law enforcement agencies in those towns to “warn” them that Flag was coming.

Today punk rocks continue expressing dissatisfaction and challenging authority; and while punk may be almost 40, its revolutionary, self-empowering spirit has spread throughout the world to some of the most oppressive regimes, where musicians and fans are being imprisoned, “re-educated,” and murdered for daring to think and act differently.

In the past month in Iraq, per Reuters, 14 youths were stoned to death in Baghdad

in what appears to be a campaign by Shi’ite militants against youths wearing Western-style “emo” clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say.

Emo is modern style of punk music and dress that evolved in the late 1980s and is still popular with youth around the world. The Iraqi government has denied emo was the reason for the youths’ brutal death, but over the past weekend:

Militants in Shi’ite neighborhoods where the stonings have taken place circulated lists … naming more youths targeted to be killed if they do not change the way they dress.

The Guardian UK reports that in December 2011, where Indonesian youth which has been expressing itself through punk rock for two decades:

[A] punk gig took place in Aceh, Indonesia, the “special province” of the country that has its own police force pledged to maintain sharia law. Supposedly because the event’s organisers had forged official documents to gain the requisite permit, 64 of its attendees – who had travelled from all over the country – were arrested, and taken to a nearby detention centre, before being transported to a “remedial school” 37 miles away. There, their mohican hairstyles were forcibly removed because they were deemed “insulting to Islamic traditions”. According to a police spokesman, the group was held there to “undergo a re-education, so their morals will match those of other Acehnese people”. Demonstrations followed not just in Indonesia, but in London and San Francisco.

The recent Russian election brought punk rock to the forefront in the former Soviet Union when members of the feminist guerrilla punk collective (punk rock was the first genre where women/girls played all their instruments themselves) Pussy Riot were charged with hate crimes and violating a public order the day before the election, which kept Vladamir Putin in office as expected. Two members are still jailed and on a hunger strike.

Meanwhile last night at the über-hip SXSW in Austin, Tom Morello played a live concert for Occupy SXSW (Occupy Austin) attended by lots of folks who weren’t credentialed for the laminate-only festival/industry schmoozefest which was shut down by the police. Today, to celebrate the six months anniversary of the Occupy movement, there’s a Million Musician March for Peace taking place right now through the streets of Austin. Let’s see how the cops behave.


Art: Raymond Pettibone for Target Video, private collection

HT: We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, by Brendan Mullen and Mark Spitz

Occupy LA: Reports of LAPD Violence

Josh’s hand, hit by rifle-fired projectile. This photo was taken at 3:50 am Wednesday on Main Street about a block south of La Placita Queen of Angels Church. A man with him who declined to be named or photographed had been struck in the face with a police baton; there was slight swelling around his mouth, and the inside of his lip was broken. He told me

I forgive the cop, I forgive him.

Josh had been in City Hall Park when the dispersal order came. He and his friends told me an office called out

Hey you!

and Josh turned, pointing at himself as if to ask,

Who me?

and was struck in the wrist by an LAPD projectile fired from a green shotgun at a distance of about 30 feet away. He was triaged by roaming medics once he left the park, and had an ice pack on his wrist. He could move his fingers slightly.

About 45 minutes later he walked into the parking lot of La Placita Queen of Angels. I had already spoken with one of the legal observers from Peace in Harmony about him, and pointed him out to the medics when he arrived to get him a fresh ice pack before he spoke with the legal observer (LO). His hand had swollen considerably, but he was still able to move his fingers and asked for a cigarette before talking with the LO. He was sleeping in the medic tent when the National Lawyers Guild arrived from the park. I provided these photos to the NLG rep.

Ruth Fowler wrote on Occupy LA’s website:

No bad treatment of protestors occurred while the mainstream media was watching – it was only at the end that this occurred, when the non pool reporters were separated from the pool media, and the reporters not in the pool were shoved and hit by cops.

At this point I left, but other non-pool media refused to leave and wanted to stay reporting on the scene. Jared Iorio, our photographer, stayed for fifteen minutes after me and was hit twice in the chest with a baton by a policeman until he left Solidarity Park…

She goes on to say that after leaving the park and assembling on Los Angeles Street:

We were blocked (kettled) in on Alameda between second and first. The police started running towards us – the group was now about 100 people by this point – and everyone ran into a parking lot to escape. The police ran after them and started beating protestors with batons repeatedly as they were running away trying to escape. I saw about ten police hit protestors. I did not get video footage nor photographs as I was running…

This media pool drew mainstream media into the inner circle, where they were treated to a display of courteous policing and nonviolence by the police. Even I was impressed by the police. The operation was smooth and efficient and tactical.

Then the pool media was divided from the regular media, and kept in the inner circle. They were not present to witness the brutality and violence enacted by LAPD officers who were kettling and running after protestors in order to beat them outside the park and mainstream media attention. LAPD smoothly kept MSM from witnessing this, and tried to control other media by constant kettling and dividing of the crowd.

Occupy LA: LAPD Limits Media Access

Monday night at 7:15 PT, the Los Angeles Police Department held a lottery to decide which media could be credentialed for the LAPD Occupy LA media pool, in anticipation of the next raid. According to a mainstream media source who was there, the LAPD only wanted to allow one media outlet per medium (print, radio, television), but was persuaded to allow three of each:

the only media eligible for pool were those who were on the LAPD press release list and able to get to headquarters with an hour’s notice. So very few were represented at the meeting. I asked about independent radio/blogs and they said that only media with LAPD-issued badges would be allowed in the vicinity. I asked about those already at the camp, and they said after the unlawful assembly order everyone who doesn’t leave will be arrested, even those who are journalists. Our attorney was looking into whether there were legal challenges to be made.

