Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Occupy LA Wins Concessions From City Council - Or Not?

UPDATE: 9/24/11

It appears that the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Villaraigosa have gone back on their word to the Occuply LA group, and now plan to evict them within the next 72 hours.
Los Angeles officials want Occupy L.A. protesters to ditch their City Hall encampment by next week so the city can begin restoring the 1.7-acre park where the group has been living for nearly two months.

An aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would not say what day the city plans to close the park — or exactly how much warning protesters will be given. But during a meeting Wednesday with several protesters, the aide, Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo, said they would receive "ample notice."


Officials earlier this week offered the protesters work space in a city building, along with a package of other incentives to encourage them to peacefully abandon their camp, according to [Jim] Lafferty. But he said city officials wavered on that offer Tuesday.
So, now what?

This from Crooks and Liars:
LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ran virtually unopposed for his second term and still only got 55 percent of the vote. Between a sex scandal involving a member of the press - to wide reports of his all around hesitancy to do actual work - he's not well liked in Los Angeles. In fact, just the most basic tiny improvements to the city like planting a million trees or making a major thoroughfare a one-way during rush hour have failed during his tenure. Politically it's the end for Mayor V, he's not going to run for higher office. He's done.

So now as he's really accomplished little in his two terms to help a city whose unemployment is 12.2 percent - whose crumbling infrastructure is highlighted in car commercials as an obstacle course - Villaraigosa's next move is to give the boot to Occupy LA.

Yeah, as an aside, that "iconic" bridge that is featured in just about every car commercial made, is to be no longer. They are not even going to attempt to create a structure that resembles this bridge. It is simply going to be torn down and replaced with a 21st century designed bridge. Sad.

We don’t hear a whole lot about #OccupyLA because the City Council has been so cool about it. But now, after nearly two months of the City Hall lawn being used as a campground, the city leaders would like to politely move the protest off the grounds while also supporting its continued work.

The solution, which has yet to be accepted but which we think is genius for all involved, is to “rent” some downtown office space the city has (10,000 square feet) to #OccupyLA for a ceremonial $1 per year. (The huge commercial space is in something called the “Los Angeles Mall” literally next door to City Hall.) And all the homeless who have come to the camp recently? They will be provided with housing. Oh yeah, and farmland will be provided to the group, so that it can be self-sufficient as far as growing food.

With an office space connected to public transit and near to City Hall, the protest movement can become a full-time revolutionary council. It can advocate for the homeless, for the people facing eviction, for those being pushed out by property speculators, for the unemployed and underemployed, for the whole 99%. Actions can be arranged against the corporations, against the military, against all the evildoers.

Read the rest here. And for all you OTHER Occupy cities contemplating what to do, take note of how Los Angeles is treating this movement.

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