No independent/citizen media was in the grab bag of media outlets selected. The LAPD Media Relations Department declined to tell me who was in the media pool, saying it was not for publication. Someone had called earlier and had been given the names and told the POI officer that they would not guarantee non-publication, so the officer was very wary. Why doesn’t the LAPD want that information released?

However a media source not in the pool relayed to me:

ABC, NBC and AP Video are the pool.

A print media source whose outlet is in the pool told me that Reuters, the LA Times (whose offices are across the street from Occupy LA, and would likely be within the LAPD’s perimeter, so they sort of have to be included) and

I think, the Daily News.

The source told me his/her employers were consulting with their attorneys and with the LAPD about the police department’s

restrictions on how we would be operating.

He/she said that each outlet is allowed one reporter who must be designated in advance. There is a separate pool for photographers.

There is concern from media that the LAPD may want to review material before publication or broadcast.

Under the LAPD’s guidelines, the OccupyLA media team–which includes photographers, videographers, livestreamers and reporters–is not credentialed.

There is no Spanish-language media in the pool in a city where 4.7 million people are Spanish speaking. As Monday morning’s midnight-plus-one deadline drew near, there were news crews from the BBC and a Tokyo station present, as well as KMEX (Spanish language). I saw KTLA which was live streaming and had a helicopter overhead, KNBC, KABC, KCBS/KCAL and stringers in unmarked vans. Reporters I ran into included ones from the LA Times and USC’s Daily Trojan, and dozens of people live streaming and taking pictures for blogs and independent media. Oh and Andrew Breitbart was there talking to some dudes with scarves over their faces.

The media presence played a huge part in keeping things nice Monday morning. When Occupy chanted

The whole world is watching

they were pretty close to the truth. The revolution is being televised. And if it weren’t being beamed into TV and computers around the globe, would the LAPD have acted with such restraint? One would like to think so, but odds are maybe not so much.

Breitbart photo: Linda Patron, used with permission

Note: Keven Gosztola will be live blogging events through the night, so tune in at The Dissenter for updates.

Occupy LA: As Midnight Deadline Draws Near

The mood at City Hall is weird, a little spooky and tense, but also a a sense of  valor. People are expecting the cops to move anytime after midnight. Every local channel has news crews out, and  teevee news channel KTLA is giving OLA plenty of coverage.

Lots of clergy are present, and lots of civilians, over a thousand people are on the grounds, celebrating and feeling brave.  I was told by members of the Veterans Committee that there are more vets than ever before on the grounds, that they are their to protect the Constitutional rights of the Occupiers.

Some idiot of course has threatened violence showing a reporter one of his smoke bombs he plans to use against the LAPD, per KTLA’s 10pm news, and the reporter says that he felt obliged to tell the police, and that

The party is just getting started

The media tent has moved all their equipment out, but their tent is still up, as are many others. The food tent is serving food, and well, we’ll see. I’m heading back down now.

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


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.


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.


  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 -



Mayor’s statement here.

Occupy LA: Mayor Villaraigosa Says “Out By Next Week!”

An aide to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa confirmed that the city will order Occupy LA to leave City Hall Park sometime next week after informing Occupy LA representatives and also Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyer’s Guild for Occupiers at City Hall that the order was coming down. Lafferty and the Occupiers walked out of the meeting with city officials when they were told that Occupy would be forced to move. Lafferty told the LA Times they:

walked out of the meeting in anger after the announcement and told city officials they “have not been operating with good faith.”…

Lafferty said the city had not given the liaisons enough time to discuss the offer with the protesters.”They are not willing to give us time to have that discussion,” Lafferty told the protesters. “”I said, ‘The democratic practice here may be slow but it is beautiful and it works.”"

Yesterday the Times reported that the city had offered to lease offices to Occupy LA for $1 and allow them to farm unused city land, an offer the city later wavered on. The offer would have had to have been approved by Occupy LA’s general assembly which could be a long process since many Occupiers are opposed to leaving the lawns around City Hall.

The city cites the need to water the huge, decades-old trees and re-seed the lawn as the reason for Occupy’s eviction. The trees have not been watered in weeks and are legitimately at risk.

Notes taken during the meeting between OLA, city officals and the LAPD show, Matt Szabo, a spokesperson for Villaraigosa saying:

Just came from meeting w/ boss, clear difficulties. We cannot refer to these as negotiations. This is a new situation. We’re trying to work together to best manage this for the city. We are working to secure your first amendment rights, but acknowledge that city hall park is an unsustainable situation

The decision-making and governing process is cumbersome


I do not know when that will be, but you will receive notice

The mayor will announce today that we will be making available at least 50, but as many will be required, homeless shelter beds

We’ll continue to be as open and honest as we can possibly be

Difficulty: we wanted to move this forward in a productive way… the issue of whether or not the park is open or closed is NOT A NEGOTIATION

The city has a right to close the park

Some would argue there is a responsibility to enforce the closing

All the issues we’ve been discussing are still on the table, but the closing of the park WILL HAPPEN

An OLA representatives responded that the SEIU will not be happy if Occupy is evicted:

Talked w/ SEIU, their message is that an injury to OLA is an injury to SEIU. If something happens to us, something will happen in the streets.

City officials say they will give 72 hours warning to Occupy to vacate. The Los Angeles Police Department will enforce the order.

The live feed from the General Assembly was down Wednesday night, but I will post the archive when it is available.

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